The whoosh of the soldering torch, the whirl of the band saw, and the buzz of the drill press are in thunderous contrast to the relatively silent workings of another tool that jewelry designer Kate Furman uses to create her pieces: her computer.
Furman’s work, especially her chunky driftwood and chain necklaces, has landed her this year’s Emerging Festival Artist Award winner for Artisphere 2016, as well as representation by one of the most renowned private jewelry dealers, Charon Kransen, in New York City. But it’s her 3D-printed pendants, rings, and necklaces that have the 30-year-old excited—no small feat considering her wedding—for which she will wear some of her own designs—is only mere weeks away.
FINE PRINT // Jewelry designer Kate Furman expands her oeuvre of ne art jewelry to include colorful 3D-printed rings, pendants, and necklaces.
Furman, who says making jewelry is “her yoga,” has the calm, easy manner needed to sit for six-hour stretches creating either with her hands, or with CAD (computer-aided design) on her laptop. Her academic resumé is equally as meticulous: a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalworking at the University of Georgia in 2008, a Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalsmithing at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in 2012, as well as completing an online course in 3D printing from New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology last year.
At the Greenville Center for Creative Arts, located in the historic former Brandon Mill in the Village of West Greenville, Furman teaches jewelry-making classes and shares studio space with another artist—her mother Linda Furman, who Kate says played a pivotal role in her desired career path. The splashes and swatches of canary yellows, emerald greens, magentas, and more of her mother’s canvases appear as the subliminal suggestions for Kate’s new, 3D-printed work. There are also gold-plated, steel stackable rings and geometric pendants. “I haven’t done color much,” says Furman. “My stuff is always very muted and neutral, and as an artist, you nally get to a point where you just have a drastic shift because you need a change.”
That’s no surprise given her penchant for riding the rushing waters of the Chattooga River in her kayak, which not only gives her inspiration, but often a goodly amount of raw materials by way of her fellow kayakers. “It’s an adrenaline rush,” she explains about kayaking. Her handling of molten metal, a soldering torch, and a band saw provide just the same, no doubt.