How I turned into a studio art jewelry designer
When younger, my love of “making” led me to try many different crafts like: T-shirt painting, making Christmas ornaments, doll houses, doll clothes, knitting, braiding, handmade paper, and many others.
I think I drove my mom crazy every time we went to the craft store during our trips to Miami, we could spend the whole day there checking all the available products.
We lived in Venezuela, and there the craft stores were small and didn’t have a great variety of merchandise.
During my last civil engineering semester, I enrolled in a hand building and wheel throwing pottery class.
What can I say; I went pot crazy, Couldn’t stop making cups, bowls, plates and bottles.
I quit my job as a civil engineer after 6 months.
Opened a pottery studio and worked the next 20 years happily testing glazes and throwing pots on the wheel.
During my years as a potter I had the opportunity to try other kiln fired mediums: metal enameling and glass fusing and forming. Made some bowls and plates, but … naaah!, clay was still better!
In 1997 my husband and I moved to Miami.
I had trouble while moving my stuff from Venezuela to Miami because the moving companies wouldn’t take my 45 boxes full of pottery pieces as “personal effects”. I was a Potter, what were they thinking?
Once settled, I enrolled in a college level pottery class near my house.
At the pottery class, a friend told me about the metalsmith and jewelry class next door.
I really liked the idea of making jewelry, even had the lapidary journal and Art jewelry magazines subscriptions for years.
I had to wait a couple of years to enroll.
The day my youngest got into pre-k, I went back to college and registered for the jewelry class.
Loved it! wanted to try everything! For every new technique we learned in class, I read everything I could lay my hands on: books, magazines, internet, you name it.
To complement the metalwork, doing lampwork glass beads and cabochon glass fusing looked like a good idea, so had to do that too.
Lampwork came close to becoming my other obsession.
Hand dyeing silk, Kumihimo and polymer clay also incorporated color in my handmade metal jewelry.
Then silver and bronze clay appeared on the market, complete new material, amazing textures and color! Had to try that too!
All that clay hand building from years ago, sure came in handy here.
I also took up metal enameling again, but now with a twist, firing them not in a kiln, but with a torch!
So in my work you will see the use of a variety of materials and techniques that reflect all of that continuous learning and exploring that I like so much.
The last years I have been teaching metalwork jewelry projects and developing my “Gisela Kati Art Jewelry Program” which is a simple method of teaching, that allows a person with no experience to create in just 2 hours their own beautiful pieces of artistic jewelry, gradually preparing students for a better artistic training.
I hope you enjoy my website!