Writings by Holly...
My love for creating art dates back to when I was a child growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where my parents supported my interests and enrolled me in a number of art and jewelry-making classes whenever there was an opportunity. I took early jobs and apprenticeships with local jewelers and later I attended Kutztown University, where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Art & Education. There really was no doubt that what ever I did in life, art was going to be the driving force.
In my college classes where my fellow students and I were called upon to demonstrate the fundamentals of what we had learned, it was apparent to me that my interpretation of the assignments would be “different” from the majority of the students — on the outer edge of what had been assigned. At the time, I did not enjoy that distinction, for fitting in was more my goal. However, as an adult, I have become more comfortable in the knowledge that my sense of creativity is different from others.
In much of my work, I use a new type of moldable metal. This, amazing material, called Art Clay or Precious Metal Clay (PMC) is made of fine silver or high karat gold. I love being a pioneer with this relatively new medium, experimenting with its capabilities, and working on the cutting edge of new developments. It has enabled me to blend many of my artistic studies to create unique pieces of jewelry which are inspired by my original photographic images, life experiences and natural forms in nature. I often enlarge and abstract views of tiny details that one tends to miss in the hustle and bustle of daily activity. I’m interested in seeing the reaction of viewers as they study the design and recognize things that are familiar to them.
Throughout my life I have found my voice through art. I feel quite lucky as I am aware that so many can go through life searching for their own voice only to be disappointed. I have used my artistic voice to interpret my feelings about the world around me. The When Peace Talks© line of jewelry has been a collaborative effort with my husband and best friend, Chris. The symbolism in the jewelry reflects a personal expression of hope and peace for a more harmonious existence. We are hoping to spread the message of peace and love around the world and empower others to pass peace and love onto the next generation.
When I am not designing jewelry or making beads, I'm with my family and children or I am teaching beginner and advanced PMC jewelry or hot glass bead making classes. I thoroughly enjoy teaching because I am able to help others to express themselves through their art. I'm hoping that unleashing their creativity through the arts is as liberating for them as it has been for me. I’m not simply teaching techniques, I’m helping my students to search deep inside of themselves to a place they didn't even know was there, then they can truly appreciate their accomplishments.
It is the artist who records life’s history, not with words, but with images. As an artisan, I realize that when I pass, my jewelry will still live on, finding its way from mother to daughter, or even on display at a gallery or market place, representing the creations of my generation. It is my hope that whatever statement my art and jewelry makes, it is worthy of credible interpretation.
Holly Gage of Gage Designs enjoys exploring unusual materials and developing new techniques and teaching her findings to others who possess a similar curiosity and a thirst to learn. She is a full-time Contemporary jewelry artist, certified metal clay instructor in PA, and Jewelry and Metal Clay conference speaker. Her jewelry and articles on techniques and design can be found in over 35 regional and national publications. You can find more information about retreats and classes on this technique or Holly’s jewelry, awards, shows, and numerous free tutorials on her web site.