I was born in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside Taos, NM. My childhood was very sheltered and simple- we did not have a television, nothing but a wood stove for heat, and no running water until I was 5. We played in the woods and relied on our imagination for entertainment. My father was a jeweler and I have early memories of sitting in his shop and being mesmerized by the art of metal smithing. My mother is a renaissance woman of many crafts, though her focus lies in beautiful and fantastical illustrations. She always had some creative endeavor to keep us interested. Artists run rampant on both sides of my family.
In an attempt to break the cycle of the starving artist, my family pushed me toward academics and a more career focused path, but my heart always knew that an artistic expression was my true calling. I decided to leave my college plans after taking some jewelry classes, and discovering an innate attraction to the art form that had been such a huge part of my early childhood. Shortly thereafter I was fortuitously drawn into an apprenticeship with the jeweler Noah Pfeffer in both traditional and contemporary Southwestern/Native-American jewelry. Although his work has a contemporary look his methods reflect his background learning in the most basic of jewelry shops and technologies. I strive for a modern and unique look in my work, yet these old world and traditional methods are an integral part in my pieces.
I am a daughter of the southwest through and through but I also have a love of world cultures, and a wandering heart and mind. I draw inspiration from ancient Egyptian, North African, and Greco-Roman art, as well as Native American and other "tribal" cultures. I also have a great interest in found art; recycling old jewelry pieces, using found materials such as bone, raw crystals, leather and rusty iron, and, ideally, allowing my imagination to run with these materials rather than confine my style to any one look. I like to mix this rough, raw aesthetic with my appreciation for abstract, streamlined “futuristic” influences- hence the term I often use to describe my work- “primal contemporary”.
I have been working with metal for over twelve years now and don't foresee an end. Jewelry is called the "Queen of Crafts" because the possibilities are seemingly endless, and I find myself endlessly intrigued by the possibilities. I have been fortunate to experience much more modern jewelry techniques in the last several years, such as CNC machining and other new technologies. I have also had the chance to work with materials such as titanium, niobium, and steel. I hope to ever expand my skills and knowledge and incorporate these experiences into my own work as I evolve as an artist. I believe all forms of creation have an important place in the world of craft, from millennia-old sand casting to 3D printing.
Savage Metal, the name of my company, stems from this idea:
Savage- to be unruly, without law, wild. It is also a word historically thrown upon many tribal, land-based cultures of the world in a negative context. I want to reclaim this word to infer a more natural way of being; a natural intelligence and wisdom that vibrates within our truest selves: above law or any idea meant to confine the spirit.
Metal- simply to be metal, my chosen medium; any metal, large or small.
Jessi Rae Carpentier
Taos NM USA 87571
Tel. +1 505 310 2446
Facebook- Savage Metal Jewelry