Jenny Walker Jewelry

Jenny Walker
St. Louis, Missouri

Growing up with one foot in Southern Maine and one in Yonkers, NY, Jennifer Walker became attuned to both the rhythms of nature on the rocky coast, and the texture of blue collar urban life. She loved working with her hands, and during high school, when she took a metalwork course at what was then the Portland School of Art, she knew she wanted to be a jeweler. Jennifer attended Parsons School of Design in New York City for two years, where she studied with renowned artist and enamel pioneer Rebecca Laskin, and completed her BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Making at the Maine College of Art. After returning to Manhattan in 1997, she worked as a Local 1 plumber for a decade, before moving to St. Louis with her family. There, realizing her dream of developing her own jewelry line, she founded Jenny Walker Jewelry in 2011. Jennifer’s studio, in the city’s historic Shaw neighborhood, is open by appointment, and she travels around the country doing juried art and craft shows. Her jewelry is carried by the Portland Japanese Garden, in Oregon, the Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater museum shop, and JAK Designs, among others.

"I work with vitreous enamel which is the china like color you see in my work. It is powdered glass which I sift onto the metal shapes and fire in a kiln at 1400 degrees in very small batches. I fire each individual piece a minimum of three times with layers of enamel to achieve a more variegated appearance. My aim is to mimic colors and textures found in nature and let the variable nature of firing glass in a kiln be what makes each piece one of a kind.

The work begins with raw stock materials; sterling silver, copper, gold and bronze sheet and wire, vitreous enamel, wood and semiprecious stones. The metal is cut, carved, hammered, formed and sanded by hand until the design becomes material. I have always enjoyed the physicality and repetition involved in making things. It makes me feel like Gepetto and I like that. I’m most happy working with my hands."