“My goal is to create abstract sculptural jewelry that is lively, visually interesting, and comfortable, work that adds a bit of happiness to life. Jewelry doesn’t mean much unless it is worn, and I like to think of the person who puts on one of my pins, necklaces, or pairs of earrings as enhancing the piece, adding who they are to the piece’s artistic identity.”
Searching for something very black, Suzanne Linquist found ebony by accident, in a box of old piano keys. Compared to metal, ebony is lightweight, so she can make jewelry and still create what she loves: small sculpture. To enhance her forms, she inlays them with silver to catch an ambient light, or combines them to create motion and changing visual relationships between elements.
Linquist’s pieces begin with an ebony shape turned on a mini-lathe or silver fabricated into a hollow form. Leaves and small parts are cast by the lost wax process. Most silver additions (disc, rings, spheres) are fabricated. All silver is finished with 60 grit sandpaper so the surface catches the light from every direction. Ebony forms are patterned with silver inlay, dots or strips of wire.
She learned jewelry basics in college, then went to Gem City College, a trade school in Illinois, to learn hand engraving. Her engraving skills landed her a job in a family jewelry business, where she got valuable on-the-job training with men who had done bench work for fifty years. Later, a workshop with Betty Helen Longhi gave her the technical skills and confidence to start her own business.