You can peruse unique jewelry and metal pieces at The Society for Midwest Metalsmiths’s annual show, Friday, Oct. 19 from 3 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at their new venue, the Ethical Society of St. Louis in Ladue. Admission is free.
All works are hand-crafted. Meet Donna Fox, the Crestwood jewelry artist and metalsmith behind Crow Steals Fire. She’s one of the 29 local artists showcasing their pieces this weekend.
Fox will have pieces from her latest collection, "Heritage Series: Letterpress,” available. (She also takes custom orders.)
Patch: How did you harness your metalwork skills?
Donna Fox: I’ve been an avid crafter for my entire life. I’ve done a lot of diff thing—smocking, embroidery, sewing costumes, scrapbooking, in 2007 I started beading [jewelry]. I enjoyed that, but what I always enjoyed in terms of wearing has always been metal. A couple years ago I basically jumped in…. I bought the tools, searched on the Internet for how-to’s, and once I tried it, I absolutely loved it.
Patch: Explain the inspiration behind your collection, “Heritage Series: Letterpress.”
DF: I do a lot of metal stamping and personalization. I ran across beautiful piece of letterpress and it occurred to me I could use them to make impressions in the clay…. The lady I bought it from had the history of the printer, which had been around 150 years before the family sold the business… I use it to make really pretty jewelry that’s heirloom quality—fine and sterling silver that people can enjoy and pass down, and being able to include the story of the piece.
Patch: What’s one of your favorite parts of the creative process?
DF: [Working on the Heritage Series] Researching the fonts themselves, because I get to put a name and a face to them. One of my favorite fonts is a sans serif that came about before Helvetica was designed.... but it was redesigned several times. The electronic font has changed somewhat from this one—it had boho and art deco influences when he made this font and I just find that absolutely fascinating. Part of the fun is just researching when it was made, who made it, what foundry it was made in. What’s amazing is, a lot from the 1920s 2930s, you’ll recognize them. They’re still fonts we use today in one form or another.
Patch: Why do you think you became so interested in typography?
DF: I started my career as a writer. I was in advertising for 20 years, so I was writing or directing print ads. I’m also a published poet, so the way words flow and the way they work on the page and look on the page is really important to me.