Nancy Hoyt, on exhibit at Red Chair Gallery, has been making exquisite and oftentimes whimsical silver and gold jewelry for over four decades. She is a native Oregonian, making her first silver ring in a high school art class. Hoyt exclaims, “I absolutely fell in love with metal arts and have never looked back!”
Nancy concentrated in jewelry and metalsmithing at the University of Oregon, earning a BA in fine arts. Early on she worked as a bench jeweler at several jewelry stores, honing her skills. Now she works out of her home studio in Bend, which is a fantastically transformed vintage camper, just one of the many ideas she has transformed into wearable art.
Most of Hoyt’s work is accomplished using the ancient method of lost wax casting. She usually starts with a sketch, an idea in her head or an idea a customer has. She then transforms that idea into three dimensional sculptures she carves out of wax. Tools such as re-shaped dentist picks, files, drills, dremel-type tools and a “wax pen” are used to create the pieces. The wax is encased in a special jewelers plaster called “investment.”
The wax is then melted out of the mold in a kiln. Temperatures go as high as 1350 degrees. She then melts recycled silver or gold in a crucible with a torch, which is then forced into the mold using a centrifuge. The flask is quenched breaking apart the investment plaster and the casting is retrieved. Each piece is then filed, sanded, and finally, stones set and polished into a beautiful piece of art jewelry.
“I get much of my inspiration from nature, interesting faces, and everyday objects that capture my imagination.” Nancy works in gold, silver, precious and semi-precious gemstones. She does custom work including everything from timeless diamond wedding rings to funky tree goddesses set with fabulous jaspers and turquoise. Her pieces are a joy to view and a pleasure to gift or wear.
Nancy Hoyt is a Member Artist at the Red Chair Gallery and she is a featured artist for the month of February.