Member Spotlight - Nancy Krahn
Nancy has stated that her “mission as a jewelry artist is to combine the expressiveness of an artist with the technical skills of a craftsman. I want my pieces to be wearable and functional. As a jewelry artist I want to tell a story, be evocative and have jewelry be viewed as sculptures.” Each piece of jewelry that she creates has a story behind it. One story about many of her pieces involves the necklace that her grandmother received as a gift from her husband-to-be. It is a lovely piece with intricate details and pearls. Her grandmother wore the necklace when she was married. Nancy and her mother and sister all wore it as well when they married. Nancy often includes a small pearl in her jewelry as a connection and tribute to her grandmother.
Nancy believes the creation of artwork can be a positive influence on one’s soul. During the Covid 19 “downtime” she found that she, along with many artists, were motivated to look at their work with fresh eyes and assess what was truly meaningful to their lives and work. She also reevaluated her production processes, show venues and the expenses required to create work. She realized she wanted to strive to have “fewer things” and have those things mean more and, if possible, have multiple uses for those things. This influenced a series of pieces she created that had interchangeable beads and elements that can be a “new “ piece of jewelry every day. One piece becomes many by changing the bead color, orientation of the piece, or adding a new element.
In her own jewelry, Nancy finds sources in nature, inspired by her mother, and the fluidity of movement, inspired by her father. She uses hand-fabricating techniques to craft her jewelry, including soldering, forming and dapping with anvils and mandrels as well as forging and texturing with hammers and chasing tools. She creates surface variations through patinas, satin and hi sheen finishes. “These techniques allow me to create clean lines and planes with both strength and delicacy.” She uses a variety of materials including Sterling Silver, 14 K Rose and Yellow Gold, Lampwork Glass Beads and Gemstones as she balances the aesthetic and functionality in her work.
Nancy also likes to incorporate connections and collaborations with other artists in her jewelry. With fellow Fine Line artist and instructor Victoria Belz she “brainstorms color, texture, pattern, shape and function” in Victoria’s beads which Nancy then incorporates in her jewelry. This collaboration has resulted in many interchangeable elements in her jewelry. “A piece can be worn in a different orientation, or with a different color element with the Lampwork beads adding a pop of color”, often using the beads in different configurations.
Two years ago, Nancy found that she loved teaching jewelry and seeing how she could inspire her students to express themselves in their work. She remembers feeling great satisfaction when one of her early students smiled after creating her piece. She found that teaching came naturally to her, and she encouraged her students to find what inspires them and to develop that inspiration in their work.
In addition to participating in shows at Fine Line, including the annual Artisan Gallery and Sale in December and the Fine Arts Festival and Fox Valley Arts Ramble in June, Nancy exhibits in shows throughout the Midwest during the year. She has also generously taught a class at Fine Line for the Joshua Tree Community students.
For more information about Nancy and her work, please visit her website at: www.NancyKrahnJewelryDesign.com.