|Jennie Lorette Keatts - JLK Jewelry|
|Featured Jewelry Artist|
Jennie's sister, Pam Owens, urged Jennie to follow her heart and take a basic silversmithing class. That 1996 Denver class was the beginning of a new career, and by 1999 Jennie had quit her job and moved to Seagrove, North Carolina, to pursue a full-time career as a jewelry designer.
A flourishing crafts movement throughout North Carolina draws more and more artists each year, but for Jennie, the move to Seagrove was more personal. Sister Pam was there, along with her husband, children, and the other potters who work with them at their business, Jugtown Pottery. This pottery complex has been in existence since 1922 and is listed on the national Historic Register. It offers a pottery museum, contemporary and antique pottery sales, and sales of other American crafts. An award-winning pottery complex with award-winning potters, Jugtown is no doubt a great source of inspiration for many artists.
Jennie's jewelry is made with her hand crafted pottery beads and pottery stones, often used in combination with natural stones and gems. Her pottery stones are created by hand-rolling and cutting the pottery to mimic natural stone shapes. After the first hardening, glazes created from the earth are layered on the stones to produce pieces with incredible depth and realism.
Stones are set in hand fabricated sterling silver that's often adorned with 18K gold, copper or brass. Jennie loves to create visual and real texture in her jewelry. A favorite technique is reticulation, where she uses a torch to heat and cool silver, coaxing it to form hills and valleys. Jennie also patterns metal with a rolling mill.
Jennie's necklaces are her signature pieces, created by pairing handmade, glazed pottery beads with semiprecious stone beads, sterling silver, and vintage glass.
You can view Jennie's work online or at numerous galleries throughout North Carolina and in other states. Galleries and exhibitions are listed on her Web site, JLK Jewelry.
Photos Copyright JLK Jewelry