FUSENEWS - November 2018
The Enamelist Society Featured Member - Judy Pyle
"In 1995, I began taking art jewelry classes at MICA Jewelry Center in Baltimore, now the Baltimore Jewelry Center. By day I was a studio art teacher at Gettysburg high school, and by night, I was driving to Baltimore to take fabrication classes with Kirsten Rook, enamels with Shana Kroiz, alternate materials with Betty Heald, and a host of metalworking workshops with noted artists. My kitchen became my studio, with a borrowed Flexshaft and a pullout meat cutting board as my bench. Cooking became a distant memory.
I found that I loved researching objects, like the 1863 yearbook/autograph book from Mt Holyoke, which led to Fanny & Cordelia's Book. I actually went to the Eastern Shore where Cordelia had lived, and talked with some of her cousins, one of whom gave me the photo of Cordelia's daughter's wedding. Putting old pieces into a new setting continued with Three Ring Circus, the Wags for Riches necklace, Snapshot, Flood Watch and Queen of Hearts. Telling visual stories delights me, and there's always inspiration, whether from the news or the boxes of Excellent Junk I have in my studio.
After I retired from teaching, I taught at the Jewelry Center and other schools, moved several times, and now have a home where my studio is in my basement. And I’m cooking again. I also garden, which is the main inspiration for my Garden Collection.
Each piece of my work is hand fabricated, chased and formed as needed. The domes are enameled, painted with pigments and torch-fired, with further embellishment in 23K gold leaf. They are set on fine silver, (sometimes with more gold embellishment) and held in place with substantial silver Fibonacci curves and smaller wires, with patina for contrast. All other earrings are sterling silver and/or gold."