Katherine Rudolph 09 JM
Based in Nashua, NH
What are some things that inspire you in your studio practice?
My work is highly inspired by architectural forms. Photos taken while traveling often serve as the origins of a design. When looking to the skyline, I enjoy isolating specific buildings and deconstructing them with an interest in understanding their logic and order. The smallest architectural details don’t go overlooked. I am continuously adding to my digital image collection and clipping file from various publications, which are referenced as sources of inspiration. One of my primary challenges is the reinterpretation of these architectural references in the scale of jewelry and the body. My design process often begins with paper models which I find translate well into thin gauge sheet metal. The sheet metal, like the paper, can be scored and fold into crisp forms. This is a favorite technique, as it allows for voluminous yet deceivingly lightweight forms. I work primarily in sterling silver and 18k gold, adding pops of color through the use of stones, as well as contrast and depth with oxidation.
Choosing to work with stock materials such as sheet, tubing and wire allows for a degree of precision as well as interchangeability of “building components” which lend itself to the explorations of repetition and pattern. To achieve my personal vision, I try to listen to the materials to understand their properties so that I may work in symphony with rather than against these qualities, giving the final design the air of simple elegance. My jewelry ranges from easy to wear everyday adornment to sculptural art objects worn as conversation pieces. Specific architectural references that have inspired my jewelry include: The Ca’ d’Oro -Venice. Richard Meier’s Jubilee Church -Rome. Neuschwanstein Castle-Germany. The Air Force Academy Chapel- Colorado and the aesthetic of Santiago Calatrava.
Does your current creative practice tie into your time spent at RISD? How so?
The time I spent at RISD undoubtedly left a lasting mark on my creative practice. Like my workspace in the Metcalf building, my bench is still piled with paper models and the studio walls are covered in architectural clippings from magazines and photos taken while traveling. Since graduating, I have often returned to my sketch books from college as well as material studies and a box of models created for assignments during my time at RISD. They have been invaluable as jumping off points for new work. In my current studio practice, I focus more on precious metals and have taken classes to further my understanding of stone setting and engraving.
Is there a work/body of work that you are particularly excited about sharing with us at RISD Craft this year?
My current body of work further explores the possibilities of scoring and folding 26 and 24 gauge silver and gold sheet, to create voluminous yet deceivingly light weight forms. I am focusing on scoring curved lines, which when folded create a unique combination of convex and concave surfaces. The “Scored Leaf Necklace” which I designed at RISD and which won first place in the International Precious Metals Institute design competition in 2009, was the catalyst for my continued interest in this particular fabrication technique. Through exploration of line and form, the scoring and folding technique has led to my current body of work, which includes the Scallop series and Triangle collection- to be shown for the first time at RISD Craft 2017.
Any recent press/exhibitions/achievements you'd like to share with us?
I was juried into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and participated in “The Shop At The Fair” during the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair in August. In 2014 I joined the committee of the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium and have actively been participating in fundraising and the coordination of our annual symposium. May 2017 marked our 10th anniversary.