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Kristen's jewelry reflects her life-long fascination with the fluid forms of nature - intricately curled sweet pea tendrils; layers of shale beautifully carved by rushing waterfalls; the ever-changing hues and textures in the skies above. She strives to create designs that evoke the visual interest, mental stimulation and emotional uplift inspired by such phenomena.
Numerous metalsmithing processes are essential to Kristen's designs -predominantly forging, soldering, reticulation, and stone-setting. Reticulation involves alternating cycles of heating sterling silver until almost molten, then cooling it to room temperature and "pickling" off the oxides. This process produces interesting textures and edges that occur as the molecules flow and reconfigure. The colored metal in her designs is niobium, a reactive metal, which starts out a dull gray. The colors are achieved through the process of anodizing, in which surface films of precise and controllable thickness develop when the metal is submerged in an electrolytic bath and charged with small voltages of electricity. The colors created by these oxide films are predictable and permanent, but may be removed by physical abrasion or chemical etching.
Kristen studied fine art and art history at Cornell University and finished her B.S. in Design at Buffalo State College. She shares a studio with watercolor artist Carolyn Neidlinger, her mother.