“I discovered metals as a medium while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design. It has since become my life’s passion. After graduating I had the privilege to work as a bench jeweler for several years, before taking the plunge into my own business in 2009. While my home base is currently in Raleigh, NC, I travel to national juried shows across the U.S. to show and sell my work.”meganclarkjewelry.com
Jewelry by Megan Clark
In 2013 Megan received a Saul Bell award for the above piece, titled “Stingray Feathers”, which was also featured on the cover of Lark Books’ “Showcase 500 Art Necklaces.” Her work incorporates elements of past artistic movements, including 20th century architectural styles, while remaining wholly contemporary. Once you see her jewelry, you can never mistake it for someone else’s.
“I enjoy balancing strong structures with delicate textures and patterns. In 2010 I began incorporating stingray leather into my work. I treat it like a precious stone by creating hollow forms and inlaying the pieces.”
Megan isn’t the only artist making jewelry out of stingray leather, but you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone using it in such a unique way. Set into the silver and gold outlines of her jewelry, it resembles an inorganic substance like rock, or maybe even a fabricated material.
Megan’s work is often centered around bold, simple geometric designs. Some of her creations, like the pendants above, combine these stark, minimalist shapes with the unique texture of stingray leather to produce something that manages to feel both industrial and natural.
The influence of architecture on her work is tangible without being too obvious. The hard, clean lines and geometric orientation of much of her jewelry recalls elements of art deco, albeit in a simplified form. The great thing about these subtle references is that the designs feel familiar even if you can’t quite identify what you’re recognizing. It takes a truly talented artist to craft something that feels both familiar and completely original.
“I hand fabricate everything from silver and gold sheet and wire, and draw my inspiration from a combination of architecture and nature.”
The honeycomb patterned rings above are an example of her commissioned work, and highlight her versatility. She is obviously very comfortable stepping outside her normal stylistic bounds to produce something completely different from her non-commissioned work.
Small details stand out big within a simple framework. The addition of a .17ct white diamond makes this pendant elegant and timeless without appearing old fashioned. The pendant’s asymmetry gives it a sense of movement, while the precise lines are balanced by the organic texture of the stingray leather and the resemblance of the whole piece to a human eye. The paradox of this kind of visual complexity in such a simple design is what gives much of her jewelry its unique aesthetic.
The outer bands of this ring are made from polished 18k yellow gold. The inner band, made of oxidized sterling silver, is patterned such that at first glance it looks like an organic material (perhaps leather), another example of Megan’s use of one material to resemble another.
Megan’s work is regularly featured in several galleries in the eastern US and in the midwest, and she travels often to display and sell her work across the country. She has plenty of stunning, ready-to-ship jewelry available for purchase from her online store, and you can contact her through her website if you are interested in commissioning a one-of-a-kind piece. Her jewelry is sure to catch the attention of anyone who sees it.