Valerie Ostenak

"Art is my passion, the breath that I take every day. It is the lifeblood of my heart and soul. I hope my jewelry inspires you to live a passionate life, one in which you follow your heart, remain true to yourself, and become who you dream you can be. "

Valerie Ostenak, an award-winning metalsmith, creates fine sculptural art jewelry in steel and silver using the centuries-old technique of forging. Though metal, particularly steel, seems to be a hard and inert material, Ostenak finds the flow within it. The steel she works must be yellow hot to be shaped and formed, and in that moment, it becomes soft and sensuous. Once cooled, it remains in the graceful form she has created. The sterling silver jewelry is worked cold. Each hammer blow creates the texture and flowing movement in the piece. Ostenak leaves the marks from the hammer, bringing light and life to the silver. Neckpieces are formed to flow over a woman's shoulders, resting in perfect harmony on the curves of her body.

Movement and flow are the inspiration for Ostenak's work. The visible flow of vines and tendrils curling around each other, water bubbling over pebbles in a stream, waves crashing on a rocky shore, wind moving the clouds in the sky. The invisible flow of the breath of the universe and our own inner stillness. All are recording change and growth, speaking to the transformation of ourselves.

Having started her life in art with drawing and painting, Ostenak began her metals training with jewelry and metalsmithing courses at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ, and continued at California State University in Long Beach, CA. She works with private clients and interior designers, designing and creating art for them to wear and to live with.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
(Up}Setting the Stone, Society of North American Goldsmiths , online exhibition, 2017
Artistar Jewels, Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, Milan, Italy, 2017
Centurion Show International Emerging Designer Award, a major resort, Tucson AZ, 2011
Saul Bell Design Award Competition: Finalist, New Mexico/online, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 2017
Wearable Expressions 7th International Exhibition , Rancho Palos Verdes Art Center, Los Angeles, CA, 2017