"I am inspired by the world around me. I have always been able to see patterns in the environment and subtle divergences from the ordinary."
Estelle Vernon, who is located in Alexandria, Virginia, has been creating handmade designer jewelry for over 25 years. After a career in audiology, Estelle pursued an interest in jewelry making first introduced to her in high school. Her unique jewelry designs are influenced by both the visual and the tactile. Whether it's the leaves on trees, the roughness of tree bark, or the intricacies of Japanese textile design, she distills these images into her jewelry with an elegant simplicity.
Estelle’s textural jewelry is pleasing to the eye and the touch at the same time. Currently she uses several surface techniques. Her gold painted jewelry involves melting 14k gold wire onto the surface of sterling silver in a painterly fashion and using an iridescent patina to bring out the gold design. In another technique she creates unique textures utilizing original photographs she takes in National Parks. She etches the design into a textured plate and then roller prints or embosses the design onto the metal. Each piece of jewelry in the Yellowstone and Bryce series is embellished with 24k gold keum boo accents and oxidized to fully develop the contrasts between the blackened metal and the gold.
Estelle has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, most notably in Seoul, South Korea. She has been a member of the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths since 1988 and was president from 2000 through 2003. She is currently a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and is a resident artist at The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. She received her education at Montgomery College, Maryland Institute College of Art and Touchstone Center for Crafts and studied under acclaimed instructors John Cogswell and Mary Ellen Trozzo.