Monday, October 4, 2010

Introducing Laura Guenther ... talented jewelry artist!

Torch-fired enamel earrings with fiber

I love Laura's work and thought you would like to meet her.  Many times, jewelry artists get lost in the big world of Etsy.  Laura and I have been "talking" (emailing) for about a year.  Then this summer, she and her family vacationed in the St. Pete Area so she could take an advanced enameling session with me ... one on one ... just she and me.  I think she learned a lot, but so did I!  Her husband is a doll ... and a great cook ... and her kids are bright, talented, and funny!  

Torch-fired enamel earrings

During our visit I learned so many interesting things about Laura, like, for instance, she has a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Interior Design.  I was definitely impressed. It was obvious to me that she had a trained eye ... and her education explains her astute understanding of color.  She taught herself to do torch-fired enamel simply by using my tutorial.  Enameling is a great way for colorists to express themselves ... because the options appear to be endless.  

Bracelet of patinated brass

But as far as Interior Design, Laura found the "selling" part of her job less than appealing.  So, first as a volunteer and then as an employee, Laura designed an art instruction program for 75 deaf students at the Central Institute for the Deaf in Missouri.  Laura loved her seven years with the students and explains, "For many of them, art was a way they could express themselves, for the first time, without the limitations of being deaf ... I adored the students ...  my own hearing loss lead me down the path to the job of teaching the deaf. My program was accredited by the Illinois Department of Education and acknowledged as an excellent and outstanding art program in the Spring of 1993." 

An artisan bead with torch-fired enamel

Laura's husband, Kevin, took employment as an aeronautical engineer in the Atlanta area.  This new job and a move from Missouri to the Atlanta Area meant that Laura could be a stay-at-home mom.  Her penchant for making jewelry snuck up on her like it did for many of us.  One year she decided to make earrings as Christmas presents for some of her family members.  Uh oh!  Before you can say "Swarovski crystal," you're hooked!  

Torch-fired earrings

In the process of acquiring metalsmithing tools and skills, Laura enjoys working with silver, brass, and copper.  "I also love the texture of Czech glass beads ... all shapes and sizes.  I like lots of texture and asymmetry in an overall design. I love a rustic, imperfect, natural look and feel to my jewelry."

Antique key with torch-fired enamel

Laura has more than a few vintage collections: Pyrex, Fisher Price Little people, linens from the 40's, depression glass, white pitchers.

Ceramic and picasso beads, sterling silver earrings

She gives us another little known fact about her, "I can read lips very well!   I can tell what people are saying from across the room!  I love doing this at restaurants!  I also love the new forensic science TV shows.  I could be the next Sue Thomas FBI!  Just in case you don't know, she was a Deaf investigator (on a TV show ) who used her ability to read lips to solve crimes...hmmm a new calling?  Perhaps!"  So, my warning to you is to be careful what you say when you're around Laura.  Mmmmm ... I wonder why she didn't tell me this before I met her? 

Laura's Love Bracelet

Please check out Laura's etsy shop with fresh, new work:    I love that torch-fired enameled artisan bead of hers.  Whether you're in the market for finished jewelry or torch-fired enamel components, Laura's shop has some really nice things.  I know she's adding more as we speak!



EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Thanks Barbara for sharing about Laura. She sounds like a great person to be around! I love all the colors she did on her earrings, especially the first photo you showed with the fiber! I am so glad you guys had fun with your one on one class!

mairedodd said...

(i don't know if my first message went through or not) -
thank you so much for introducing us to laura! her work is terrific - and how wonderful that you guys got to work together one on one... i have made her etsy shop a favorite...

TesoriTrovati said...

How nice to be introduced to someone new! I love what Laura has done and the fact that she could do that with a tutorial of yours really speaks volumes as to the throughness of your teaching and increases my anticipation of your much awaited book!
Thanks for sharing.
Enjoy the day!

BlueAntiquities said...

I have learned so much from Barbara and other inspiring jewelry artists! It's wonderful living in a time where we can share information, ideas, techniques through the internet. I have finally reached a point where I can trust my inner voice with my jewelry. Now I can use the skills Ive learned from wonderful artist like Barbara (so willing to share, I love it Barbara!) to express what I like and my style! BlueAntiquities Style! Thanks everyone! Laura

Eve Smith said...

Thanks for sharing she seems a really interesting person, will have to go and check out her etsy,

Cindy said...

Barbara...what a great post, introducing another jewelry designer...and one who creates such pretty things I might add! Laura sounds like an all-around wonderful person...and I like the fact that she collects vintage Fisher Price Little People...I always stop and smile when I see those in antique shops too.

stregata said...

Thanks for the introduction to Laura! Sounds like you two had a great time - one on one instruction, sigh!
Am off to see more of her work.