Sophistique Jewelry is really just one person – me. My name is Meghan Garner. I currently reside in Mishawaka, IN while my husband attends graduate school at the University of Notre Dame. (He’s getting his MBA, which I find very handy!)
I’ve been creating in various mediums for as long as I can remember, and I still dabble in so many craft hobbies that I rarely manage to finish any of the projects I start. I’ve currently got a half-finished blanket and a single mitten sitting in my knit bag, a 200-page rough draft of a novel on my hard drive, and a closet full of canvases and pencil sketches. In fact, I’m convinced that the major reason jewelry-making has worked out so well for me is that it enables me to have a finished product in a matter of hours.
At this point, I’m proud to say that I’m almost entirely self-taught. I prefer to just get in there and get my hands dirty. I make a lot of mistakes, but I also end up feeling much more confident in my abilities. However, this isn’t to say that I can learn everything on my own. Some techniques are simply impossible to figure out by experimentation, and I am very much looking forward to the day that I can afford the tuition for a silversmithing diploma. I also hope to complete the Metal Clay Masters Registry at some point during my career, and am currently pursuing a full certification through PMC connection. Within a few short months, I’ll be a Certified PMC Artisan.
As a jeweler, I like to experiment with as many different techniques as possible in order to have a wide range of inspiration to pull from when creating a new design. I began with wire-wrapping, largely because it didn’t require a large investment in tools and equipment, and I still utilize some of those techniques, especially in my chainmaille work. I also work with traditional silversmithing tools and have recently focused on studying metal clay. I plan on trying my hand soon at enameling, fusing and slumping glass and crafting lampwork beads.
As you can see, the endless facets (no pun intended) of jewelry design have become an addiction that continues to snowball. My once-organized guestroom is now a chaos of equipment and supplies, including a kiln, a torch, a flex shaft, a lightbox, a tumbler, and endless drawers full of pliers, carving tools, gemstones, wire, sheet, and more. I’m always learning, always trying new things, and always looking for unique inspirations. I’m also always looking for good feedback so if you have something to say, speak up! I’d love to hear from you.