Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Member Profiles - Betsy Bensen and Adobe Sol

We recently discovered that we had let the new member profiles slide. Whoops! For the next several months, I will be replacing the Sunday Etsymetal Finds post with profiles of some of our newest members.

We would love to welcome Betsy Bensen who joined Etsymetal in January of 2011.

Betsy 0300

oregon beach agate rings

Nevada boulder turquoise and pink tourmaline ring in sterling and 18kt gold

Here is a little about Betsy:

I grew up in the Great Lakes state of Michigan but bee-lined it out to Oregon once I finished college. I’ve lived here ever since and everything about it suits me well. When I was in school, and college, I took many different art courses, but never jewelry. When I graduated with my degree in Art history, I considered an Art Conservation program but couldn’t bear the thought of 4 more years of school so I worked with a career counselor and over the course of several months it became apparent that jewelry might suit me just fine. I enrolled in classes at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts and after a long period of struggle, things finally fell into place for me and I was hooked.
I worked for several years for a well-respected bench jeweler in Portland, before starting Betsy Bensen Jewelry in 1987. I work mostly in sterling and gold, and use stones a lot in my work. Non precious stones in particular, like jaspers and agates, which I love and buy way too many of. I’m sort of hooked on pearls as well…

I work less with a sketchbook than I thought I would. If I have a particular problem with a piece that I’m trying to resolve, then I will sketch options but mostly I play around with the elements I want to use in my head. The time when I just lay my head down at night is when I visualize what I want to do in some specific way with a piece in the studio the next day. For me it’s a good time to work through designs and helps me relax and fall asleep. I’ve noticed over the years that my metalwork has become sparer and cleaner to allow the stones I love to work with to do most of the talking.

We would also like to welcome Rebecca from Adobe Sol to Etsymetal! Rebecca joined in January 2011 as well.

TeePee Canyon Agate Necklace

Sea of Green

Desert Garden

Here is what Rebecca would like you to know about herself and her work:

Born and raised in Southern California I now reside in the high desert of New Mexico. I've lived in, and visited, many US and European cities. My love of mountain biking, traveling and hiking put me in touch with the colors, shapes and textures of nature. All of those experiences have a great influence on my metalwork.

My design concepts are inspired by everything. New ideas and methods are always in the works. With a desire to learn and constantly expand, I seek education, new techniques, unusual materials and interesting metal finishes. I'm in a perpetual state of artistic growth and I'd have it no other way!

My work is meticulously hand fabricated using traditional metalsmithing techniques along with the highest quality metals, stones, vintage buttons and various other ingredients. My creations lean towards earthy and rustic with plenty of texture and depth. I love creating one of a kind art jewelry you can wear and pass on to the next generation.

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