Jessica Jordan-Cote

I fell into metalsmithing as if by accident, though I believe it was by design all along.  The granddaughter of a southern belle and blue collar farmer, I spent many summers in a rural Virginia attic. Sifting through the remnants of my grandfather's time as the president of a prominent science company, I unearthed the lingering fashions my grandmother wore during those high society years- years long before my arrival and her days of working the land. Set against an opposing view of simple existence and even simpler hand tools, the roots of inspiration began taking hold in the fertile dust of rhinestone relics and antique brass bones.  It was the most beautiful contradiction.

I believe the best art is born of tension.  Today, my aesthetic is one that reveres the impacts of time and choice.  Contradiction is a frequent theme in my work.  Aged textures against polished stones, old world detail on a modern scale, highly individual messages to the world crafted with a helplessly inherited hand.  As I grew up, design found me when I needed it the most. Wearing her wedding ring, I swing my hammers that belonged to him and understand something about how they evolved.  I have been given many gifts throughout the course of my artistic path, and I see teaching as a way of paying forward the investments made in me.

I believe that creating is an innate need.  I believe that art speaks when we can't, and that it connects us to people, places and ideas with whom we may never otherwise intersect.  As a self-taught metalsmith, I often fumble through my work much as I do my life, and yet the journey continues to feed my soul, which feeds the art, and the circle begins again.  I am grateful to be amongst those traveling this creative landscape, and I am honored to help cultivate the seeds we are sowing.