Suzanne Williams

Evidence of my passion for jewelry emerged at the young age of 2 when I locked my mother out of the house to obtain unfettered access to her jewelry box.  For me, jewelry can express philosophies, ideas, and emotion.  Jewelry can be elegant, playful, daring, powerful, and fun.

I create 3D assemblages and shadowboxes containing graphic images that sometimes feature three-dimensional dioramas.  The work I create functions on a variety of levels that go beyond the piece itself. It can reflect the mood, attitude, and sometimes the beliefs of the wearer. It can be a catalyst for social interaction or create an impromptu visual vacation for the viewer. Whether the imagery I use is derived from nature, such as pine needles on a forest floor, the pattern of ice crystals across a pond, a grove of aspen trees, a powerful storm, or more urban themes such as a city reflected in a car bumper,  or a factory with smokestacks, my objective is to create a connection between myself, the wearer and the viewer.

I recently stumbled upon Suzanne Williams’s work, and was entranced immediately. (Even before I discovered the snail pendant!) I love the layering, the textures, the use of metal colors to create a scene that is almost nostalgic. The images are fairly simple, almost childlike, but are rendered cleanly and precisely, in a sophisticated way, accented by the framing of the diorama in bold, loosely geometric forms. And I absolutely love the way she integrates some of her bails into the piece, like the aspen necklace up top. 

Jewelry sale and third project

The Object jewelry sale is coming up. Fairly excited, lots of work to be made. It also leads in to the third project. Lots of idea about how to make these things work together with my large body of work.

Project 3 is two rings. The first is a wearable ring we make for our production line in the jewelry sale and the other is a sculptural ring that has fit with the first ring in some way.

I make things that talk about my childhood memories, loss, poetry, and folklore. This work is an expression of memories of place. My parents recently moved, and although I haven’t lived in the old house in years, I grew up there and so the loss of that place was still very hard on me.

The techniques used are the ones that feel the most natural to me. Raising and enameling feel like play more then anything else. There is a great sense of joy in this way of working. The outer form is meant to be inviting of use and curiosity. The delicate nature of the inner form works to encourage consideration.

I wanted to encourage both the handling of the object and for the user to to take care the object when in use. Memories are fragile and mutable. They should be taken care of, even when they are being revisited. Much like an precious object should still be used, but it demands care when engaged.

I miss being able to look up at the stars in winter, laying in field of flowers, or running through the woods at night. I wanted to make an object about some of the things I miss. I am less enchanted by the city then when I was a child, I fear that the memories I hold are no longer accurate to the place I miss.



This is a commission that my partner, Wylie Blais (website here) and I worked on collaboratively.
We were commissioned by the parents of a girl to make a one-of-a-kind jewelry box and pendant for their daughter for her 18th birthday.
They described their daughter to us as deeply feeling, subtle, with a dark and quirky sense of humor and an interest in history and the Romantic - but someone who is also reserved, and has not found herself yet.
They wanted this piece to be an heirloom, and give their daughter the sense that her family was always there for her. Between this and their description of her as having a deep personality, the concept of this piece is that of the well: something with mystery and depth to it, and something that can always be drawn from, again and again. We designed the box with a central well in which the pendant, in the shape of a bucket, can sit.
The family is Hungarian-American, and wanted a subtle element of both places in the box’s design, hence the flowers pierced into the lid: Hungarian blue poppies for Hungary, and mayflowers for Massachustetts.

The box is three-layered: the bottom, stamped with the family’s initials and the phrase, “The ones you can always count on,” can hold a couple of rings or pairs of earrings, and is pressure-fit to the central layer.
The central layer houses the tube that is the well-shaft - it is the flat, slightly sunk-in part on which the bucket can rest, hanging down into the tube.
The top layer is a pierced, rotating lid, which swivels away to reveal the bucket and central layer.

As the first big collaborative project between us, it was a success: Wylie’s technical knowledge, 3D-modeling skills, and confidence with larger fabrication techniques were critical throughout; I focused on the initial concept, piercing and decorative detail, and the fiddlier work of creating the bucket pendant.
The daughter received this last Thursday as a surprise. We were pleased to hear that it conveyed to her all that her parents hoped it would.


ART 371 (801/802) Fall 2013
Construction and Fabrication
Stephanie Voegele
Project #1: “Contained and Assembled”
Consider your ideas of concealing and revealing and containment. Create an
object or a wearable that explores the issue of containment conceptually,
formally or through its function.
Use “assembly” (multiple components coming together) as a methodology
for this project. Methodology is a system of methods used in a particular area of
study or activity. How will you make this project?
Consider how the idea of assembly contributes to the subject of containment.
What methods of assembly could strengthen your idea about containment?
Consider integrating these ideas of “assembly”, as multiple components,
repetition, infinite repetitive action, cycle, progression and “contained” – as finite,
restrained. For example: assembling/disassembling multiple components could
contain, restrict/reveal, expose…etc.
Consider which specific techniques, materials and formats will be most
appropriate for your piece and have a potential to strengthen your subject.