2010 Vendor Spotlight: Smallbird

We have been happy to have Jenna Thompson of Smallbird as a vendor with us almost from the very beginning. The delicate, organic shapes she creates with sterling silver and precious gemstones give her jewelry a perfect mix of earth and elegance.

Where are you and your studio located?
My studio is in my home in Rochester, NY.

How did you get into jewelry-making?

I took jewelry classes in college, but didn't come back to the medium until much later. Several years ago I became interested in using precious metal clay, and worked my way back into soldering and stone setting as I continued to develop my style.

What has been influencing your current designs?

I'm often inspired by the materials themselves. Finding a fantastic gemstone and designing a piece around it is always fun. I'm also influenced by other indie artists. In my sketchbook, I keep little scraps of things that catch my eye. Sometimes it's a pattern in a piece of fabric, or a drawing with lovely line quality, or even just a mood conveyed by a certain photograph. I'm also very much drawn to the combination of grungy and pretty. That seems to be a recurring theme in the art pieces I enjoy, and I think that often comes through in my jewelry.

What is your favorite part about making jewelry?
I love both functional art and wearable art. There's something very special about wearing something handcrafted; getting to carry that little piece of art with you throughout the day.

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