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Liz Oppenheim

"My work is process driven, and many new pieces result from direct experimentation with the materials. Working in a material in which the pattern is generated through process helps me to embrace serendipity. This brings an aliveness to both the process of creation and the finished piece of jewelry. "

Liz Oppenheim's organic pieces have a subtle texture and fluidity that result from an interplay between the properties of her chosen materials and her design aesthetic.

Oppenheim creates jewelry using lost wax casting and a Japanese hand-sculpting wax called mitsuro, which dates back to ancient Nara-era Japan. The artist starts each mitsuro piece by first warming a mixture of beeswax and pine resin until it is pliable, then shaping it into richly textured forms. The developed forms are cast in silver or gold, then carefully hand finished to create stunning, wearable works of art.

Oppenheim came to San Francisco in 2004 to study goldsmithing and jewelry making at the Revere Academy, where she completed the Graduate Jeweler Program. In 2008, in her search for a more fluid way of working, she came across a description of mitsuro in an out-of-print book, cooked up a batch of the wax, and has been exploring its limits in her studio ever since.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Award for Excellence in Design, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, 2015
American Craft Council Show (Annual Juried Show), Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Convention Center, 2016
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show (Annual Juried Show), Philadelphia, PA, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 2016
American Craft Council Show (Annual Juried Show), Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Convention Center, 2017