Jewel Day 2014: Catherine Witherell

Collaged self-image of artist Catherine Witherell.If you sometimes struggle with your creative life and occasionally need a lift, visit the happydayart blog of artist Catherine Witherell.

She’s a creative tour de force, a jewelry maker, sculptor, printmaker, collagist, photographer, painter — to name only the most obvious.

Maker space in her head

Catherine’s online presence is one of happy and intense experimentation with traditional and new media.

Four samples of Catherine Witherell's jewlery-making skill.She exhibits no fear, only interest, in the face of new materials and techniques.

Both her Facebook page and her blog reveal an artist who doesn’t hold back, an artist who finds great joy in the act of making and sharing what she’s learned.

To the right are a few images of Catherine’s metalwork.

Pendants, rings, beads – they all display the confident exploration of an artist for whom making art leads to happiness.

A wake-up call

A couple of years ago, Catherine was on the receiving end of a wake-up call.

She was doing a lot of soldering and using resins, spending many hours each day in her studio.

She became alarmed when red spots began to appear on her stomach and legs, prompting her to see a specialist.

This two-sided brooch can also be worn as a necklace. In the left image, a "cabochon" dome of distressed sterling silver is decorated with soldered-on copper The right image is the other side of the piece, which features a lace agate teardrop.

This two-sided brooch can also be worn as a necklace. In the left image, a “cabochon” dome of distressed sterling silver is decorated with soldered-on copper The right image is the other side of the piece, which features a lace agate teardrop.

Although it couldn’t be determined precisely what had caused the spots, the specialist said that she must have been exposed to more toxins than her body could handle.

Catherine said that when you’re ardently involved in the process of making art, you don’t always think about potential health hazards.

 

She resolved to change her approach, beginning with ventilation.

Sentry Air's solder fume extractor in the studio of artist Catherine Witherell.Place of honor

Catherine purchased a Winged Sentry SS-200-WS for her studio.

Because the fume extractor makes a marked difference in the indoor-air quality of her studio, she says it occupies a place of honor.

In the photo the right, you see the fume extractor on a workbench in Catherine’s studio.

[She also calls it “the awesome Sentry Air unit.” We heart her for that.]

Physically, the unit’s ‘place of honor’ changes with Catherine’s work flow.

She loves that it’s easily moved to exactly where it needs to be.

Catherine recently finished these earrings, which are based on a design she saw on an ancient gold bracelet. They are made of sterling silver sheet metal, coiled sterling wire and brown pearls.

Catherine recently finished these earrings, which are based on a design she saw on an ancient gold bracelet. They are made of sterling silver sheet metal, coiled sterling wire and brown pearls.

Brown pearls and Catherine’s insights about making art

Say what you want to do aloud to make it happen.

Let yourself sink into thinking about an art project, even if you can’t do the art project right now.

Think about making art all the time. It’s therapeutic.

Catherine likes to experiment with making new shapes for chains.  Her favorite metal for that is argentium wire, a sterling silver alloy. The charms in this photo are made of metal clay, a few gems and a pearl.

Catherine likes to experiment with making new shapes for chains. Her favorite metal for that is argentium wire, a sterling silver alloy. The charms in this photo are made of metal clay, a few gems and a pearl.

 

 

 

How to find Catherine

Blog: http://happydayart.typepad.com/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/catherine.witherell

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1c57tBz

How To Do It board on Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1glL9Gi

Youtube: http://bit.ly/1hblK2Y

Safety information

Silver clay safety video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk_-3ZrpSdU

 

Artist Catherine Witherell in her studio.

Artist Catherine Witherell in her studio.

Project yourself into the future, protect your lungs today.

Sentry Air’s Jewel Day 2013

Shari Dixonhttp://bit.ly/13JQt3x
Sylla Designs http://bit.ly/ZmoXpb
Nicole Wayne Adornment Design http://http://bit.ly/YR8FR2