Karin Jacobson

Karin Jacobson is a Minneapolis-based jewelry designer who was first introduced to her craft in high school, when she studied with another Grand Hand Gallery artist, Heinz Brummel. In 1991 she began an apprenticeship that became a full-time job throughout college – she earned a BA in History from the University of Minnesota in 1997. After college, she set off on her own, using the formal goldsmithing techniques she had learned in combination with her own non-traditional design style to create her own line of jewelry. “Play is a central theme in my work,” Karin explains. “My inspiration comes from science fiction, comic books, mechanical toys and Japanese animation, so the look is futuristic and fun. I like pieces that make a bold statement so I use big shapes, clean lines and bright colors. My ultimate goal is to create pieces that are sculptural on their own and functional as jewelry. While fine jewelry has always been about beauty, craftsmanship and great design, I also want my work to be available to a broad audience. I use materials such as sterling and lab-grown or less expensive gems so that I can focus on form, and make innovative design affordable.” Known for her fresh, finely crafted work in silver, Karin has recently been creating new designs in gold, stating, “There’s nothing beautiful about human rights abuses, open pit mines, massive pollution and the leeching of arsenic, cyanide, and mercury into local lands and waterways, so my new collection is made with 100% recycled metal and certified fair trade gems.” Her line of commitment rings features palladium – a durable, white metal in the platinum family – and moissanite – a highly refractive lab grown gemstone that is very similar to diamond.

Melody Tudisco

Mel Tudisco RingMotivated by experimentation with angles and negative space, Minnesota artist Melody Tudisco creates both edgy, bold jewelry from oxidized silver and gold and wall pieces from manipulated and painted copper.

“My world is made up of textures and layers,” she states. “As a child in the country, I spent hours looking for and picking up rusty nails on our sandy hilly driveway after a rainstorm. My dad would pay me a penny a nail. Two cents if it were a larger nail, or a piece of wire. I can still see the rusty textured layers; the burnt orange, sienna, and sometimes a hint of blue-green patina. This corroded metal intrigued me and still does.

I am energized by the reaction and the texture that is created on metal when I torture it with heat, pounding, or paint. Metal doesn’t move easily and I love the coaxing of it to give it a tactile life. I become impelled to produce structure and density where there once was smoothness. Of all my tools, my favorites are an old railroad rail and a chewed up copper mallet. When I use these tools they create my personal marks and textures that are individual only to my work.

With my work, the concept is what is most important to me, not elaborate technique. My thinking is based on metals and their layers. The colors that can be built up and scratched or sanded away to reveal another texture. I consider myself a contemporary constructivist. Softened like a lingering abstract memory, I fabricate my enthusiasm for natural vistas with my sculptural paintings and jewelry. I can’t say I always know ahead of time what my artwork will reveal, but I know I have no choice but to look beyond the surface.

I would like to thank everyone who has found a piece of rusty metal on the ground and saved it for me.”

Melody attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the University of Minnesota. She refined her technique through study at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and the Edina Art Center. The artist maintains a studio in St. Paul’s Lowertown arts district, and works as a studio assistant with her mentor, Minneapolis jewelry artist Judith Kinghorn.

MelTudisco

Michael Knott

Michael Knott is a Tuscan, Arizona metalsmith who is recognized and respected as an experienced designer and fabricator. His work features distinctive textures that accent or showcase brilliant and unusual stones. Michael takes delight in custom work – making sure the work is exactly what the customer wants – from initial sketch to finished piece. Apparent in his work is his love of texture and organic shapes. Unique combinations of stones and high karat metals are hallmarks of his designs. Influences from Asian art and Native American jewelry lend a subtle quality to many of his handmade pieces. Michael makes jewelry pieces that become favorite treasures.

Michael Knott Moldavite

Heinz Brummel

Brummel is an internationally recognized jewelry artist – and local favorite – who creates contemporary, sculptural pieces using precious metals, enameling, organic and synthetic materials. Carnelian, black onyx, jade, lapis lazuli and jasper are among the stones colorful stones used in this Minneapolis artist’s work. His designs carry echoes of the late 19th and early 20th century artists whose work he admires: Klee, Calder and Miro.

Since 1981, Heinz has participated in numerous group and solo shows throughout the United States and overseas. His work is sought by collectors of contemporary art jewelry in the US and Europe and is included in the collections of the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin; the Minnesota Museum of American Art and the Minnesota Historical Society in St Paul; and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Margaret Dittrich

 

From pearls to pebbles, sapphires to meteorites and with gold married to silver, Margaret Dittrich uses a wide variety of components to create her jewelry. Simple lines and elegant designs unify her work. For the last decade, after a career in oncology nursing, this St. Paul artist has been a full-time metalsmith. She makes unique, wearable pieces that have become Grand Hand customer favorites.

 

Jody Tonder

Jody Freij-Tonder is known throughout the Minnesota region for her charming earrings crafted from repurposed glass. Although each pair is one of a kind, over the years Jody has created a variety of styles, and offers Stained Glass, Etched, Iridized, Confetti and Frit earrings in a range of colors. Because she often uses beer bottles, Heineken green and artisan amber earrings often appear in her collection.

