April Ottey

"I'm a collector at heart. My work begins outside the studio—on the beach, in my garden, in the woods. That is where my raw material exists—the perfect tumbled stone, an intriguing pod or bloom, a compelling piece of bark. These natural materials form the basis of my work. "

Ottey's connection to nature is an important part of who she is. It's where the mind is calm and ideas flow. By creating jewelry that directly reflects nature, she and those who interact with her work are able to keep nature—and its healing qualities—close at all times. And for many, a particular leaf or pod is symbolic or relatable.

Take a peek at Ottey's workbench and you'll see beach stones, gemstones, and textured silver bits as well as cast seedpods and sticks. She casts directly from botanicals and natural materials in sterling silver and gold, and then combines these castings with beach stones and gemstones through traditional metalsmithing techniques. The result is jewelry that reflects its roots but takes on a life of its own.

Ottey received an MFA in photography and then immediately started making jewelry. She has taken classes and workshops to further her skills and enjoys teaching and assisting at various workshops around the country. She has a studio in Richland, Washington.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Currents Symposium and Exhibition, Schack Art Center, Everett, WA, 2020
American Craft Council, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland, 2020
Reimaging Nature (2 person exhibition), Allied Arts Gallery, Richland, Wa 99354 USA, 2016
STEM + art + Design Northwest Designer Craftsmen, Schack Art Center, Everett, WA USA, 2019