Each and every design challenge gives us the exciting opportunity to meet up-and-coming artists, reconnect with our favorite designers, and open our eyes to new and unique works of art. Coming off the success of the 2011 Jewelry Design Challenge, we simply could not wait to hold another call for jewelry entries. This year’s Jewelry Design Challenge brought in over 100 entries and showcased the unique designs of artists, jewelry designers, and metalworkers.
Our judges worked through designs with bold patterns, fascinating stories, and unique mediums. They decided on pieces they thought would capture America’s eye with their delicate beauty and others with their intricate detail. But there was one piece that the judges couldn’t take their eyes off of; they loved its concept as a keepsake to keep those you treasure close.
We simply can’t stop talking about the craftsmanship and attention to detail of Personalized Child Signature Necklace and are excited to introduce you to the designer, our Jewelry Design Challenge winner, Kim Jakum of Wisconsin. Kim thrives on designing one-of-a-kind pieces with her recently found love of PMC (precious metal clay) and she will soon be able to see those one-of-a-kind pieces being cherished by people all across the country. Here she is, Kim, the newest member to our Uncommon Artists family.
When and how did you discover jewelry design?
I’ve been making jewelry for over 20 years. I first started making jewelry by just stringing beads. I was drawn to all the different shapes and colors. To this day, I’m still drawn to beautiful stones and the sparkle of crystal.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry?
My favorite piece of jewelry that I have made is my Tiger Maple and Fine Silver Cuff.
How did you realize that metalworking was your passion?
My work is primarily in PMC (precious metal clay). I love that it is made from recycled silver. About 16 years ago, while taking a traditional metal smith class, PMC was first introduced in the USA. The whole class got some and played with it. I didn’t really like it at the time, and didn’t give it any thought until about five years ago when I took a workshop just using PMC. I fell in love with it, and have not looked back since! The possibilities are endless…
What are your favorite pieces to design?
Besides the children’s signatures, I also take kids artwork, shrink it down and transfer it to fine silver pendants and key chains. I love that this makes an everlasting keepsake.
I have also recently been accepted into The Artisan Group. The Artisan Group is made up of small business artisans that gift celebrities with samples of their work. I’m having a great time designing jewelry for specific celebrities.
All in all, you could say that a lot of my work is very personalized, made specifically for the person receiving it.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
I have been fortunate to take workshops from fellow jewelry artists who’s work I really admire. I find these workshops very inspiring, pushing me to continually learn a new skill and perfect what I already know.
How else do you express your creativity?
I like to pass what I know on, so I teach classes in jewelry making and PMC.
Also, if I see something I like in another medium, I usually think I can make something close to it myself, so there are a lot more projects other that jewelry making going on!
What attracted you to the UncommonGoods Jewelry Design Challenge?
I actually found out about this challenge from a fellow Artisan Group member and entered it on a whim.
What was the inspiration behind Personalized Child Signature Necklace?
The signatures on my Personalized Child Signature Necklace sample are actually my grand children’s. I have seen a lot of stamped name pendants and thought I could take that idea to a whole new level by using actual signatures! I also added a twist by texturing the back, so the necklace is reversible.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in taking part in a future challenge?
Just enter! Until this year I have NEVER entered a challenge or competition. I have entered four different challenges this year and have placed first, second or third in three of them!