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McKenzie Mendel Jewelry

1382037728
Mckenziemendel_headshot
Trade:
Jeweler au Naturel
Locale:
Bend, OR

“Metal is so fascinating in that there are so many ways you can manipulate it. What starts out as a blank piece of wire or sheet, ends up as someone’s wedding ring that they wear the rest of their life.”

Here’s the really cool thing about jewelry: it’s an ever-changing, dynamic craft—but there are ancient, ancient techniques that are still used today. McKenzie learned all about that when she was getting a degree in metals and jewelry at Savannah College of Art & Design. She adopted an old-school Korean technique called keum boo, in which high-quality gold is applied to a silver surface using heat. That way she can deliver a warm, bright gold finish to simple, modern pieces without laying down a major investment. Living in a gorgeous Pacific Northwest town surrounded by mountains and rivers—it is hard for her not to be inspired by the natural world. When she heads up to the mountains to paddle around with her husband and pooch, her sketchbook and camera are always in tow. A leaf on a tree, the bottom of a river, a drop of rain—all of these little big things have inspired her classic, minimal, well-crafted pieces.

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