My grandmother often told me "The most important tools you possess are your own two hands." She applied hers with skill and dedication to her passions and was rewarded with the deep satisfaction crafting by hand can bring. As a jewelry designer, I know that joy and satisfaction well.

 

From my North Carolina studio overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, I fill my days with filing and soldering, texturing and shaping, polishing and finishing. Applying traditional metalsmithing tools and techniques, I work to transform sterling silver sheet and wire into handcrafted jewelry - at times adding 14k gold, polished stones or simply natural stones and treasures that find their way into my pockets.

 

My approach to design is heavily directed by my life experiences. While a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree carefully honed a discriminating eye for strong design, it was six earlier years in Japan that formed my true foundation. At its core is a mindful attentiveness to subtle detail, an abiding reverence for and connection to Nature in all its diversity, and an awareness of the sublime beauty and timeless elegance inherent in simplicity.

 

The strongest sources of inspiration come from a walk in the woods. The course of a stream, the texture of a stone, the pattern on an insect, the twist of a leaf - all fertile fields to explore. Embracing an eastern aesthetic in the creative process, I find I am continually paring down initial concepts to the essential - removing the extraneous to uncover the central elements of strength, grace and harmony. In stepping aside, the best designs reveal themselves on their own - when I, and my hands - are simply tools through which the process unfolds.

 

I believe wearing objects crafted by hand can offer a way to bring beauty and quiet moments of reflection into our lives everyday - and that is my intention with each piece I make.

 

©2015 Kim Thompson Stone & Sterlingwear

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