Helen Walker, Jewelry
It began with a bracelet my grandmother made and always wore. I have always enjoyed making things by hand—macramé, sewing, beading, woodworking, tying flies, but making jewelry was always in the back of my mind. When a friend showed me a piece of silver jewelry she had made in a class I immediately signed up and was on my way. After trying lapidary I was introduced to fused glass and was hooked.
Each unique piece is hand fabricated in sterling silver. The glass cabochon is made by cutting and piecing together plain and patterned dichroic glass, then fusing them in a kiln to temperatures as high as 1500ºF. Once in the kiln the glass takes its own “journey”, often revealing many surprises when the fusing process is complete. No two pieces are exactly alike. In addition to silver I also fabricate pieces in copper and brass.
My art is influenced by nature, southwest and Native American art and themes. I have learned to create silver and glass jewelry through hands-on courses, being influenced by and picking the brains of other artists, and never ending trial and error. I use the healing hands theme as my logo, both to honor my profession as a pediatric nurse practitioner and to celebrate my love of the artistry of creating jewelry by hand.
I have shown pieces in the Student Gallery at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, and the annual juried exhibit, Celebrating Art of the West Valley III and IV at the West Valley Art Museum in Surprise, AZ. Best of all, I am supported by friends and family who wear and showcase my jewelry. I live and work out of my studio in NW Phoenix, AZ, however I sometimes can't get to my workbench because I am backpacking in the Grand Canyon, hiking anywhere in the southwest, playing golf, fly fishing, designing on the computer, or entertaining friends and family. All of these activities serve as rejuvenation--time to ponder the next project, provide inspiration for the right clasp or connection, as well as feeding the other side of my brain.
It is important that all my pieces wear well and I welcome any feedback and suggestions. If one of my pieces calls to you asking for a different shape, design or color, I will look forward to creating your vision!