Friday, November 11, 2011

Incredible Inspiration

by Kelli Pope


Years and years ago when I started making jewelry, and realized just beading was not going to satisfy me, I discovered a deep desire to work with metals. Silver and copper, especially, truly speak to me. The more earthy and raw the better..... hammered, beaten, fired, antiqued....... I just LOVE it. I came across an "artist". A true jewelry artist, who was having a trunk show during a gallery hop. Her work was incredible. I was inspired by her and in awe of her talent. I bought 2 of her pieces that night.

Not only was her metal work wonderful, but she used ALL recycled materials. Yes, that's right. These wonderful pieces are from recycled copper and silver. The waves and texture she achieved simply WOW'd me.



I was already working with sheet metal and wire, but KNEW I just had to step up my game. I bought a metal smithing book and then took an adult ed class at the local University. (I just couldn't bring myself to light that torch in my house without some hands on instruction!!) I was hooked!!!!!!!

Eventually, I started trying to get my work into shops. The first to accept me was The Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft. Low and behold, my FAVORITE jewelry artist had her work there, too. After drooling over one of her pieces there, I splurged after my first consignment check. ( Yes. Yes, it's true. I bought jewelry with my jewelry income.) Can you blame me? I just had to have this piece. It goes with EVERYTHING!!!! Soon I ran into her at an art show, in which I was hoping to someday participate. We struck up a conversation. I told her about buying that piece, and how she inspired me. Turns out, she lives about a 1/2 mile from me, and her husband went to school with my brothers-in-law. WHAT a small world!!!! She was incredibly warm and humble, which just added to my appreciation of her and her work. Over the last few years we've done many shows together, and shared many stories. When I've gone nuts over a piece, she's offered to show me how to make it!!

Her work has evolved INCREDIBLY over the past year. She went to Italy last year. ITALY!!! and studied metal work there. She was so excited!! When she got home she obtained a grant and was able to go back for additional study.

This past Spring, I ran into her at a show, and she shared the most WONDERFUL news with me. She had sent jewelry out, hoping to get it worn on one of her favorite TV shows. While that didn't happen, ANOTHER show accepted it. One of her cuff bracelets and a pair of earrings were going to be worn by an actress on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. HOW EXCITING IS THAT ??!!!

Imagine my surprise this past weekend when those very pieces were in a raffle! She and I both are in the Louisville Artisan Guild, and had a booth in the Holiday Showcase. All of the participating artists submit artwork to be raffled off, with the proceeds going to a scholarship fund. OF COURSE, I had to put my chances on her earrings and cuff bracelet. I WON!!! I WON!!!!! I didn't get the earrings, but I did get her fantastic bracelet.



Thank you Roxy Lentz for your talent, kindness, and support!! Your work is truly inspirational! I'm always so excited to see your latest work, and just can't WAIT to see where else your talent takes you!













6 comments:

Artisan Beads Plus said...

What a great inspirational story! I LOVE metal as much as I love clay! I've been dabbling in metal more lately and having a blast! I just made a bracelet and I've been fiddling with how to get it to fit just right..... I think I'll go work on where I left off!
MaryAnn

Patty said...

How wonderful it is to have a mentor like that, Kelli. Thanks for sharing the story behind your inspiration, which is inspiring in itself. But one thing - I'm supposed to be incredulous about spending jewelry income on jewelry? It makes perfect sense to me. :-)

sasha and max said...

Makes sense to spend jewellery income on jewellery to me too! thanks for sharing a really inspirational story.

Carol Dekle said...

Thank you Kelli for your inspirational post! I love her pieces and how she applies the different textures. I admire your work as well and wanted you to know that you encourage and motivate me!

mairedodd said...

isn't jewelry income for buying jewelry?! or something else you might like? congrats on winning this - and it is wonderful to own work by one you admire so much...

Beadroe said...

I can definitely relate, because I received the pair of earrings that I won from you and am so excited to wear them. Thanks Kelli they are great.

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