"This jewelry is about the joy of creating and the sweetness of giving it to oneself or to a loved one. This jewelry is not just 'product,' but each piece speaks to various personal qualities, wishes, hopes, aspirations. The women who buy it want to wear it all the time, and they have an independent style. Made with joy, my work keeps me striving for elegance of body and mind."
That intersection of physical process and the final product involves a leap of faith, a willing surrender to the mysteries of the creative process. The outcome is planned, but Widman loves the surprises and the bubbling energy that bring focus as she moves through the set of techniques that metalsmiths have been using for thousands of years. She loves making hard metal look like soft fabric.
Widman uses both ancient and contemporary techniques to create the precious metal fabric that later becomes jewelry. Torches, hammers, chasing tools, and a hammering block are the implements that help her form metal sheet and wire into folded, silky material. Seemingly random, this process is very deliberate, as she heats, folds, hammers, sands, files, and buffs metal into silky textures.
Widman started her artistic life as a printmaker and bookbinder, developing a love of tools, process, paper, and fabric. She has learned various metalsmithing techniques at the Revere Academy in San Francisco, studied with Charles Lewton Brain, and apprenticed for three years with Colin McDonald.