As we look around at the state of the economy, any one who is not at least a bit scared about their own well-being is probably...lying. So it is with admiration that I present this profile on Kim Fox, creator of beautiful and unique jewelry with a story that inspires:
In 1999 I was at a watershed in my life. In one year I had lost my marriage, suffered financial reverses in my business and then lost it, filed corporate and personal bankruptcy, the stress had taken itself out on my body and my health suffered severely. In the following years I took a job to repay part of the bankruptcy debt and started examining what I had done and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. During this time I started writing again and took up making simple jewelry.
In 2003 I had completed the repayment of the bankruptcy and came to the conclusion that the second half of my life was to be lived out of my heart – not my mind. Though I had taken art and had written through most of my schooling – my mind told me that I could not make a living at it – so when I was young I used my analytical skills to make a living in sales and teaching technology.
My mother died in 2003 and I decided to take the money that would have been my retirement and use it to invest in me. I sold my home in Phoenix, and in the beginning of 2004 moved to Carlsbad, Ca to attend GIA (Gemological Institute of America) where I completed two six month courses – one in design and the other in Gemology. From there I went to San Francisco to study with Alan Revere. In the middle of 2005 I took a job in San Luis Obispo in a jewelry store – the job lasted a month. I started my studio, did my first shows on the beaches of central California.
In 2007 I moved back to Arizona and live simply in a double wide mobile home, I travel to shows all over the United States and spend time at home designing new pieces, managing the manufacturing of my collection. I get scared but have learned my gut instinct is my best friend. I have no regrets about spending the first part of my life in other areas. I have used all of it in the second half of my life.
If times get really bad I know that I can use my skills old and new to feed, house and clothe me.
What especially caught my eye with Kim's jewelry is her interesting use of texture.
When I work to get textures I use old fashioned tools like hammers, drills, fire and rolling mills, but sometimes I use technology where I import images or textures in gray scale into sections of my CAD design. My style I would say is intercultural. I use what I have seen in my travels, studied in art and what comes out of my imagination. Depending on the context of the viewer I have been told that my work is similar to the early Taxco Work, Craftsman Style or Art Deco.
The tool that has worked well for me is my computer. I used it to design jewelry using a very sophisticated CAD program. Ideas for my future work come from photos of architecture, nature, and art that I store on my computer. Sketches made by me are duplicated and stored there on my computer. While I use technologically sophisticated tools, I do not want people to look at my work and see that I used a computer to create it. Simple shapes are beautiful, when you add relevant texture to the simple shape it makes is visually interesting, especially if the texture is random or natural looking. In some of my pieces I have added gray scale textures of water, fire, mountains, flowers and shapes I have seen in architecture and used as cultural symbols. The textures are picked for their meaning as well as visual interest. On my Phoenix pendant the background is the base of a flame, the background of my Tree of Life is running water.
My jewelry design has evolved into three distinct areas.
The first is the area of Jewelry Components or Findings. This started with my desire to have my jewelry to be different. Initially some of the components were hand carved or made using traditional methods such as assembly. Those methods are very time consuming and the results were sometimes great and sometimes not.
The second area is custom design for other designers and customers. This started with friends who wanted special pieces for themselves and moved to other designers who had ideas and didn’t know how to make them.
The third area is the area of finished work of my own design. Some of these pieces are hand made, some cast, fused, strung, whatever I put my hand to. This is the area where I play. Sometimes it turns out well sometimes it gets put into the recycle pile.
Despite Kim's extensive training, she continues to take classes regularly. I asked her about that.
Most artists pretty much work alone. I know that I do. I have contact with my partners over the phone most of the time. Taking classes allows me time to experiment, see a master’s perspective on creating things and offers me an opportunity to socialize and share with other artists.
It was a pleasure spending time with Kim! She has my deep respect for the journey she has traveled.
Thanks for stopping by.