Arrows & Bubbles

Woven Eye

Bar Necklace

Cathedral Windows

Archway

Wells, Jennifer
The artist Jennifer Wells has wide-ranging technical skills, equally adept at fine metalwork and enameling.  Although classically trained, her approach to materials is refreshingly original.  Her early work exemplifies her expertise in the traditions of metalwork and cloisonné enameling.  However, her more recent pieces reflect a highly inventive approach to form and structure.  Her current jewelry, made from strands of steel wire woven, basket-like, onto shaped metal structures or armatures, often alludes to such architectural elements as rounded arches and the high-peaked windows in Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals.  She also creates compelling visual and tactile contrasts in her work by coating some of the metal wires with white enamel, juxtaposing them with areas of patinated copper or silver.  She recently created an imaginative series of “wall drawings” and sculpture using bent steel wire.  She sometimes inserts small enamel “paintings” into her wall-mounted compositions to add color or an element of whimsy. 

Regarding the evolution in her work, Wells has said: Previously I primarily focused on raising, fabrication, enameling, and stone setting, and then incorporating them into a single vessel form….I have since stepped away from silver as my main medium and have chosen steel wire as a way to explore expressing form and movement through the value of lines. Regarding her references, she has said: I create objects that reference a combination of floral, vessel, architectural and textile forms through nominal usage of line.  I see my metalwork in wire as stitches and weavings, and when paired with enamels, taking line segments and creating patterns and designs that when the two are put together become a patchwork of my visual library and life experiences often referencing emotions linked to a particular place and moment.

Jennifer Wells was born in 1984 in Farmville, Virginia.  In 2006 she was awarded her BFA in Crafts and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where she studied with James Mayer and Susie Ganch.  In 2010 she received her MFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC where she studied with Linda Darty, Bob Ebendorf, Tim Lazure, and Mi-Sook Hur.  After receiving her MFA, she spent a year as resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, afterwards going to Pocosin Arts for a three-month residency and in 2012 and 2013 she was a Summer Assistant at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine. From the spring of 2014 to 2016 she taught jewelry and enameling in Italy at ECU’s Italy Intensives Program and she subsequently taught jewelry, drawing, and three-dimensional design at Western Colorado State University in Gunnison, CO. Currently she lives between Italy and the U.S. Her work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions and is in the collection of the Racine Art Museum, WI.