Richelle Dourte is the talent and imagination behind metalledwith, a lovely one-woman studio in Boiling Springs, PA, where she creates jewelry and teaches metalworking classes.
Though I have been a dabbler since I can remember, I first incorporated tiny pressed leaves into copper jewelry when creating gifts for my wedding. I have collected little leaves since childhood, the effort is just more concentrated now. The initial popularity of the “eastern woodlands” original botanical jewelry surprised me, and I set up as a sole proprietor called metalledwith in 2010. In the time since, I have continued to learn additional metalwork techniques. Earlier this Spring, I made the leap to full time status as an artist. My previous career was in land conservation biology, and I still keep ties with a local land trust, Manada Conservancy.
Richelle’s work begins with metal, often in sheet or wire. Although she has a series of favorite shapes, increasingly her work is more about letting the form flow freely.
I do not know the end form until it creates itself. I let ideas ripen in stray thoughts until it feels right.” I know that’s a terrible way to describe idea-getting, but I think it’s much like any avenue people pursue. Sometimes the solution just hits you.
One of the things that makes Richelle’s work is special because it holds little pieces of Pennsylvania.
The opening of leaf buds in early spring is such a special and short time of year. It’s ephemeral. Before we know it, it’s summer then fall again. My work almost captures that promise of spring and new growth. In the process it teaches us about the trees that make up our unique landscape by name.
Richelle, who is also our Yellow Breeches Chapter Treasurer, will be at Fall Into Fine Craft with over fifty other fine artisans, so mark your calendar today! You can see more of Richelle’s work at www.metalledwith.com, on our Gallery page at www.ybcrafts.org and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/metalledwith.