About Chris Kaitlyn

INSPIRATIONS. . .I am inspired by color, lots of color, as well as texture created by the materials I use. I find it extremely rewarding mixing colors and working with shades of the same color to make a rich visual image or story. I originally come from a textile and ceramics background and those mediums provide so much more space to tell your visual story. The jeweler's canvas is smaller, three dimensional, and it can almost be sculptural when the jewelry has movement in space. Using a mixture of beads made from semi-precious gemstones, crystals, pearls, metals, glass, ceramics, polymer clay, my enameled beads and/or Artisan Designer Beads, I am frequently told by the viewer that my work evokes an enthusiastic, warm, & wonderful emotional connection with them! 

DESIGNER & MAKER FOR. . .I have been a designer and maker of art and crafts for over 50 years. I thoroughly enjoy the process of designing an item, going through my materials to find just the right elements for the design, then putting the materials together to create my vision. This process can be for a wall textile piece, clothing, or my jewelry designs.

My eyes and brain are entertained as I play with color and texture and I thoroughly enjoy working with my hands as I make the piece. Though there can be moments of stress, as with anything, overall the process is very relaxing. Over the years I have learned that you do learn more from your accidents than your successes as you make and remake a piece. Quilters use the phrase, 'Happy Accidents', when a piece is different than it's original design and in my experience the same is true with jewelry making. Accidents have lead me down many paths of new discovery and the results are much more exciting than the original idea! I have also found that making a number of designs at a time stimulates more ideas than I can finish. For instance when I am designing the image with the materials, rather than drawing an idea out on paper, I will put a variety of earrings together first, then I will switch gears and finish them off with ear wires and any additional wire work that is needed.

STARTED WITH JEWELRY. . .I started working with jewelry making over 10 years ago when a friend invited me to a gem show in Tacoma, Washington, near where we live. Then there were classes to take, books and magazines to study, and collecting more materials to experiment with. When I am passionate about something my tendency is to pursue it in a big way and really dedicate myself to learning as much as I can about techniques and materials. Then I make enough items that I start looking for outlets to exhibit and/or sell my work. Over the years I have been in a number of juried art and craft shows, several bi yearly home shows, art galleries, and I also started an Etsy site in 2014 for my jewelry.

JEWELRY & TEXTILE STUDIOS. . .I produce the pieces in two studios. I have a "messy" studio in the garage where I enamel a variety of metals with powdered glass and a 1500 degree propane and oxygen powered torch. I have a fan set up in front of the torch specifically to pull away any smells or loose powdered glass. The fan can also be used if I'm working with other products that are smelly or produce dust. I can also hammer and cut metal and then shape it in the garage as well as apply color using patinas, paints, waxes, or other materials.

In another part of the garage I dye fabric and keep leftover dye in two small refrigerators for use on another day. I frequently paint an image on fabric and incorporate the dyed fabric into the piece. These textiles are usually sewn on a sewing machine and hung on walls, much as you would a painting on canvas.

Finished items are then brought into the "in home studio" which is the former living room. (Don't worry, we do have a living room which flows into our kitchen.)  The studio is a large space with big picture windows and is organized with tall Ikea cabinets that hold jewelry and textile supplies. On the tables are the materials and tools that I use daily. In another part of the house I photograph my pieces. Though it is a great idea to photograph ones' work outside in natural light, the pacific northwest is not always cooperative. So I use one of two photo tents and lights which are always available when I need them regardless of the weather! Currently I photograph on professional photography paper. Also in this room I keep the finished jewelry and I have a table and shelves for packaging and shipping purchases.
 
I am very excited to be recently published in the magazine, Artisan Jewelry Times, with a tutorial article I wrote and primarily photographed. 

So welcome to my web site! If you have questions just contact me at my email address: Schrokait@comcast.net.

Chris Kaitlyn, June 8, 2016