Carly Wright is a Studio Art Jewelry Designer with 35 years experience exhibiting in nationally juried shows. She has pursued a specific study of the Champlevé technique in enameling since 1980. Carly’s jewelry is inspired by the natural world, she is fascinated by cliffs revealing layers of sedimentary rock and ancient stone ruins.
The technique that I specialize in is Champlévé, (this is a French term meaning “raised fields”). Enameled objects date back to the early part of the first millennium and were found throughout the ancient world. In the champlevé technique, recessed areas are created for the enamel, either by construction, casting, etching, or engraving. The transparent enamels I work with are imported from Austria, Japan and France. These vitreous enamels are specifically designed to tolerate the rapid changes in temperature that occur when a piece is fired, going from room temperature to 1600 degrees in a matter of seconds. The enamels fuse to the metal in a similar way that a glaze fused to a pot.
My jewelry is inspired by the natural world. I am fascinated by cliffs revealing layers of sedimentary rock. I believe that the escarpments and old stone walls that I see on my daily walks, give me a vocabulary with which to work. I often stop to sketch, take a photo, or pick up an interesting stone. These small objects sit on my drawing table for weeks, sometimes years. When I sit down to design new pieces I look to them for inspiration. My travels to Ireland, Italy, France and England have also been a source of inspiration. I particularly love the old stone windows and doorways found in ancient ruins. The creation of art begins for me as a journey into an intuitive and playful part of myself. My sketches are loose, fluid and fast, using drafting and colored pencils. Later, I return to these ideas, looking for interesting compositions and beautiful lines in the stones. I don’t consider myself to be a jewelry designer in the usual sense in that I don’t work with gems, elements and settings. Rather I work as a 2-D artist; my work is often described as painterly. I like to think of my works as small pieces of art to wear.