Silversmithing by hand
Designing, pounding, bending and soldering does not limit Shelli Markee to create beautiful jewelry and wire sculptures by hand. It shows the care, love and perfection she puts into her art.
Photo essay by ELISA
How did you get into jewelry making?
I’ve always made something. My parents always encouraged handmade gifts. They preferred it. So my sister and I would work really hard to come up with something new each birthday and holiday. That helped me explore new ideas and new mediums. We sewed and made beaded jewelry and hats, things out of wire…the list goes on. I’m very grateful to my parents for the encouragement, because it set in play a life of making.
About 25 years ago I started playing around with steel wire and about 20 years ago, I took a silversmithing class at Pratt in the ID. That started my obsession with wire and silver. I never tire of it. And I feel I have just scratched the surface.
All my work is done by hand and exclusively by me. Every step takes time and there are a lot of steps before the product is finished. It is time consuming, but I loved every minute of it.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by strong, confident women who follow their passion unabashedly. Women who follow their dreams regardless of the setbacks. They keep going forward.
My long term goal is to show my work in galleries and museums. Whether it’s jewelry related, wire sculpture or a combination of both. My short term goal is to make steps in that direction daily. A daily practice. Exploring new ideas and collaborating with other creative artists is pure joy.
See Shelli’s wire sculptures here.