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Metalsmith BenchTalk with Kirsten Skiles

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My Guest this Thursday, December 19 at 3 p.m. PST on MetalSmith BenchTalk is metalsmith and artist Kirsten Skiles, who creates elegant jewelry and handforged home décor, inspired by nature.

About: I'm a busy metalsmith, lazy gardener, and active mom. I spent many years working as a blacksmith but now spend my time as a jeweler. At this stage in life, I am taking some time to sketch and develop a more spiritual and narrative aspect to my art. When I was a senior in college, as an anthropology major, I took a jewelry class and got completely hooked on it! I graduated with honors in anthropology, with a firm appreciation for the link between culture, process, and object. I stayed in the area and kept taking jewelry and metalsmithing courses non-degree until I developed a strong enough portfolio for graduate school. I also took workshops in blacksmithing during this time. 

I went to San Diego for grad school and received my MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing in 1996. I moved to Wisconsin and started my career as an independent artist. Circumstances allowed me to focus on blacksmithing and forging. I opened my Etsy shop in February of 2006, calling it "knitsteel", reflecting my appreciation for both fiber arts and blacksmithing. I was busy with commission work, but listed and sold many of my experimental and fun jewelry pieces, as well as decorative steel leaf wall pieces and sculptures. 

After many years of large, time consuming, demanding ironwork, several kids, and a move south, I decided to scale back in size and started working in jewelry again, which lets me work faster and more spontaneously. I want to work with more spiritual and narrative themes, so I'm taking some time to develop these lines through drawing and journaling.

For more info, visit: http://kaskiles.com.

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