Jody Ochs, Jeweler

Jody Ochs, Jeweler originally from Minnesota and now living and working in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, hand forges and fabricates jewelry in sterling silver, with high karat gold bezels and accents using gem stones and pearls as the focal point.

Often architectural in nature, masculine and feminine forms, occasionally adding texture, are presented in a delicate balance of yin and yang. Her pendants, pins, earrings, bracelets and rings are timeless, elegant and fluid, organic creations.

Jody Ochs

My work is hand forged and fabricated in sterling silver, with high karat gold bezels and accents using gem stones and pearls as the focal point. Often architectural in nature – I incorporate masculine and feminine forms together, occasionally adding texture, presenting a delicate balance of yin and yang. My inspiration comes from the nature surrounding me in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, and places I travel. This transfers into what I feel are timeless, elegant and fluid, yet organic creations.

A Minnesota native, I began designing and creating jewelry in 1994 by wrapping raw gemstones in gold and silver wire. Next, I taught myself lapidary skills, and began carving my own stones. Seeking more challenge and a way to expand my design ideas, I decided to learn silver smithing – fabrication. I am mostly self-taught, attending weekend workshops when time allows.

My latest work includes spiculums; hollow acicular forms. The spiculums themselves begin as raw flat sheet of sterling silver that is cut into particular shapes. These are formed over a groove on the end grain of a wood block by using a cross-pein hammer on the edge of the metal. The precise blow of the hammer begins to move the metal up and around, creating a hollow form.

At times the seams are soldered and the pieces are then combined with other spiculums and/or gemstones set in hand fabricated 22 karat gold or fine silver bezels. Some of the spiculums are forged in both anti-clastic and synclastic techniques allowing the curves to flow in different directions. Often the seam is not bound with solder in the bracelets, as this allows enough movement in the bracelet to be flexible.

My jewelry path is a synthesis of my life and inner spiritual journey. Growing up in the military service, I have lived in many places, including Japan and Germany, and traveled most of Europe. There is evidence of the influences of these cultures in my work. In 1997, a strong yearning to take my journey to a more peaceful, quiet lifestyle, prompted my move from the inner city of Minneapolis to the pristine mountains of North Carolina. Nestling in the mountains near Asheville, has given way to a more intimate relationship with nature, and allowed me the peace of mind to expand both my creativity and smithing skills.
“Creating jewelry is a spiritual journey for me and bears truth to my personal – inner journey of self-realization. The pieces I make come from my heart, and my hope is that they touch yours in a way that inspires you to dance the true joy of your own path.”
I am a member of the following organizations:
American Craft Council
Carolina Designer Craftsman Guild
The Society of North American Goldsmiths
Southern Highland Craft Guild