Jewelry artist Barbara Kirby meticulously handcrafts one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry in silver and bronze using various metalsmithing and metal clay jewelry techniques.
She started designing jewelry in 2003 during what turned out to be a long battle with breast cancer. What started as a hobby to relieve stress and help focus her attention elsewhere soon became a passion for designing and creating original handcrafted studio art jewelry.
Barbara creates many of her pieces using metal clay, a crafting medium made of microscopic particles of metal mixed with an organic binder. Originating in Japan in 1990's, metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using molds. After drying, sanding, and perfecting the piece, it is then fired in a kiln. The organic binder burns away, leaving the pure sintered metal.
Barbara began her metalsmithing and metal clay studies at the Westchester Arts Workshop in White Plains, NY and went on to study at the Boca Raton Museum Art School in Boca Raton, FL; the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in Truro, MA; and at MetalWerx in Waltham, MA. She continues her study of advanced techniques with metal clay artist Terry Kovalcik of Haledon, NJ.