After retiring from a career as a professional singer, Liane Redpath never thought she would become a jewelry artist, but the artform found its way into her life.
In addition to a background in art and design, she took inspiration from the women she grew up with. Her grandmother and mother both loved jewelry. Redpath has fond memories of looking through her grandmother’s jewelry collection, and recalls her mother’s love of accessorizing.
“It’s kind of almost in my DNA, you know, to be attracted to jewelry. I’ve always worn jewelry. It just makes me feel good,” Redpath says.
As she started creating pieces for her personal collection, her husband encouraged her to branch out and make jewelry for others.
“That started me in selling and doing some commissioned work,” Redpath says. “I love art, I’ve always been an artist, whether it was music or fine arts, my entire life. I don’t see that changing.”
Redpath worked as a professional singer for 18 years, primarily in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel. In 1997, after years of extravagant outfits complete with a headdress over four feet tall, Redpath put it all away to move to Bellingham with her husband. The two never left.
Today, Redpath prides herself on making everything by hand, from every curve on a pendant to every chain link on a necklace. Her pieces will start out as simple drawings before becoming objects in the world. She likes to use stones that aren’t symmetrical, which gives her jewelry a contemporary feel.
“The stones are so beautiful that I don’t want to have a real busy [design]…I want them to stand on their own,” she says.
Redpath has been creating jewelry for 16 years now, but with art walk closures due to COVID-19, she has found fewer ways to sell her jewelry. Over the last year, her inspiration to create new pieces began to wane.
“I think for me it was a real kick to the gut,” Redpath says. “The creativity just wasn’t what it normally is.”
In the meantime, she has explored other mediums while in quarantine.
“I actually picked up clay again, because I could learn something new during this time, or return to something that I worked with, you know, many years ago.”
One sculpture in particular speaks to her time in quarantine and the spread of COVID-19. Redpath’s clay creations often portray birdlike creatures; this one was inspired by a bluejay that nested in Redpath’s backyard.
“Right outside our back door there was a bluejay who had made his home, and they’re very noisy, and they built their big nest right on top of the robin’s nest,” she says.
The spread of the blue jay’s nest down the sculpture represents the spread of COVID-19.
The sculpture is also equipped with a large headpiece, a nod to the costumes Redpath wore years ago.
With her exploration of new mediums, Redpath will continue working on pieces as museums and art shows reopen.
You can find Redpath’s work displayed in the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner as well as the Jansen Art Center in Lynden. redpathstudio.com
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