Carolyn Morris Bach is one of my favorite American studio jewelers. She has won numerous awards and grants and is in the collections of various museums across the country.** Her work is instantly recognizable.
Carolyn’s inspiration comes from the rural surroundings that envelop her Rhode Island studio. Her pieces are whimsical, fun and really capture the mystical spirit of woodland creatures and figures.
Carolyn specializes in using unusual materials like dendritic and rutilated gems, jaspers, bone and petrified wood combining these with copper, gold and silver to create a fantasy world of “figurative spirits surrounded by suns, moons and animal imagery.”
I remember the first time I discovered her work at an American Craft Council event, I was so blown away by the simplicity and consistency of her style.
As an artist/maker, having a distinctive style is of paramount importance.
Standing out against the crowd with a trademark aesthetic like one’s subject matter, use of material or even the level of craftsmanship are all a form of marketing; to use a dirty word “branding”, if you will.
The most distinctive jewelers possess the innate ability to intuitively thus pervasively ‘market’ their work to its audience through repeated use of materials, techniques or subjects – Fabergé is known for his guilloche enamel Easter Eggs. Lalique, his art nouveau designs and plique-a-jour. Castellani, for archaeological revival.
And today, Carolyn Morris Bach carries on the art jeweler tradition by creating art forms that are not only beautiful to behold but totally wearable! Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is a fan.
** Carolyn Morris Bach holds a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her art is included within numerous public collections, among them the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, and the Racine Art Museum. In addition to lapidary and other specialty journals, her work has appeared in the pages of Elle, Vogue, Bazaar, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Metropolitan Home, and numerous other lifestyle publications. Bach’s jewelry has been recognized with awards of merit from the Smithsonian Institution, the American Craft Museum, and by a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Most recently, a Carolyn Morris Bach brooch was included in the book by Madeline Albright, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box.** (this excerpt from Artnet.com)
(all images and quotes except ** via Caroline Morris Bach‘s website)