Wearing What We Love: Jewelry by Erika Wolfe

When we think “art,” we usually consider location: where will I hang it; what table will I place it on—the exception being handcrafted jewelry. We wear what we love. It goes with us, with great joy and pleasure.

The 2nd Saturday Alliance Art Gallery’s guest artist, Erika Wolfe is bringing what she calls her “Bucket List and Signature Pieces,” along with a selection of earrings, for this extremely special exhibit at the Gallery, with an August 12th opening reception.

“I draw everything from scratch. The pieces I am exhibiting come from my bucket list—stones I’ve had for a long time or ones requiring a fairly complicated design. I am 81. I have been doing this for a long time. Some pieces are very exacting and time consuming.

The bucket list stones she talks about range from topaz to a rare silver-and-quartz gem she has owned for over 25 years. Erika Wolfe explains, “These pieces express my personal reflection well. They go to my principals. I stress the geometric because I believe it to be a visual force that is easily understood—a kind of universal law that expresses an absolute dimension.” She adds, “My pieces set up a field of tension in which various forces play and interact.”

With a masters degree in silversmithing from California State University, she taught high school students until early retirement in 1996. Leaving California for Keokuk brought her closer to her growing family, and gave her the opportunity to begin delving into her “mind sketches”—envisioned works melding stone into silver settings. She does no lost wax casting, preferring to fabricate her pieces exclusively from silver sheet and wire stock. For her, the emphasis is on texture and geometry, using roller printing, fusing, and other techniques.

She achieves an incredible balance between stone and setting, neither one dominating, each perfectly balanced against the other. The resulting beauty becomes art one can wear, with sheer delight.

And her plans for the future? “This exhibit may be my one last big hurrah! But I’ll keep on working. “It is God’s gift.”

An opening reception will be held on Saturday August 12 from 5 until 8 pm. Please join us!