The pine walls of Kelly’s studio are covered with textiles, folk art, strands of turquoise, antlers, books, and other inspirational works. This cabin is where she crafts every piece of jewelry. One of her greatest pleasures is to be surrounded by things that are not only energizing to look at, but are a joy to interact with. “Sweeping the porch feels like much less of a chore when using a broom that was made from a whimsically spiraled tree branch, and taking out the trash isn't as monotonous when the bin is a hand-painted flower pot.” Kelly ruminates. Here, even the coat hooks have a story behind them. The ordinary can be extraordinary! These small design elements are constant reminders of the importance of craftsmanship and beauty.
Kelly has been intentional about discerning why certain places, objects, and people leave an impression on her, while others quickly fade. “There is a museum in my hometown that features Western art. I’d spent many hours walking the museum’s four levels before I was able to articulate what kept drawing me back to this space. I realized that every layer of the building had been thoughtfully designed. Walls that held the art were painted in bold, delightful limes, reds, and bright blues. The wooden floors echoed back your every step. This attention to detail made it an honor to be there, and inspired me to think clearly and walk confidently.” While in college, she repeatedly visited the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. “There I witnessed cool mountain streams meandering around massive boulders and serene crystal clear lakes. Along the main roads I stopped into small furniture and art shops where they carried items like I had never seen. The wholesome spirit of the wilderness was cherished and expertly crafted into functional objects. Lamps and chairs where not only practical, but also provided an effortless, familiar luxuriousness. The organic materials made them surprisingly relatable.” The landscape of Kelly’s home state prompted her to explore the American Southwest. The colorful culture of those who live there was as inspiring as the landscape itself. The oases of color, culture, and art brimmed with hospitality and warmth.
“I have set about to incorporate these delightful discoveries into my jewelry and everyday life. The studio building is reminiscent of a cozy Adirondack cabin. The turquoise door, stands of chili peppers and colorful pottery are reminders of the Southwest. It has been over a decade since I began making jewelry. The search for eye-catching components is in step with my search for natural beauty. I have discovered that the Southwest is rich in treasures such as turquoise, crystal, bone, antler, and glass beads, and encourages me to design boldly. There is great freedom in realizing that the more colorful, textural, interactive, and wild my designs have become, the more natural they feel to the wearer. I love to see women beam with confidence as they try on a piece and say, “This is me!”