Jennifer Merchant

"For me, art and fashion go hand in hand. I believe that jewelry should express your personal style and be fun to wear. I enjoy what I do and that joy is evident in each and every piece I create. I make jewelry that is artful, bold, and fashion-forward. My philosophy is, if you can't see it from across the room, why wear it?"

Faceted geometric forms, pop art, fashion, and art deco are major sources of inspiration for Merchant's work. Through the layered acrylic process, she explores transparency, reflection, and magnification to create graphic illusions that change as a piece is viewed from different angles. She finds great joy in working with simple materials and transforming them into wearable works of art.

Merchant developed her own technique, the layered acrylic process, which involves bonding printed papers, gold leaf, and other materials between layers of solid acrylic. This is a very labor-intensive process; she first creates the raw material, then she cuts, sculpts, manipulates, and polishes it to complete each piece. Merchant utilizes traditional woodworking and metalsmithing techniques to create her nontraditional works of art.

Merchant began studying metalsmithing in high school. She went on to earn a BFA in metals and jewelry from Savannah College of Art and Design. Upon returning home after graduation, Jennifer no longer had access to a fully equipped metals studio, prompting her to begin experimenting with acrylic. Through years of trial and error, she has taught herself to work with acrylic, creating her own technique.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Metaling, SCAD Museum of Art , Savannah, GA, 2014
Rule the World, Friends of Carlotta Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland, 2014
Best New Artist Award, American Craft Exposition, Evanston, IL, 2014
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2013
Top Jewels, Durango Arts Center, Durango, CO, 2014
Living with Craft, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA, 2014