The Artists

Su Olsen

Eclectic art jewelry

(206) 842-5912
su1olsen@gmail.com

I create unique jewelry that can be worn or displayed. My work can be seen in many galleries and museum stores across the country, including the Seattle Art Museum and Seattle Asian Art Museum.

My jewelry is a combination of history and spirit. Thirty-five years ago, on Martha's Vineyard, I found a lovely old strand of wooden prayer beads from Asia in an antique store. They had the beautiful patina of a well-loved piece. I enjoy working with the soft patinas of ancient and ethnographic beads and pieces that I have collected over the years in my many travels, and with traders from around the world. I feel their spiritual resonances and imagine the diverse lives they've been a part of.

Because of my longstanding interest in textiles, I looked for a way to blend the patinas of the beads with the textures of the cords. I use a technique created by Japanese artisans in the 7th century. Kumihimo involves weaving cords on a small loom called a marudai. 1000 years ago, the samurai used these strong cords to bind their armor together.

As a silversmith I enjoy discovering organic forms in my work... seeing where the fluidity of the metal will take me, and fabricating forms that compliment the ancient materials.

If you are looking for unusual jewelry to wear or to give, please visit my shows and see my one-of-a-kind work. I'm always exploring new ideas.