Karen Olsen Ramsey's Beautiful Work

I always keep an eye out for links to Orchidians’ websites because
you never know when you’ll stumble across something special and I
just did: Karen Olsen Ramsey http://www.artjeweler.com.

Karen, I’m a great fan of Art Nouveau and of Lalique in particular
and I think you’ve captured the spirit of that era beautifully! And
your use of shakudo in that context is quite innovative.

I’m amazed that you fabricate all of these sculptural forms. I know
how repousse and chasing work, and I know you can planish out a lot
of the tool marks that are left by these techniques; but how ever do
you get such smooth surfaces on such tiny pieces?! Your info page
says you use sandpaper and files. It must take you hours and hours
and hours and, even so, I don’t see how you do it!


Dear Beth, Thank you so much for the lovely compliments on my
jewelry. I have been making jewelry for many years, but have only
recently made it my profession and put it out to the general public.
It fills my heart to hear people’s responses, and I truly
appreciate it!

Thank you again.

Yes, you are right about the hours and hours and hours that go into
the forming of the sculptural elements of my pieces. But it
actually never seems like it takes all that much time, at least
until I add up my hours when I have a completed piece and am working
out it’s price! When I am at my bench and I have a project in the
process, it feels like the time slips between my fingers as fast as
the gold dust falls from the files…I just love what I am doing so
much, and am thrilled to be able to be working at a job that I am
happy with. I am always shocked when I look at the clock and
realize that it’s time to go in the house for lunch.

But, yes, the smoothing of the tool marks all comes from sanding and
filing, though I like to leave some of the tool marks on the
backsides of the gold work as an indication of the handwork that
went into the fabrication of it. Many people assume that the shapes
are cast, and won’t readily believe that they were formed with tools
from flat sheet.

I have had a flurry of Orchidians look at my site since you wrote
your letter. I never expected that my posting would bring so much
interest! That’s really fun.

Time to get out into my garden and enjoy the flowers before the sun
completely sets.

Thank you again,
Karen Olsen Ramsey