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Kathy Raines Bio
When I was (much) younger, I worked in the financial services industry and was comfortable in the corporate world. I occasionally dabbled in creating things, but a young daughter and a lot of business travel kept me from nurturing the creative part of my brain. I tried to satisfy my creative cravings by visiting out-of-the-way shops selling unique gifts, especially handcrafted ones. I was particularly drawn to handmade jewelry.
I didn’t consider the possibility of designing jewelry until my daughter became a teenager and my time was no longer filled with momma-daughter activities. I remember strolling through a local bookstore’s arts and crafts section and discovering a huge book describing the many processes involved in making handcrafted jewelry. The more I delved into Jewelry Concepts and Technology by Oppi Untracht, the more I was hooked on giving jewelry making a try.
I tried and discarded many jewelry-making methods before discovering the art of wirework. I was extremely fortunate to take classes taught by Arline Fisch, an innovator in adapting textile techniques for metal and wire. The organic nature of the work of Alexander Calder also influenced me.
Rather than trying to control the wire, it works best when I don’t force a design. Instead, I let the wire dictate what it wants to be and help bring it to life. The ideas flow into my mind as I shape and weave the metal. This process is slow and interactive. Each movement is an experiment, building upon the one that came before it. I find it very enjoyable and meditative.
I recently happened onto the centuries-old art of quilling. This technique of coiling and shaping paper strips to create unique collage and sculptural artwork is reminiscent of manipulating wire for my jewelry designs.
My jewelry appeals to people looking for pieces with distinctive style, elegance, and a sense of fun. After more than 25 years of designing jewelry, I’ve learned to create from my heart. Each piece is meant to encourage, uplift, and bring confidence to those wearing it.
Kathy’s jewelry is at Rose Belknap’s studio, stop #15, on the 2022 VIVA Holiday Art Studio Tour, Dec 3-4 & 10-11, Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am – 4 pm. For more information on the free, self-guided tour and an interactive map, click here.