Sculptural scientific illustrations and fine jewelry, sustainably handcrafted in gold and silver.
Peggy Skemp makes sculptural jewelry and art objects, employing a variety of traditional metalsmithing techniques. She studied gemology and jewelry manufacture at GIA then worked as a goldsmith in Chicago while earning her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2006. During art school Peggy developed a strong interest in scientific medicine after caring for a family member with a serious illness and began pursuing pre-med/ biological science studies at De Paul University concurrently with her art education. She found herself making small wearable, dissectible silver specimens as study references, including the celebrated design of her original anatomical heart locket (2009.) The style Peggy refined during this period informs her aesthetic to this day. A fascination with the minute complexities of nature and the human body are evident in Peggy's most detailed silver specimen jewels such as her dissectible heart, lung locket, and brain lockets.
Peggy studied gemology and jewelry-making at GIA, traditional hand-engraving and stone setting at Le Arti Orafe in Florence, Italy; granulation and surface techniques with Harold O'Connor; Hinge and Mechanism-making with Charles Lewton-Brain and casting at Revere Academy, San Francisco.
In 2014 Peggy's workshop moved from her home office in Chicago to a new workshop in the heart of the Driftless Ocooch mountain region of Wisconsin. In this setting Peggy has vastly expanded her opportunities as a craftswoman, building a maze of mushroom logs, planting a 100-tree orchard and surrounding gardens. Peggy's new experiments in sustainable permaculture have worked to elevate the formal and conceptual elements of her jewelry and sculpture work, and in 2018 Peggy launched an entirely new series of original jewelry designs based on animal architecture and biomimicry. These promising new works of wearable sculpture implement generational knowledge of weaving and twining, folk crafts Peggy learned from her Grandmother and a mentor, Marilyn Zager, and then refined while studying at the school of the art school at SAIC. The new spiderweb jewelry series draws on archetypes, lore and the biology of spiders to create fascinating miniature sculptures that are delicate yet sturdy. These represent Peggy's most ambitious and experimental designs to date. A new fine jewelry collection is coming in September. To be in-the-know about PS trunk shows, craft fairs, new work, discounts and more, sign up for emails (we've only sent two so far) and follow on Instagram to see works in progress.
Thank you for your interest in Peggy Skemp Jewelry!
Peggy hand engraving in Florence, Italy, 2012.