I have always meandered the creative path, carving my initials into my parentsâ€™ headboard (no applause for that one), mixing odd spices, infusing new life into organizations with entrepreneurial left turns, and sometimes just thinking on a different plane. I have maneuvered words, paints, plants, fiber, glass, beads, and metal. I love to think differently.
Since 2000 I worked with stones, fabric, and glass to create unusual jewelry, ultimately discovering my love of metal. I like shapes that remind me of life situations (my â€śMetaphors in Metalâ€ť series), starkly simple shapes, and combinations that draw your surprised eye. I love contrast in form and similarity in color. I dream of new designs, smiling in my sleep.
Who am I? Where am I from? Born in St. Louis and raised in waterfront Fairhope, Alabama, my 43-year career as an administrator in colleges and universities scooted me around the countryâ€”Tuscaloosa, Erie, DC, Davenport, and Stevens Point, WI. As Dean of the College of Professional Studies at UW-Stevens Point, I relished the greatest job of my life for 25 years. Retiring in 2010, I am now a full-time fine jewelry artist making a business out of this bubbling passion.
A basket full of degrees (BS, MS, Ph.D.) attests to my love of being a student. I have learned about art, form and metal from masters across the country and annually seek out teachers who unlock new mysteries. Learning new things keeps one humble.
When I can loosen the ties that bind me to the studio, I play tennis with giddy abandon, deal bridge with my laughing friends, read a Kindle while I walk the treadmill, bask in a well chosen word that pops up, and waive an eco-flag over all I do.
About the artist: Joan is a full time award-winning silversmith whose jewelry is shown at galleries, museums and exhibits across the country, most recently in Kansas, Idaho, California, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida. North has been operating Joan North Designs for 17 years in her Stevens Point studio. Find her online, Facebook and Instagram.