1. Please introduce yourself! What is the name of your shop? What city and country do you live in?
Hi, my name is Carol Braden-Williams and I live in Independence, MO, USA. My shop is SilverTrove.
2. Tell us the story of your work – what inspires you?
I’ve always loved silver jewelry, so after doing bead work, it was a natural progression to working with sterling silver, fine silver and Argentium wire. After becoming successful with wire jewelry, I became a full-bench silversmith. Now I incorporate both wire techniques and silversmithing techniques in my work. I’m inspired by nature (especially beautiful gemstones!), art, history and faith. I also love looking at other jewelry artists’ work.
3. What is your creative process?
My creative process varies depending on the piece I’m designing. Sometimes it begins with a beautiful stone. In that case, I design the piece to show off the stone in it’s best light. Other times, it starts with an idea that I’ve drawn on paper and many times I just play with the materials I have at hand. My favorite way to design jewelry is through my customers. They see something in my shop and contact me with a variation they would like to have made. That always helps me stretch my creative muscles! Sometimes they just have an idea of their own. I work with them to come up with the piece they are longing to wear.
Here’s a work in progress – I’m attaching an amethyst stone to a wire wrapped ring.
4. Where do your materials come from?
Every piece of SilverTrove jewelry is creatively designed and forged with love from partially recycled materials. In my studio, I follow strict environmental standards and recycle all possible materials and bi-products. I actively seek metals and materials that are responsibly sourced. I am concerned about the environmental and social impact of silver, gold and gemstone mining and I recycle the silver I work with, but no metalsmith can be sure that all the metals they work with have been ethically obtained. Did you know that producing enough ‘new’ gold for one ring generates 20 tons of mine waste that is being dumped into or rivers, lakes and streams? I hope we will someday have verified source information on all suppliers of jewelry metals and gemstones with the help of organizations like Earthworks. I am an active member of Earthworks and I urge everyone to sign the “No Dirty Gold Pledge” because gold, silver and gemstones are all obtained from the same mines. Earthworks exposes plans to open mines that would pollute natural resources and destroy wildlife and habitat and they work hard to stop them. They also expose mines with unsafe working conditions, unfair wages and underage employees and have been very successful in stopping these unethical practices. Go to: www.earthworksaction.org/ for more information including a link to the “No Dirty Gold Pledge”. Their work is important because they expose unethical mining practices and are working to establish mining standards. Someday I hope all metalsmiths will know the source of the metals and gemstones they purchase. I hope we can all honor the earth first above our desire for aesthetic beauty.
5. Do you take custom orders?
6. What do you want us to know about you that is unique and innovative?
I created new, innovative techniques for wire name and word jewelry to give it the look of calligraphy script writing. Many other wire writers have heralded my wire name and word jewelry as the best they’ve ever seen. Soon I hope to create video tutorials on my wire writing techniques so I can ‘pass the torch’ on to other artists.
7. What are your social media sites?
Etsy – etsy.com/silvertrove
Facebook – facebook.com/silvertrovedesigns
Twitter – twitter.com/CBradenWilliams
Pinterest – pinterest.com/silvertrove
Blog – mysilvertrove.blogspot.com
Instagram – instagram.com/silvertrove