February Member Spotlight – Jill Gentry | Kentucky Jewelry Artisan

Were you always creative and what was your earliest creation?
Yes, I have always had something in the works. I don’t know what my earliest creation was, but I still have a cross-stitch of the Pledge of Allegiance that I did at an early age.

At what point did you say, “I’m an artist”?
I don’t know that I ever said it, but I have always felt that I was an artist.

What inspired you to become a jewelry artisan?
I started playing with gemstones and glass beads. I liked making earrings. The next step for me was to take classes with a wire instructor. I could look at wire and see the possibilities.

What is your favorite piece (of your own) and why?
I have a piece of Imperial Topaz that my friend gave me. I prong set it to wear as a pendant. I prefer Sterling Silver. I set it in Gold-filled wire. It has become my go to piece to wear when I can’t decide which piece to wear.

Do you harvest your own subject matter or how do you go about selecting the perfect stones and other subject matter?
No, I find that there are so many great Lapidary artists that I can get good quality pieces from, that I don’t feel the need to learn another skill. Selection of my stones is something that I enjoy. I like to go to Gem and Mineral shows when looking for new pieces. I will place the stone in my hand to see I feel a connection with the stone. If I am still holding it after a few minutes then I purchase it.

What inspires you, in general?
Looking out my studio window, looking at nature, a sunny day. Sometimes the rock or gemstone itself, inspires the design I wish to set it in.

If you could be an artist anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I am right where I want to be, in a place that I love. I’m at home in my studio.

What is your dream for future endeavors?
I am always looking for the next challenge. So, I look forward to someone bringing a special piece to set for them in a special way.

Who is your favorite artist?
My favorite artist is my mother, Musie Louise Edmunds Furlong. She taught me to appreciate the arts, not just paintings, photography and drawings but music and the need to be creative and express myself.

What piece are you currently working on?
I don’t have anything currently that I am working on, but there is no off switch to what I am trying to figure out in my head.

Where can people find your work?
I try to set up at shows in the Bowling Green area, but I have some pieces in Franklin, KY at the Gallery on the Square. I am looking to find another store in Bowling Green.

Do you exhibit?
Yes, I do try to exhibit at several of the Gallery shows that are put on around Bowling Green. US Bank and ArtWorks Members Only show. I have also had work in Hopkinsville Art Guild, Pennyroyal Art Exhibition.

Trade shows?
No

Galleries?
Not at present.