Helen Nute Wiens
Helen Nute Wiens was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado; as the daughter of a tool & die machinist, working with her hands always seemed a natural path. Wiens graduated from the University of Alaska with a Bachelors degree in biology and a Masters degree in statistics. She began making jewelry when a friend taught her how to use a few basic tools to make a pair of earrings; before long, she was teaching herself bead weaving and more complicated techniques.
In 2005, Wiens moved with her young family to Salem, Oregon and began experimenting with different techniques to create more sophisticated and personal jewelry. Metalsmithing resonated with Wiens, culminating with a workshop in silversmithing. Creating jewelry designed and formed around custom components of her own creation allowed her a freedom of expression that had previously been unavailable. In 2009, she founded Calusa Studio – a place to teach, design and create artisan jewelry. Calusa (pronounced ‘ka-loosa’) comes from her children’s names—Callie, Luke & Sam.
My work reflects myself and the things that I love; elegance, simplicity, order, intention.
I make jewelry that speaks to me and the the things that I love. I’m inspired by elements of the world around me that I find beautiful and calming. I strive to represent this through subtle but intricately planned and expertly crafted representations of that inspiration. I try to reflect this beauty not thru realism, but by universal archetypes that speak to everyone.
My jewelry designs incorporate a lot of flowers, leaves and vining stems. I love Art Nouveau style; the sinuous lines, the organic designs and natural feel that I use in my jewelry is very typical of that style. I mainly use traditional metal-working and silversmith techniques in my work. I have always loved the precision and planning involved when I create pieces with my torch and sheets of metal, but I also find satisfaction practicing fold-forming which allows me to create natural, organic feeling pieces that are much more spontaneous. In my current work I’ve been exploring the use of cement and porcelain in my designs.
Largely self-taught, I take workshops and classes to learn new techniques and improve my skills. For me, experimenting without fear of failure and pushing myself beyond my limits continues to bring my work to a new level.
facebook: Calusa Studio’s Facebook Page