As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, Jill Dunn focused on painting as a double-major in studio art and psychology. She also found the design aspect of jewelry very captivating. When she graduated, however, she set aside her love of art and pursued a 42-year career working with developmentally challenged children and adults.
Retiring as President of Bona Vista in 2018, Jill embarked on her second career and returned to her first love, art.
“As I prepared to retire, I started to study jewelry, took classes and found working with this medium to be very satisfying,” Jill says. “Designing jewelry allows you to explore so many avenues with the metals, patinas, textures!”
Described as contemporary and traditional, Jill designs her jewelry with wonderful organic and natural textures, such as rocks, leaves and tree bark, to enhance each unique piece. She also introduces metals, such as copper, brass and sterling, to enrich the overall look. Her jewelry is intricately designed, but sturdy and lightweight.
As a lifelong learner, the Hamilton County artist finds challenge in choosing the perfect colors and textures, understanding the difference between the various metals, and the problem-solving aspect of pushing the metal to uncover new designs.
“I love all of the colors and finding ways to introduce color and texture to my designs,” she says. “I love the challenge of making a new design and playing with the bale and making it a dramatic piece of the overall design. I put texture wherever I can to give my work dimension.”
Living in Indiana also impacts Jill’s original jewelry designs, as she finds inspiration in the Hoosier landscape filled with beautiful trees, corn fields, flowers and bean fields, and as the leaves change color.
“Each collectively has an impact on my many textures and colors,” she says.
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