My jewelry work over the past 20+ years has been comprised mainly of sculptural functional adornments that speak to the experience of embodiment and the lived environment. The work is materially located in ancient craft traditions of goldsmithing, with subjects and techniques that run paralell to those of ancient goldsmiths, such as intricate snakes and insects made through forging, chasing, diffusion bonded lamination, granulation and stone setting. It is conceptually rooten in my belief that an inherent human connection with nature and art are enduring, that human animals are simultaneously of nature and within it, and the ways embodiment limits and confers direct experience of the lived environment. I am also interested in the broadly disparate ways non-human animals sense and perceive their lived environments, and narratives from natural history. My dearest intention is to celebrate and expose dramas of the lived environment through miniaturized sculptural adornments that simultaneously invite curiosity and satisfy it. My work draws on themes from evolutionary biology, anatomy and physiology, tattoo art, art nouveau and natural history to invoke a sense of wonderment and at times a subtle unease in our biological selves and environment.
Many of my jewels incorporate handmade mechanisms and I have favored designs that were reproduceable on a limited scale in order to make jewelry that is valuable yet approachable to young collectors. Environmentally concious studio and sourcing practices, a "Cradle to Grave" ethic, informs the materials and techniques I choose to impliment.
The most loved design I have produced, of which several iterations have been made, is my Original Silver Anatomical Heart Locket from 2009. Other past collections, including Phasmids, Earthworms, Tentacles, Snakes, Spiderwebs, Drip Drip Splash, Honeycombs, Fungi, Fish School Mobiles and more, can be seen in the Past Work gallery.
Currently, I am working on new Insects, Snakes, Spiders and an as yet secret, less representational series that I am not yet prepared to name. My new work is exciting: more elaborate, narrative and focused not on reproduceability but on uniqueness and technical experimentation. It resembles my past work in its relationship to scientific illustration and intention to explore a detailed world in miniature.
Thank you for your interest in my work.
Peggy Skemp, October 6, 2022
Peggy Skemp is a studio jeweler making sculptural and fine jewelry in recycled silver and gold. She has been making art jewelry since 2001 and has shown and sold her work internationally through galleries, online and in-person. She has made jewelry for celebrities and TV, including the new hit series, Star Trek, Picard, in which earrings she made were used as communication devices by characters on the show. Peggy was voted Best Chicago Jeweler, 2013, by the Chicago Reader. Her work has been featured internationally on CNN, local broadcast and print news in Wisconsin and IL, and in American Craft Magazine, and can be found at select independent retailers. Peggy currently lives and works in La Farge, WI. In her free time she likes to read, garden, draw, and is shepherdess to a very small flock of beautiful sheep.
Contact Peggy with any questions or to commission a work of fine art jewelry: