About Kathryn Kienle
When I created my first piece of jewelry, I knew I had found my passion. I sent it to my Mom, who responded “you have to make more”. A lot of artists have heard this response from family, friends, and co-workers. If only I knew then what a long and varied road I had started down.
During college, my coursework often consisted of three science courses. But attending a liberal arts college meant that we were educated in areas outside our major. One semester that included Intro to Art. After hours of studing chemistry, biology and physics, my roommate, Sherene, & I would head over to the art building and work on our painting or drawing assignments till early morning. The free creative process was such a constrast to our other classes that it brought a welcome break to the analytics of science. Upon graduation, I went to work for a pharmaceutical company as a chemist. I loved working at the bench, doing experiments and developing new medicines. Soon my life included my wonderful, supportive husband and the discovery of Keeshonds (barge dogs from the Netherlands). Keeshonden are very people oriented and affectionate dogs and each one has been a joyful companion. Over the years, I pursued many creative avenues; sewing clothes, making gifts for my four nieces, hand stitching teddy bears and weaving intricate baskets. When I started making jewelry, I found a new endevour that balanced my love for science and experimentation with art and creation.
While I am mainly a self taught wire and metal clay artist, I took several traditional metal smithing classes at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan. I have attended Bead & Button and BeadFest Conferences to further my art. Creating new and interesting jewelry is often more like experimentation as I am always trying new designs and materials. While my training is in traditional metal smithing, I work in many different types of metals, both in wire and metal clay. My husband calls my work “Fusion Jewelry” as I like to add different techniques such as metal clay, chainmaille and Kumihimo. My jewelry incorporates new trends into classical designs that can be considered tradtional yet modern. Often I incorporate natural gemstones with Swarovski crystals and fire polished glass to give my hand made creations a little flash while still being appropriate for any occasion.
Although I have been formally educated as a Chemist and Biologist, I have turned into a jewelry artist, by merging a love of science and knowlege into creating wonderful jewelry creations. At first, I did not realize that working with metal, stones and beads would also have a theapeutic benefit for a variety of medical issues. Whether bending wire or texturing metal clay, not only am I creating something I hope will bring joy to someone else, I am working through the constant struggle with pain.
Inspiration comes from every new experience and source. My thirst for knowledge and inspiration shows in every handmade piece of jewelry and is fueled by local art institutes, national conferences, professional magazines, the internet, and sharing ideas with fellow artists.
While chemistry is my first love, creating jewelry is my passion and this passion balances life with art.