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Jama Watts

Jama Watts

Kentucky Crafted Artist
  • Jewelry


    I am a Kentucky girl through and through - born in Paducah, and raised in Eminence and Lebanon.  Like most kids, I was introduced to art in elementary school.  Going to the art room was always something special for me.  I loved getting my hands dirty with clay, painting and drawing.  But, since my dad was an engineer and I was good at math, I always thought I'd be an architect.

    To this end, I took mostly construction, drafting and other classes in middle and high school in order to prepare myself for college classes.  However, during the summer of 1992 I attended the Governor's Scholars Program at Centre College.  I then began to focus on drama and the arts.  After a meeting with the Dean of Architecture at the University of Kentucky, I found that I needed to take an art class in high school.  With my love of art rekindled, I decided to study art in college and attended Campbellsville University where I focused on painting, sculpture and art history.

    With my background in painting (usually with vivid colors straight from the tube) my jewelry designs tend to be bold, if not a little eclectic.  In addition to this, I enjoy knowing that pieces are hand-made.  When I purchase another artisan’s piece, I like seeing the hammer marks or wire wrapping. It’s like part of them was left in my jewelry.  While I go for a finished, professional-looking piece, leaving that mark or part of me in my designs reminds wearers that my hands made their pieces.

    I read a lot of magazines and books about bead-weaving techniques, but it’s not until I begin a piece that I know where I’m going.  I might do a rough sketch of a piece, but I mostly make one of a kind works that are created on the fly.  Working this way allows for greater creativity and often leads me in unexpected directions.

    I currently reside in Lebanon, KY, where I work out of my studio and am the proud mother of a budding artist named Amber.  Recurring themes in my work are texture and color.  Fun and funk are what drive me!

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