Meet Kate, silversmith, metal worker
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
- George Bernard Shaw
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Kate and I make jewelry with stories. My company is called Kate Slater Jewelry or KSJ.
Why and when did you start metal working?
I used to work in advertising in San Francisco, USA, and found the job very demanding. I was in need of a creative outlet, and had been drawn to jewelry and design most of my life.
I was lucky enough to study and apprentice under several master goldsmiths, and spent every minute of my free time in the jewelry studio. In 2013 I applied and gained full employment as a bench jeweler in what would be my most challenging and rewarding position.
Behind every KSJ piece there is a place, an emotion or a special space in time that it was created from. I am a constant and curious observer of the natural world. What comes as result is unique and sculptural jewelry made for inspired people.
What excites you and how do you incorporate that into your work?
I like to figure out hard things! Goldsmithing - especially custom work is all about balancing the stress of working with other ideas and your ability. Collaboration brings the best surprises.
When was the last time you tried something new?
I experiment and learn something new almost daily. For me designing starts with an inspired idea and then figuring out how to make it work in metal and stone. Each collection is different from the last so it is a constant process of creating something new, with a new technique and perspective.
What advice would you give to an artist in hiding?
I would say why hide it?! Most of us wait for a “right” time or “have enough” of a skill set to express our artistic voice. What you want to show the world is worth showing right now just as it is.
Let the experience, skill set and your own personal style develop over time. Fall in love with the process and find inspiring mentors and a community of likeminded artists to help you along the way.
What is your fav piece and why?
The River Ring design is my favorite and a very special piece for me. I designed this ring while working as a bench jeweler in a small Northern California town. Most of the work I did there was centered on wedding rings and crafting pieces for new found love. At the time work was my love – and it dawned on me that it may be that way permanently.
So, I decided to create a ring for myself. A ring that carried just as much meaning. A ring that celebrated being completely content in my choice to follow the dream of being an artist. I designed it after one of my favorite places, the American River, where I hiked daily with my dog Bubbles.
I continue to make these rings for wedding bands, for gifts of love and for people that just want to celebrate themselves. Like a river, this design became constant not in change but in its meaning. Of love. For yourself or someone else. It is one of my favorite pieces to make and you will rarely see me without mine.
You can ask Kate any question, and support her by following her on social media, and/or by buying her products.