A new design begins with a pattern I’ve found in the living world. It keeps coming to mind, so I make sketches, paper and copper models until the way to express it finally emerges. Then I get the silver and torch and go for it.
It’s always some natural pattern that captures me. The lines of a face. A beautifully shaped cabochon. Mountains sweeping away to the horizon with their silhouettes and colors blending. Morning Glory vines winding so tightly around each other before dancing off in all directions to reach the sky. A perfect spider web in the garden, damp with dew, sterling in sunlight.
Life moves at so many different rhythms. A breeze tickles a tall oak tree and is gone. A tree far older than my grandmother. It stands by a lazy creek ambling along a course gouged by ancient glaciers. Right now, half melted rocks miles below my feet churn random minerals into future gemstones I’ll never touch or see.
At any speed, the living world leaves marks and contours and structure, a signature to last a moment or a million years. Patterns within patterns, echoes of the symphony of change that shaped a thing in this way, in these colors, as it is. These rhythms capture me. There is a dance within all the random.
I take up silver and gemstones to make what I see in my mind’s eye, a pattern, the movement in it, the change that is its song. With fire, pressure, and patience a wordless narrative may come to be, a lyric in metal and stone — a bracelet, a necklace, a pin, a ring, a pair of earrings, a chain. A tale words can’t tell, yet here it is, to see, to wear, to speak.
There’s a definite idea when I sit down to create, but it soon becomes like painting in rock and metal, moving gemstones and silver around, bending, cutting different shapes, rearranging in the moment, stretching my imagination, mixing techniques to create what I can plainly see but isn’t yet in my hands. Sometimes I only come close, and have to try again another day — I’m such a perfectionist. At all times, I think of how a woman’s eye will track across the piece. I want her to feel it move.
Kate Tinnan is a largely self-taught silversmith with a passion for intricate natural designs, and fine detail. Her woven silver rope bracelets, necklaces and earrings — meticulously knit by hand from a single, long strand of Argentium sterling or Fine silver wire — are a delight to see and to feel against your skin. She supplies her flawless woven silver rope in lengths up to five feet to retail jewelers who want to use it in their own creations.
Her childhood ambitions and education was always in music, finally specializing in vocals and opera at DePauw University, and in theater. She pursued an acting and singing career in New York for eight years. Her personal hobbies always involved the intricate — fine needlepoint, freehand crewel embroidery, hand-sewn clothes, and seed-beading. This led her to jewelry design and fabrication, gemstones and silversmithing, which is what she’s been up to for the past nine years. She has shown her work at the Buyer’s Market of American Craft each year since 2010.
Kate’s wholesale portfolio is an eclectic mix of silver bezels, gemstone cluster bracelets and necklaces on woven silver rope, wire-wrapped earrings, silver brooches and pins as well as a constantly changing supply of unusual, one-of-a-kind gemstone cabochons in sterling silver bezel settings.
WovenStones jewelry may be purchased (or requested) through handmade arts and crafts galleries, gift shops and jewelers nationwide. We honor our retailers by selling only through them, never online.
All WovenStones jewelry is entirely handmade in America by Kate Tinnan.
All WovenStones designs are originals by Kate Tinnan.