Thursday, August 24, 2006

Studio Visit: Janice Ho, Metalsmith Jeweler

During our Midwestern adventure, Jae and I visited the studios of two metalsmith jewelers whose work we offer at Greenjeans. Yesterday I wrote about our studio visit with Erica Schlueter. Today I'll tell you about our visit to Janice Ho's studio. Click here for the slideshow!

As an aside, we just got a new digital camera that takes close-ups, so I'll be able to post images of their work soon, too.

Janice's studio is in Madison, WI, a few miles from the beautiful State House. She shares the huge warehouse space with a few other metalsmiths. It's a pretty wonderful place to visit if you're like me and LOVE getting an inside look at working studios -- it's filled to the brim with mysterious tools, machines, and inspiring objects like jars of dried pods and funny cartoons.

Most of the studios I've visited house a couple of well-loved plants, but Janice's has a veritable garden growing along one window ledge. She showed us one plant that just the night before had produced a humongous hibiscus-like flower (which she's pantomiming in one of the slideshow pix), and another little succulent that had been retaining a tiny bead of water for the whole day. It is easy to see where Janice gets some of her ideas for the finely constructed botanical forms in her work!

Janice showed us some fresh pieces to pick from for Greenjeans, and as I sorted through the beautiful earrings and pendants and bracelets I came across a sweet little leaf-shaped ring that for some reason just looked like it belonged on my finger. It's a little sliver of oxidized silver textured with a thumb print and accented with a tiny sphere of gold, like some strange found treasure sleeping on my finger. I don't normally do this, but I asked her for one in my size. Now I wear it every day. Thank you, Janice!

Erica met us at the studio after we'd been there for a while and the four of us walked along the train tracks to State Street where we supped on delicious Nepalese fare and local brew. It was a lovely studio visit, and a splendid day in Madison.

Many thanks to Erica and Janice for their hospitality and letting us take a peek into their studios!

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