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nature in metal

Thompson

 

A lifelong creator and crafter, North Carolina’s Kim Thompson likes to keep her hands busy. She skillfully put them to work in traditional broom and basket making. Also sewing projects. But once Thompson discovered metalsmithing, she was all in.

The artist: Thompson earned a fine arts degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and worked for more than 25 years as an art director/graphic designer in both retail advertising and corporate marketing. The avid hiker and backpacker moved in 1993 to Western North Carolina, began taking jewelry classes in 1999, and ultimately made a career shift.

The company: Kim Thompson Stone & Sterlingwear started 2007. Thompson, a full-time metalsmith, works out of her home studio in Waynesville.

The goods & materials: Contemporary-styled necklaces, earrings, cuffs and bracelets are made of sterling silver with a combination of finishes (oxidized, brushed and polished). Using real leaves, ferns, feathers, Thompson uses a roller mill to apply texture and pattern during fabrication. In her other collections, she includes natural unaltered found stones and semiprecious cabochon stones.

What’s popular: The Meditations on a Leaf collection ($48 to $384). The softly  pillowed and brushed pieces feature delicate patterns from leaves.

Other favorites: The Rainforest collection ($68 to $595), inspired by a camping trip to British Columbia and hiking in the ancient rain forests, feature pieces with leaf and fern frond patterns accented with natural stones from that region.

Big break: Becoming a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

Where to buy: KimThompsonJewelry.com.

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