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Kathy Frey

Kathy Frey : : sculptural wire jewelry

"Even though I have finally learned to tame the tangle, every time I pick up a piece of wire I get inspired. I never know what it's going to do next. Forms, shapes, and ideas that I never dreamed of take shape before my eyes."

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in Frey's linear wire jewelry, the wire has expanded the dimensions to become a sculptural outlet--blank pages have been replaced by ears, wrists, necks, and fingers.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.

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Large Triple Satellite...
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 135
Satellite Dangles
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 65
Mini Nest Dangle Earrings
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 165
Black and White Ladder...
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 90
Medium Oxidized Luna...
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 190
Large Undulating Ladder
Silver & Pearl Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 160
Leaf Vine Hooks
Silver Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 185
Large Black and White...
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 56
Satellite Chain Tassles
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 85
Black and White Shield...
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 98
Wireball Studs
Silver Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 56
Leaf Posts with Pearl Drop
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 118
Hidden Pearl Pod Earrings
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 165
Oxidized Double Strand...
Silver & Stone Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 325
Oxidized Shield Earrings...
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 98
Half Wrap Pod Dangles
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 225
Oxidized Linked Seedpod...
Silver & Stone Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 295
Oxidized Pyramid...
Silver & Stone Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 185
Caged Coral Pyramid...
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 160
Double Seedpod Stack...
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 108
Short Interlinked Twisted ...
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 118
Caged Multistone...
Silver & Stone Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 245
Stone Teardrop Earrings
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 198
Caged Stones Necklace,...
Silver & Stone Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 950
Extra Large Gradient Nest ...
Silver & Pearl Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 365
Black Silver Long Nest...
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 198
Caged Apatite Cube...
Silver & Stone Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 185
Riverstone Bangle
Silver Bracelet
by Kathy Frey
$ 650
Caged Coral Linked Cubes...
Silver & Coral Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 950
Black Silver Double...
Silver & Polymer Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 185
Caged Pearl Cube Pendant
Silver & Pearl Pendant
by Kathy Frey
$ 120
Caged Pearl Cube...
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 185
Pyramid Sculpture Hooks...
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 170
Pearl Box Dangles
Silver & Pearl Earrings
by Kathy Frey
$ 170
Small Triple Pearl Box...
Silver & Pearl Necklace
by Kathy Frey
$ 220
Selected 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)