Richelle Dourte, today’s featured artisan, is serving her second term as the treasurer of the Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, she sits on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, she is the treasurer for Fall into Fine Craft . . . and she is a superb jewelry artist!
What about your medium drew you to it initially and what’s kept you working at it?
Jewelry is like the gateway craft. There is so much variation in skill level and material, and it is not limited to any one particular medium. It’s like miniature craft. What began as a little girl’s pastime eventually became a true interest in metal when coupled with the right tools and education on how to use them. Although it’s metal I identify with, what brought me to this craft is probably the same as what keeps me in it—that variation in material. I get to marry nature with art by using botanical specimens in metal. I can also play with glass, fiber, stone and pigments without losing my style. Working with my hands and all of these possibilities means that it never gets old.
If you had to choose a medium, other than your current one, what would you like to try and why?
I’m generally curious enough that I believe I could enjoy any medium. The first that comes to mind is wheel-thrown pottery. There’s something about that tactile experience that is much more forgiving in cool, wet clay than hot metal. Add to it that I don’t have access to the equipment, and pottery gets another point on the wishing score. Also, potters are just cool, laid back people. There’s something to that.
What are you most looking forward to at FIFC?
I am so very excited to see the talent that our general geographic area represents. Yellow Breeches makes for an excellent community of artists, ready to support one another and standing for high quality, American-made fine craft. I hope our community realizes the special treat this show provides, and I look forward to shopping in local, small businesses while at Fall Into Fine Craft, myself. I can tell–it’s going to be a great event.
To keep up with Richelle, who participates in many fine craft shows, in addition to Fall into Fine Craft, and offers interesting classes in her studio, follow her on Facebook and check out her website. Here are the addresses.