I am inspired by pop art, op art, and geometric forms. These inspirations fueled a collection of many books over the years about artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Anusczkiewicz, and Victor Vasarely. Influenced by the incredible images within these books, I tear out the pages I am most drawn to and use them as raw materials in my jewelry creations. Images that are typically hidden away from view, books live most of their life on a shelf after all, are moved to the body utilizing acrylic to distort and manipulate them to my own unique vision. Layered and sculpted by hand, pages are bonded between solid acrylic sheets to create unique pattern and color combinations. The acrylic gives the images depth and refracts them through the surface of the material changing their appearance from each angle of view. Transparent from one angle while appearing graphic and colorful from another, no two are ever the same.
Jennifer Merchant is a studio jewelry artist based in Minneapolis, MN. A lover of jewelry since birth, she discovered metalsmithing in high school and went on to earn a BFA in Metals and Jewelry from the Savannah College of Art and design. Upon graduating and moving back to her hometown, Jennifer no longer had access to a fully equipped studio. Making do with what she had, Jennifer began experimenting with alternative materials and developed the layered acrylic technique for which she is known today. Merchant has been a full-time artist since 2010 and has exhibited her work across the United States as well as Zurich, Switzerland. Merchant’s jewelry has been published in national magazines such as American Craft and Ornament, and has been exhibited at museums including the Museum of Art and Design in NYC, SCAD Museum of Art in GA and the Racine Art Museum in WI.