Erica Stankwytch Bailey
Growing up I was always elbows deep involved in some creative endeavor. From early on I knew that I wanted to be a maker when I grew up. After graduating from North Carolina School of the Arts with a diploma in the applied arts, I attended East Carolina University where I received a BFA in Metal design in 2001.
From the first metals survey course I was hooked on metal-smithing and enamored by the malleability of the metal. After graduation I began offering metalsmithing and jewelry fabrication courses at the local community college. Teaching has been a very integral part of my creative life since that time.
In 2004 I decided to return to my roots as a maker and founded Erica Stankwytch Bailey Jewelry. In a tiny studio nestled in the backyard of my home in Fayetteville, North Carolina I am the owner, operator, designer and maker of my own handmade business. This was a dream come true!
In the years that have followed, my contemporary sterling silver jewelry has found its way around the world. The business is growing and my work is constantly evolving.
My life today is comprised of creative moments in my studio, cherished moments with my children, adventurous moments on the road teaching workshops and promoting my work, and quiet moments reflecting on the inspirations found in all living things.
My work is both organic and architectural. It is created from the visual fragments of a life of collecting images. I inspect the world in great detail and have always collected shells, seedpods, stones and interesting organic elements.
My studio often resembles a laboratory with trays of specimens lined in rows. The walls and pages of my sketchbook are covered with myriad images of my world from nano-photography of plant life to the expansiveness of the Grand Canyon.
In designing, making and living I see a strong relevance for the smallest things within the larger context; the seed that becomes a plant, the jewelry on the wearer, our planet within the universe. I use a variety of techniques in an effort to create pieces that are tactile and invoke in the wearer a sense of personal attachment.