Denise Temofeew | Springfield MO

I started studying metalsmithing on my own in 2003 – one of Tim McCreight’s manuals in one hand and a plumber’s torch in the other –  and discovered a passion that helped me transition from advertising copy writer to metalsmith and jewelry artist.

Today my passion is more focused, and I’m excited by the many possibilities of metal forming, as well as repoussé, chasing and more advanced methods for transforming metal, including forming small shallow vessels. It’s gratifying to use my hands and hammers to uncover the shapes that hide in humble, flat pieces of silver and gold, or even non-precious metals. I am a true sculptor when I can make metal move the way I intend it to. I like to preserve distinctive hammer marks and other “imperfections” in my work instead of sanding or polishing them out; they individualize each piece and identify it forever as something I’ve created with my own hands.

I also have another obsession, the “druzy,” a gemstone I’ve been using in my jewelry designs for several years now. Formed by a phenomena of micro-crystalline facets, druzy is the result of dissolved silica carried by ground water (over millions of years) deposited in the porous areas of quartz. The inside of a geode is an example of druzy minerals growing over quartz. The sparkle in each stone is beautiful and unique, and I never tire of finding simple but elegant ways to set them.

There are so many  things that inspire me… organic shapes, contemporary paintings, Art Nouveau… it’s hard to decide on one theme. For now, I’m giving myself permission to continue to explore and to create what I want, without worrying so much about my body of work. It will become what it needs to be.

I’ve attended several intensives with Victoria Lansford, Betty Helen Longhi and Angela Bubash, and hope to attend more as time allows. I’ve also studied at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. I’m the founder of the Farmers Park Art Show, a juried member of the Best of Missouri Hands, and a member of the Society for Midwest Metalsmiths. Previous to my life as a metalsmith and jewelry artist, I worked as a creative director and copywriter.