ABOUT THE ARTIST
Originally from Louisiana, jewelry artist Debbie Wetmore has lived in Houston, Texas most of her life. Prior to beginning her jewelry career, she studied architecture and commercial art. An avid collector of beadwork, ethnographic jewelry and artifacts, Wetmore “delights in the theatrical, the asymmetrical, and the playful possibilities of bold design. “Debbie Wetmore achieves an interesting integration of her graphics arts background with her experience in metal and enamel. Wetmore’s work displays an unabashed passion for new stimulus.
ABOUT THE WORK
Wetmore’s jewelry features cloisonné enamel in combination with materials as diverse as antique coins, ceramic shards, rusted metal, gemstones and bone. Enamel, essentially a form of glass, is a demanding medium requiring precise execution. Using delicate gold wire, the design is created on a backplate of gold or silver. Powdered enamel glass is then alternately layered and fired in a kiln until the piece is complete.
“ ‘Breaking the Rules’ is my favorite technique!” exclaims Wetmore, who spends 30-35 hours per week “playing” in her studio. Her dedication to discovering new relationships between the elements she employs sets Wetmore apart in the field of fine craft jewelry.
1992, Jewelry and Enameling, Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
1969, MFA, Institute of Design, Chicago, IL
1966, BFA, Washington University
National Museum of Art, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
Private Collection of Jack Lenore Larsson
2005, “Metal Moods,” Houston Center for Contemporary Arts, Houston, TX
2005, “Metamorphosis,” The Enamelist Society Exhibition Catalogue