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Mar 20, 2024

When I began making jewelry 20+ years ago, sharing about your craft wasn't a thing unless you had peers close by willing to talk openly. There seemed to be an underlying fear that if you shared information, whether it was on a technique or a stone supplier, you may find this person doing similar work in the future. Does that happen? Well, I'm not going to lie... it's happened to me a handful of times and it really stung, especially since I believe in sharing.  

Thankfully with platforms like Instagram and YouTube information is much more accessible and we can follow and form relationships with our peers. I found April Ottey on Instagram a year or two ago and I saw that she taught classes on organic casting in her area. I reached out to her to see if she did any online teaching because I really was struggling with my own organic casting. Unfortunately for me, she didn't teach online, but I took a chance and asked her if she might be willing to answer a couple questions in exchange for payment. She generously answered my questions while repeatedly ignoring my offer to pay her for her knowledge. 

Although we didn't have many exchanges after that, I sensed April was the kind of person I would love to get to know better, so I was thrilled when she agreed to come on the show. April is so very kind and supportive... and this is what I think of when I think about the value of being in community with others. As artists and makers we can all benefit from a healthy community.

About April...

April Ottey is an artist living in Port Townsend, WA.  She has her studio a stones throw from Discovery Bay where she creates contemporary jewelry inspired by the natural world. Her close up inspection of various stages of birth, growth, death and decay in forests, rivers and beaches has shaped who she is as an artist. She casts, fabricates and incorporates the textures and intricate shapes found in nature to create jewelry that places nature into a new context. 

April’s work can be found in various galleries throughout the Northwest.  She is a member of the Northwest Designer Craftsmen Guild and the Seattle Metals Guild .   She has an MFA from Central Washington University and an undergraduate degree from Montana State University.  She taught jewelry and metal smithing at an alternative high school 10 years until she decided to pursue her own work full time in 2015.

Instagram: @april_ottey_jewelry   

Website: aprilottey.com   

 

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You can find Christine on Instagram @christinemighion