Gay's profile

Jewelry artist Gay Durland considers herself to be a mid-century modern woman, using traditional materials such as sterling silver, pearls and gemstones in contemporary ways.

As a child, Gay didn’t know that she could be an artist. She loved math and languages, and grew up to become an analyst for the government. Years later, however, art - in the form of jewelry design with wire and beads - found her, and hasn’t let her go since.

She has studied many types of jewelry making with master teachers since 2006, always returning, however, to wirework and metalsmithing as her core techniques. She continues to seek out experiences to hone her skills, broadening her design choices with new options. Her greatest influence in metalsmithing design has been master teacher Kim St. Jean.

Gay recognized the magic of wire early, and soon developed her own style: creating organic and geometric shapes in silver and copper wire to set off beads, pearls, or gemstones with elegant clean lines and unusual juxtapositions. Her wirework earrings won two awards in the Bead Museum DC’s international competition “Celebrating Beads” in 2008: a first-place in Gemstones and a third-place in Organic Materials.

Gay’s two series, “Meteor Showers” and “Maps of Undiscovered Countries,” distill her broad experience into complex, sophisticated elements, which she creates as needed for each new piece. She unites these elements into cohesive designs, telling stories in stone and metal, glass and clay.

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