Transforming precious metal into wearable art, Angela Delarmente loves the tough mystery of metal because it’s strong, yet bendable into beautiful forms. Her original designs for Knuckle Kiss Jewelry are decidedly modern. Angela balances contemporary design with traditional metalsmithing techniques.
Tell us a little bit about you and what you do.
I’m a Seattle-based designer making handcrafted, modern jewelry. I use traditional metalsmithing techniques. I learned to make jewelry in 1998 when I took my first light metals class at the Art Institute of Seattle. Immediately, I was smitten by working with metal.
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I worked as a commercial jewelry designer after graduating. But I also wanted to study English and prose writing, which I’d always loved. So I took a break from jewelry and enrolled in an MFA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied creative writing. I enrolled in metalsmithing for my required elective. It was such a homecoming to take that class! I missed making jewelry and working with my hands.
When I returned to Seattle after graduation I wanted to continue making jewelry. My now-husband, a residential contractor, helped me turn a corner of the garage into a workspace. He built a sturdy workbench from a heavy door. Then he installed an old kitchen fan for ventilation above my soldering station.
Five years later, I’m making and selling Knuckle Kiss, my own line of jewelry. I sell pieces online, at boutiques in Seattle and beyond and at juried craft shows and pop-ups. In a way you could say I made a full circle in 17 years.
What made you interested in making jewelry?
I love how it feels to work with metal. It’s a tough, mysterious material, yet we can bend it to our will using ancient techniques. You can do so much with the right tools and basic skills. The possibilities feel never ending.
I’m interested in the scale and intimacy of jewelry. On one hand it’s ornamental. But on a deeper level it carries meaning and memories and expresses one’s associations and personality. It can be an important signifier of who you are.
I enjoy the design process, especially taking in ideas. I like looking at my environment for shapes, textures, and interesting concepts.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by many things. But especially modern design, ancient art, natural and man-made landscapes, fashion, architecture, and symbology. I’m influenced by DIY culture. I like the idea of not needing permission to follow a path that interests you.
What other hobbies do you have?
I love narrative, so reading and watching movies and television are my favorite ways to unwind. I also enjoy a good meal, a nice walk and spending time with my husband, family and friends.
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