DiscoveringTheCharmsOfJewelryDesigners

One favors crystal and gold, another uses beer bottle caps, and the third works in silver. The jewelry that Catherine Carter, Sophie Summers, and Debra Watts create from their chosen materials marks them as three of Denton’s most designing women. And they have designs on many of the necks and ears in the neighborhood, Catherine Carter’s Artistry. When Carter drives from her apartment on Lake Street to her studio on the Main, she notices houses. That’s because architectural elements are a recurring motif in her work.

Her square “window” earrings come complete with tiny silver pieces, and two slanted silver bars form the roof of a house dangling from one of her silver chain necklaces. She makes a house ring, a house bolo, and a stunning bracelet of silver discs and squares with a three-roof house as its centerpiece.

“I move a lot,” Carter says, “and a house is a symbol of home.”

But her line isn’t house-bound, by any means. Using silver, gold, steel, and slate, Carter also fashions designs inspired by fans and shields, lightning bolts, and triangles. Many are set with gemstones — carnelian, garnet, lapis, amber, and turquoise. The pieces, ranging in price from S60 to $800, are one of a kind, and Carter sold so many at a recent show in Santa Cruz that her black velvet jewel trays are currently a little bare.

Take This, a gift shop on Main at 5th carries several of her pieces, and her work can also be found at La Estrella on Marcos Street, and at the newly opened Ancient Gods, in Lincoln Square. She is in the Collector’s Gallery at the Denton Museum, and the Gallery of Modern Art in Santa Cruz, which is affiliated with many other museums.

It’s the designing and creating of jewelry that Carter likes best —but, she laments, it’s the selling and bookkeeping that “kind of inundate craftspeople”.

Still, she prefers this to the teaching post she held for a year and a half at the Denton College. Not that she didn’t like the students, but “it was frustrating to watch people being creative all day when you wanted to get to a studio and work on your own things.”

Summers and Watts arrived in her studio a few years ago, offering cooperation. Together they extended jewelry business and became extremely popular.