Artist’s description piece

Ilene Kay Jewelry

I am an Artist of the Natural World infused with an Asian Influence. I am fascinated by the diverse patterns on leaves, rocks, trees, flowers and moving water working with the play of light in nature. Throughout the course of the day I often stop to sketch, or pick up a stone, a piece of bark just as I did as a young child when I would bring these treasures home. Now as an adult, when I start to design – I’ll look to these “treasures” for inspiration and try to convey the childlike awe and the beauty I see in them to others. In addition, my artwork has an Asian influence resulting from the artwork my parents had in our home when I was growing up. The mixture of the natural world and an Asian sway gives my art a vitality and character that is totally unique.

The creation of art begins for me as a journey in to the playful part of myself. My sketches of landscapes, trees, flowers, water. Light and shadow are transformed into basic shapes representing different aspects of the elements, – these shapes are the beginning of my jewelry designs. I strive to remain open to the creative process and allow time for the design to develop. Often my sketches sit unused for many weeks until I am ready to develop them in to working drawings. To a casual observer, my work would immediately convey a naturalistic nuance with an Asian infusion. My work is original, eye-catching and infused with a Zen-like love of the natural world that makes me mindful of the beauty of the elements that surround me. My view of the world is embodied in my artwork.

The creation of art begins with my sketches of landscapes, trees, flowers, and water. The flow of the light and show are minimized into to basic shapes. These shapes are the beginning of my jewelry designs. So my first job as an artist is to “observe” and take my outdoor surroundings. In the second phase of the process I look for flowing lines, interesting shapes and colors that appeal to the eye. I work in Argentium Silver, Gold, heat colored Titanium and Copper to create Art Jewelry using traditional fabrication metalsmithing techniques. Basically, I saw, texture, hammer, and form the metal with hand tools. The directness of forging metal in this manner makes each piece of my jewelry unique. No two pieces of my jewelry are alike and each piece has a story to tell.

I have a degree in art from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have also completed intensive study in metalsmithing, jewelry design, enameling and metal sculpture. The designers I have worked with include the following:


Jurgen Maerz: Master Goldsmith – Stone setting and metalsmithing skills

Ronda Coryell: Master Goldsmith – Argentium Silver fabrication and fusing

Steve Kriechbaum: Designer Goldsmith – Stone setting and metalsmithing skills

Patsy Croft: Cloisonné Jewelry Designer – Cloisonné enamel and Plique a Jour techniques

Linda Darty: Metalsmith, Enamelist – Cloisonné enamel techniques


My husband, Gordon and I live in North Carolina with our two dogs Bob and Blue.