Kathy Van Kleeck april 2017

the Maker's Mark

Jewelry and accessories, grounded in a rugged simplicity ... effortless

Above all else, I am a maker ... my life's passion, my raison d'être.  Supporting and defining that passion is my craving for simplicity ... simplicity and finely crafted wares created with equally fine ingredients ... from my home and its décor, my clothing and shoes, to the food I eat and the dishes and glassware on which it is served ... in all things, lovingly wrought simplicity.

So, it's really no surprise that my jewelry and design philosophy is an extension of that craving.  While pondering all of this, and being the visually oriented person that I am, I began to think of my design philosophy as a house constructed by a trio of inspirations ... there is a solid foundation of "God is in the details," thank you, Mies van der Rohe ... with walls informed by Occam's Razor (I paraphrase) "the simplest answer is usually the best answer" ... all under an exquisitely imperfect wabi-sabi roof.

A beautiful structure that translates into jewelry and accessories that are free of superfluous details, grounded in a rugged simplicity, comfortable, effortless.

Do we really need more stuff ?

As a maker, I struggle with the idea of creating more stuff to put out into the world.  An online friend responded, "We live in a world of things ... make things with soul, consciously, with gratitude for what is used."  Thanks, Dawn!

about the jewelry . . .

I started making jewelry in 1994 and through the years I've assimilated a diverse range of influences and interests into a distinctive jewelry style that I call Urban Primitive. 

I'm primarily self-taught via lots of how-to books and seem to have a gift for design and composition.  My medium of choice is a relatively new material called Precious Metal Clay (PMC) - precious or base metal powders in a clay-like base.  I began working with the original fine silver PMC in 1998 and it was love at first touch.  My favorite thing about metal clay is how I can form each component by hand, pinching and nudging shapes, smearing and rolling edges ... my fingerprints are visible in each piece, quite literally, the hand of the maker.  After forming, the elements are fired in a kiln; the clay burns out, leaving the now-fused metal - 18k gold, fine or sterling silver, steel and bronze.

a few more details . . .

I make every effort to run a sustainable, green business.  To that end, the precious metals I use (PMC and sterling silver) are purchased from a certified green business and made with recycled silver.  The gemstones I use are purchased from reputable suppliers, are conflict free and in compliance with UN regulations.  I use nylon cord and beading thread for their exceptional strength and durability.

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"You can't be what you aren't."  Baxter Black