Jill Kathleen Designs are bold, yet feminine. Jill is inspired by crochet and lace patterns, and is drawn to historical decoration and ornamentation from the Baroque and Victorian periods. She captures the sentiment of these inspirations, yet translates them in unique, contemporary, and understated ways.
Jill creates each piece by hand out of ethically sourced materials such as Fairmined gold, recycled silver, and Fair Trade or US mined gems. Jill's work is exceptionally crafted and she uses traditional metalsmithing techniques such as fabrication, casting, and enameling. She often chooses a matte finish and leaves hammer marks and marks of the handmade as visible attributes in the work.
Jill currently resides and has a studio near Madison, WI. After 11 years of teaching, she left her full-time academic teaching position at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey to pursue her dreams and live closer to family. With a formal education culminating in a bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University, her work is a result of years of technical training, experience, knowledge of art history, contemporary art, and craft. She is originally from the Chicago area and has been making jewelry since she was a child.
In addition to her fine jewelry collection, Jill has exhibited her one-of-a-kind studio jewelry and sculpture nationwide as Jill Baker Gower: www.jillbakergower.com. This work has been published in Metalsmith magazine, the book CAST, and is in the permanent collections of The Metal Museum, The Enamel Arts Foundation, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. In 2015, Jill was a recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship. She recently served on the Board of Directors for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) 2016 - 2019.
When she isn't creating jewelry or metalwork or teaching others to create jewelry or metalwork, Jill enjoys riding her Trek road bike all over Wisconsin and loves spending time with her husband, two young boys, dog, and two cats. She occasionally enjoys sleeping.