BY BRIAN RIGGS
FORT MADISON – Erika Wolfe, well-known silversmith from Keokuk, IA, displays new work with her show “Signature Pieces”.
E. I. Dupont is the sponsor for the exhibition. Erika will also take the stage at Lunch-ala-Art program that occurs August 31st at noon. The luncheon features a differing food vendor from Ft. Madison every month followed by gallery talk by the artist regarding her show. Call 319-372-3996 to register for luncheon. The following is Erika’s Artist Statement:
There is jewelry – and then there are Erika pieces. Easy to spot and clearly recognizable when you are familiar with her work. Buyers know they have found something special and collectors can’t stop at owning just one of her pieces.
“The human body is the most intimate gallery that I can think of and the challenge of making beautiful and timeless jewelry – art that is personal, to be displayed in public as a personal statement of individual taste – deeply appeals to me,” says Erika.
For the month of August, featured guest artist, Erika Wolfe, will be exhibiting what she calls her, “ Signature Pieces” and new Touchstones along with a special selection of her one of a kind and limited edition series, earrings at the FMAAA gallery show.
The Signature pieces Erika Wolfe explains, “Are pieces that most express my personal creative design style. I stress the geometric because I believe it to be a visual form that is easily understood – a kind of universal law that expresses an absolute dimension.” She adds, “My pieces set up an aesthetic in which various forces of volumes and voids, color and texture, balance between stone and setting, play and interact.”
Everything begins with a detailed drawing and takes three dimensional form and space from that point on. Many of the pieces for this show come from her special collection of long treasured and saved up stones or work requiring a particularly challenging process of assembly and construction. Everything that she creates is fabricated from sterling silver sheet, wire or tubing and can require truly dedicated amount of time and patience to bring to its final and completed form. “At times the challenge becomes an all consuming task but also one that is more satisfying and meaningful than anything else that I am able to do,” she says.
Over the years, Erika has donated auction pieces of her jewelry to the Keokuk Art Center, “Festival of Trees and Gifts,” the FMAAA Expressions auction and the Main Street, Keokuk, “Summer Street Festival” events.
With a masters degree in silversmithing from California State University, Erika taught high school students until early retirement in 1996. Leaving California for Keokuk brought her closer to her family and gave her the opportunity to devote more of her time to her creative work. “My talent is a God given gift,” Erika concludes, “and as long as He continues to guide my hands and my mind I will go on using the special ability that has been given to me.”