Kathy Frey : : sculptural wire jewelry
As a graphic designer, Kathy Frey worked in the abstract concepts of usability, flow, white space, and message. While it is easy to see the influences of graphic design in Frey's linear wire jewelry, the wire has expanded the dimensions to become a sculptural outlet--blank pages have been replaced by ears, wrists, necks, and fingers. Her restrained use of color flows from her emphasis on contrast, structure, and balance--positive and negative space, tension and kineticism--all expressed in handcrafted constructions.
Each piece of Frey's jewelry is made by hand without the use of forms. What does this mean? The underlying skeletal shapes are made freehand by bending wire with pliers. Once the frame is established, a thinner wire is attached to the frame and hand-wrapped around each rib. This time-consuming process has a relaxing rhythm, but the shapes are unstable until enclosed. She works to have structural integrity with a delicate aesthetic in her pieces, so she plays a lot with open wrapping to achieve an airy elegance.
In the idyllic folk art haven of North Carolina where she grew up, Frey explored many handcrafts. Her talents in school were far more mathematical, though. This discrepancy led her to a liberal arts college, where she experimented with life directions and found graphic design, a balance between technology and art. Ultimately, she received her B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. Because her wire work is self-taught, Frey continues to take workshops to expand her technical jewelry-making skills.
- Artist Videos
- Exhibitions & Awards
Plaza Art Fair, Kansas City, MO, Country Club Plaza, 2006 (award), 2007, 2008, 2009
SOFA Chicago, Chicago, IL, Navy Pier, 2007, 2008
Four Bridges, Chattanooga, TN, First Tennessee Pavilion, 2007 (award), 2008
Kentuck Festival of the Arts, Northport, AL, Kentuck Park, 2006 (award), 2007, 2008
State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor, MI, Ann Arbor, 2005-2009 (reinvited every year)