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S. Howell Studios Maker Video

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I’m a jeweler and my work features botanical textures. I’m inspired by plants… so flowers, trees, sage and any sort of interesting organic texture. Living near the Tetons is absolutely incredible and the mountains are somewhere I go to reset and feel inspired. I think people often overlook subtle beauty. The textures, forms and colors of the plants here in Wyoming and on my travels give me infinite possibilities for inspiration.

My technique starts by pressing plants into clay to get an impression. I poor wax onto the clay to get a mold and use the lost wax casting technique to create what I like to call handmade metal fossils. I call them this, because in a sense I’m preserving the plants indefinitely. Seeing the leaves or flowers in silver for the first time is probably the most magical part. I have a pretty good idea of what they’ll look like, but there’s this excitement that comes during that stage of creation.

Once they’re cast, I use traditional techniques to turn them into jewelry so sawing, forming, soldering, stone setting.

I view my process as co-creating with the earth. Nature’s really done all the hard work to create the plants, metals and gemstones and I I use to transform my ideas into something wearable.

Now more than ever, it’s vital for each of us to play a role in protecting our planet. I implement many sustainable practices in my studio and I’m constantly working towards reducing my impact.

I believe jewelry shouldn’t just look beautiful, it should have meaning. Life moves quickly and we never know how much time we have so it’s important to live mindfully. To fully soak up the present moment. We forget how amazing it is to simply be alive. The purpose of my jewelry is to draw attention to the subtle beauty that often goes overlooked. To encourage the wearer to slow down and take a closer look at the world around them. My biggest hope, is to inspire people to approach even the most ordinary moments with a sense of wonder.

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