Adorn Artist Biographies 2021

A Jewelry Invitational

Click on artist's name to browse jewelry or explore the entire collection here.

Eliana Arenas is a jewelry and installation artist from Mexico, currently living in Charlotte, NC. Her work is in the collection of the Center for Contemporary Art and Culture at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR and she has participated in selected exhibitions such as ACC Baltimore and Atlanta and the Thirteenth Annual SOFA Chicago. Her work has been featured in several publications such as The Compendium Finale of Contemporary Jewelers 2008, 500 Pendants & Lockets: Contemporary Interpretations of Classic Adornments and 1000 Rings: Inspiring Adornments for the Hand.

Linda Azar is a studio jeweler living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She grew up in Saint Petersburg, Florida and received a BA in Architecture from the University of Florida. After moving to Asheville, NC, she studied metalsmithing and jewelry at Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC and has been a full-time jewelry artist since 2013. Her jewelry compositions incorporate organic and architectural elements using sterling silver, semi-precious stones, steel and brass. Her pieces are created using lost wax casting, traditional metal fabrication techniques, and powder coating. Linda is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and has exhibited at numerous fine craft shows nationwide.

Melissa "Melle" Finelli is a Boston-based jeweler and metalsmith who creates work in her Fort Point studio. She studied metalsmithing at the North Bennet Street School and sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, both in Boston. Melissa's award-winning works are intimate sculptures to adorn the body and encompass an appreciation for organic forms and playful design. Her jewelry is forged by hand in silver or 18K gold by heating metal that is then hammered and sculpted into its finished form. Using this process, no two pieces are exactly alike.

Gabrielle Gould is a St. Augustine based jeweler whose work is inspired by coastal Florida. She frequently incorporates elements such as feathers and shells in her designs that are set against a silver or high karat gold framework. Gabrielle is the recipient of many honors including the Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the American Craft Council Award of Excellence. Her work has been featured at prominent museums and galleries across the country including the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC (permanent collection), Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, FL; and Society of Arts + Crafts, Boston, MA.

Jason Janow creates nature-inspired jewelry consisting of cast branches, tree bark, river rocks, and gemstones. By using the lost wax casting process, Jason is able to process tree branches and bark into silver, bronze, and gold. Janow graduated from Haywood Community College with a Degree in Applied Science-Jewelry and is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. He also creates high end custom designs using materials such as gold, platinum, diamonds, and precious gems. Jason currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife and son.

Allison Kline received a BFA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition to her graphic design business, she pursues a range of creative endeavors in her New Smyrna Beach studio, with an emphasis on creating jewelry as wearable pieces of art. Her bold, colorful work typically involves the use of vitreous enamel on copper, handmade silver chains and the occasional found object. 

Jennifer Letter is a silversmith who uses traditional techniques to create modern pieces in sterling silver. She first discovered this passion in San Francisco, where she learned the craft and served as a studio assistant at the Sharon Arts Studio.  Her recent move to Colorado is proving to be a fertile environment for creativity, teenager-wrangling and making shiny things.

Nikki Nation earned her BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and her MA in Arts Administration from the University of Denver. Her work is inspired by urban landscapes, textures, patterns, repetition, and design elements. All of her creations are made using traditional metalsmithing techniques, focusing on hammering, forging, texturing and stone setting.

Akiko Sugiyama is a mixed-media fiber collage artist.  She majored in painting at Joshibi Daigaku in Tokyo and has since exhibited widely in Florida and throughout the United States. She has participated in exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, among many others.  She has also received numerous awards, including the Gold Award at the 2011 Smithsonian Craft Show and the 2007 Award of Excellence from the American Craft Council in Sarasota, Florida. More recently, she has embraced the challenge of creating wearable paper art in her signature style.

Wendy Thurlow  earned her BFA in Metalsmithing from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and has been producing one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry for over 18 years. Her award-winning creations have been exhibited and published widely, and she has private collectors worldwide. Thurlow's pieces incorporate centuries-old techniques with mixed metals, surface embellishments, and high-quality stones to produce jewelry that is both organic and sculptural.  Her collection is award-winning and has been praised for its individuality. Wendy's eye for composition and attention to form and detail enable her to create a distinct style of jewelry.  

Mary Timmer's sense of design and technical skill come together in her contemporary yet classic jewelry creations.  Using sterling with gold accents for the basis of most production pieces, she adds the beautiful luster of pearls and the shimmer of precious stones to achieve a look of simple elegance. 

Mary received a B.F.A. in Art Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and continued her technical education in jewelry with classes at Penland School of Crafts and a specialists’ degree in Professional Crafts Jewelry from Haywood Community College near Asheville, NC. She is a member of The Southern Highland Craft Guild, The Piedmont Craftsmen Guild as well as The Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild. She participates in juried art shows around the US and teaches classes at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.

Jeff & Susan Wise have been making jewelry together as a team for 35 years from their studio in Durango, Colorado. Working in high karat gold and precious stones they create dynamic, one-of-a-kind sculptural jewelry that is also light and comfortable to wear. Their bold and elegant forms finely balance organic shapes, architectural elements and geometry. Their award winning work is exhibited nationally and can also be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of American Art, Washington DC, Boston Museum of Fine Art, and the New York Museum of Art and Design, among others.