Kathleen King

Kathleen King is one of the students of Tomas Wittelsbach in his online jewelry design classes. She is relatively new in the jewelry business but she has always been interested in creating stuff. She has three art degrees and made several art films in the past.

Her first art mentor was Tony Conrad. She said that her mentor did not so much teach her anything but simply open things up for her. She still uses her mentor’s process. She later shifted to using computer software applications such as 3D Max. She also learned Rhino and later got familiar with ZBrush.

She was frustrated using other 3D software programs and tried searching for online class on ZBrush. She found ZBrushWorshop website and the class of Ryan Kingslien. It was an important step for her as she learned new techniques. She also took photo scanning class from ZBW with Jeff Wilson.

Although she was already knowledgeable about photography, she learned new things. Her first actual 3D print was based on one of her photoscans. The photography class helped in creating accurate 3D models. She was fascinated by the fact that she was able to translate the digital 3D model that she made into an object that she could hold and feel with her hands.

She said that she always gained inspiration from the classes she took. Attending these classes was her way of exploring things. It was somewhat accidental that she learned about Tomas’ class. She received an email and the intro to the webinar impressed her. She knew that she can be relaxed and creative in his class. She had the flexibility but at the same time learned the rigors of creating 3D models. She learned how to create a design like telling a story.

“One time in a Rhino class we were looking at other software and came across Zbrush. I was mesmerized. I had to learn this program. Tried to learn on my own, finally got exasperated and sprung for a class at School of Visual Arts, which was promptly cancelled (ack!!), looked online and found ZBWorkshop and Ryan’s class. That was a huge help. I loved learning things like how the brushes worked.”

Kathleen learned to be comfortable using ZBrush that it has somewhat becoming an extension of her. She continues to learn jewelry design. She plans to take jewelry classes from a goldsmith. There are a lot of things that she wants to know about the physicality of jewelries beyond the design stage.

“The two areas Tomas teaches that are most important to me are a rigorous method of putting your models together that keeps in mind the end product and gives you the flexibility to just let yourself get into the design and design as story. I find that design as story is a way to put myself into the piece, stay interested, and keep my design principles consistent. If something doesn’t seem to work, I check the story. I’m not interested in the design unless there’s a story or a secret behind it. Tomas is a glorious, rigorous designer. His stuff dazzles immediately. His method takes time and work to really learn, but it’s fun work and interesting. It’s given more depth to my approach to making pieces. I hope to dazzle.”

She is currently working in silver and bronze. She is focusing on creating pendants and small sculptures. Her design motif swings between organic and geometric concepts. Her knowledge about art history also helped her get different ideas from various sources when designing. However, she sticks with three main categories when designing jewelry, namely, piano bracelets, hands and animals.

She has created two piano bracelets. The first one that she cast was a Beethoven-inspired bracelet. The design was based on the ninth symphony as depicted by the piano keys. It was made for someone with geometric design preferences. It took her about two weeks to finish the piece from design to casting. The second piano bracelet design that she made was based on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. She will use silver to cast it.

Kathleen also designed two hand pendants. One has a flower design while the other has eyes in the design. She finished the flower hands design in Tomas’ class and it took her one week to finish.

She also designed two pendants and a small sculpture with animal motif, which is her third design category. She is proud of her Love Snakes design because it was her first successful piece that she has done in Tomas’s class. It was inspired by a Japanese painting. It took her up to three weeks to finish.

She took her chances in taking Tomas’s class and it produced good results. She had several failures but she also has accomplished a lot. Her work now is very different from before but most of the changes were technical.

Learn more about Kathleen: http://kkingart.com/