Artist Joyce Slate shares a collection of nature-inspired jewelry handmade with sterling silver and freshwater pearls. Visit her website to see more.
I grew up in Minnesota, but I’ve always loved the ocean. My favorite natural artifacts are those found along the seashore, like bits of sea urchin shell or pieces of coral. In my earlier life, I studied whales and dolphins in Hawaii, and was involved with inter-species communication research with dolphins. Although I was studying science, I knew innately that art was my calling.
I am influenced by art nouveau artwork, especially the jewelry worn by women depicted in the images of artist Alphonse Mucha. I always loved how the accessories would merge into the dresses of the women he depicted. Their necklaces seemed to almost be a part of the forests, plants and decorative patterns that surrounded them. The jewelry appeared entwined with the fabric, as well as intermingled with the figure.
The feeling of connectedness between nature and humans inspires me to create flowing, organic and sculptural jewelry from fine silver.
I sculpt in precious metal clay primarily, which results in a 99.9% pure fine silver piece. I combine it with sterling silver, gemstones and freshwater pearls. I’ve been creating handmade jewelry for nearly twenty years, exhibiting at fine art festivals across the country.
I reside in Sarasota, Florida, and St. John, United States Virgin Islands, with my fiancé John Grammer. There I am surrounded by tropical vistas which are about as opposite from Minnesota as a girl can get!
I’m always growing as an artist. My next chapter in jewelry design is micro mosaic, which is a traditional Italian technique that I studied in Ravenna, Italy. Jewelry creation is an ever-evolving passion!