Clouds and Ladders

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Meet the Artist

Headshot of Cindy Liebel
  • About This Artist

    The designer of Clouds and Ladders jewelry, Kate Joseph, is inspired by her love of nature and the history of art and design. Informed by the ideas that jewelry can be worn to empower and facilitate self-expression, her designs are often customizable. She carefully solders, fills, sands and finishes each piece by hand in her solar-powered studio in a redwood forest north of San Francisco.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: When designing, I find inspiration in the world around me: landscapes, the moon, plants, and even the work of artists whose work I admire. Using my love of modern art & design history, I transform these ideas into wearable interpretations meant to activate your imagination. The making process involves soldering the brass frames, filling them with high quality polymer clay, and then a multiple step sanding/finishing process to create the smooth, matte finish that makes C+L jewelry so unique.

    A: I grew up hearing the stories behind the jewelry worn by my mother and grandmother. The jewelry was usually given to them by loved ones or collected as mementos of places they had visited. Each item was a small but meaningful reminder that they could take with them to empower, comfort, and anchor them to a deeper principle. My hope is that C+L jewelry can accomplish that in some way for each person who wears it.

    A: I've designed many jewelry pieces to be customizable, allowing you to collaborate with me to create personalized jewelry that compliments your individuality.The jewelry is also surprisingly lightweight, making it easy to wear (you'll forget you have it on!)

    A: Instagram is one place I go for both design inspiration as well as defining my values. There you can see the work and read the words of artists around the world. For example, when the bright, modern colored marbled fabrics by a textile designer appeared in my Instagram feed, I was inspired to try to create jewelry with the same look. And as soon as I read about a jewelry designer in Australia who had converted her studio to run on solar power, I knew that that was something I wanted to do.

    A: When the pandemic started, having my foot in both a medical field as an occupational therapist, and the artisan world as an jewelry designer was unexpectedly advantageous. While many of my friends in medical fields needed masks immediately when none could be found, my friends in the craft world wanted to help but didn't know how. I was able to connect the two groups and as a result, 100s of masks were made and sent to medical professionals who needed them!

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