“My interest in environmental issues dates back to the early seventies and the first Earth Day,” says Jody. “This early commitment has influenced the life I have pursued. In a stained glass class in 1983, I realized the possibilities of combining my passions to create handcrafted recycled glass jewelry. Stained glass artists supply me with a wide array of colored glass remnants and recycling centers are my source for bottles and jars. I’m always on the lookout for anything made of glass that I can saw, cut or break into raw materials for my jewelry. This reclaimed glass is cut into the desired shapes and either fired in a kiln or processed in a rock tumbler. Kiln-fired glass retains a shiny surface and the pieces of tumbled glass are etched to a beach glass texture. These individual recycled glass earrings are then fitted with hypoallergenic surgical steel ear wires. The results are guaranteed to delight!”

Jody and her husband, glass sculptor Michael Tonder, operate Blue Skies Glassworks in Two Harbors, MN.

Terri Logan

Counting her childhood collection of river rocks as her “first treasure,” jewelry designer Terri Logan continues to celebrate the colors and textures of these found materials in her work. Inspired by her current rock finds, she combines stones with sterling silver at her studio in Richmond, IN.

A longtime children’s art therapist, Terri became fascinated with metal technique while enrolled in a jewelry class. She found that working with a torch helped her to feel connected to her late father, a machinist. Now focusing exclusively on jewelry craft, she makes clean, bold pieces that are collected internationally. In order to stay humble, however, she continues to wear the first ring she made in jewelry class.

Sarah Graham

San Francisco jewelry artist Sarah Graham crafts elegant, contemporary statement pieces that appeal to both women and men. Her jewelry is inspired by a variety of sources. The names of her lines – Pebbles, Oyster, Conifer and Bamboo, even Foil and Paper Chain – are clues as to their origins. “What I love about nature is that you get geometry, but then you get mutations and anomalies, too,” says Sarah, who maintains that observations of the natural world taught her the patience necessary for the jewelers’ process.

Combinations of black, white and gold are characteristic of her work, which is comprised primarily of cobalt chrome and 18 karat white, rose and yellow gold, obtained from a Portland, OR refinery that specializes in recycling precious metals. Sarah uses conflict-free white, black and cognac diamonds.

The artist holds a degree in business from the University of San Diego and has engaged in self-directed study of jewelry traditions in museums and galleries all over the globe. After completing an apprenticeship as a metalsmith in Carmel, Sarah spent 6 years as a bench jeweler before launching her own line in 2000. Her work has since been featured in Elle, Allure and Modern Bride magazines.

 

Margaret Bohls

Margaret Bohls’ work in hand-built porcelain encompasses both intricate, architectural constructions and spare, fluid forms. “Many of the sources for my work lie within the long and complex history of ceramics,” she states. “Chinese and Korean celadons, Iranian tin-glazed earthenware, and designed pottery of the Modernist era; these are just a few of the historical genres that have inspired the development of my work.” Margaret, a former professor of ceramics at the University of Minnesota and frequent visiting artist and lecturer throughout the country, is also thoughtful about more humble clay practices. “I have a curiosity for the culture of hobby ceramics and its connection to the women’s tradition of decorating on porcelain that has existed in the United States since the 19th century.”

Margaret holds a BFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and an MFA in ceramics from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She was a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, MT and has been a visiting artist at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. Her work is regularly included in juried exhibitions nationwide. In 2001, Margaret was awarded a prestigious McKnight Artist Fellowship. In 2011, she relocated her studio from Minneapolis to Lincoln, NE.

Chuck Solberg

 

Chuck SolbergChuck Solberg is a nationally recognized clay artist based in St. Paul. Working with stoneware and porcelain clay, he creates functional tableware and large, sculptural pieces. The larger pieces are frequently constructed from separately thrown clay sections that are joined together and then distorted by paddling. The seams and joints from this construction process are left exposed to visually break up the surface of the piece. “In both functional and sculptural work,” states the artist, “my goal is to accent the inherent spontaneity and raw beauty of clay. Wood firing achieves this objective. Flame and ash flow through the kiln leaving unexpected patterns and rich surfaces.”

In the 1970s, Chuck was an associate potter at Abe Cohn’s Potters Wheel Studio in Wisconsin. In the 1990s, he earned a BFA in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MFA in ceramics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He established his own studio in 1995 and in 1996 was awarded a Jerome Grant in 1996 for his work with saggar firing. Over the years, he has served as an instructor and workshop leader at schools and art centers nationwide. Chuck’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; The Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul; the University of Wisconsin and numerous private collections.

A talented keyboardist, Chuck has toured professionally with Luther Allison, shared billing with legends including Miles Davis, played with BB King’s band, The Shirelles, Muddy Waters, and Chuck Berry, among others. He currently serves as The Grand Hand’s “house band,” providing live music at gallery openings and events.

“I work much like a jazz musician, improvising on a theme, not knowing where the improvisation will lead. The construction and firing of my work is unpredictable and spontaneous. I strive to keep these qualities in the finished pieces. Someone asked Duke Ellington, ‘What is jazz?’ He replied, ‘It’s the sound of surprise.’ To paraphrase Ellington, I want my work to have the look of surprise – the look and feel of spontaneity.”