Linda May Studio

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Meet the Artist


  • About This Artist

    I make exuberant textile jewelry. It's for women who want a big look, a lot of necklace. It's jewelry with attitude. I love working with felt. You can feel the color. My Philadelphia studio clatters with trays of bright beads and bins of warm felt. With needle and thread, I meticulously hand stitch each tiny glass bead to the felt. I make the big silver chain by hand.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: It’s no accident I make textile jewelry. I’ve been sewing all my life. In high school I could start a dress in the morning and wear it that night on a date. I taught myself metalsmithing to give the textile jewelry heft and presence.

    A: Felt is luscious. You want to touch it. It really holds color; you can feel the color. And when you sew little glass beads to the big felt rounds, you get the pleasure of hard and soft, big and small, pattern on pattern.

    A: I’m a Ph.D. anthropologist. I did fieldwork in India, where the textiles are intense and people combine strange bright colors in ways that surprised me. To quote the legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, “Hot pink is the navy blue of India.”

    A: Color gets my attention. Lush, crazy colors get me every time.

    A: I’ve discovered a cadre of women who like a big look, jewelry with attitude. As one of them said to me, “If you can’t see it across the room from the back of a galloping horse, why bother?”



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