Makers ~ Kate Martin ~ East Bay

Artist’s name: Kate Martin
Business name: Kate Martin Jewelry
Email address:

1. Tell us about your work
My primary medium is silver. Copper, bronze, and brass are incorporated for accents. I take pride in personally making the sterling silver ear wires, the glass beads (flamework) and cabochons (kiln fired glass), hammering and forming the mixed metal earrings and necklace pieces to achieve one of a kind designs. Other methods that I use, are etching and lost wax casting. Mixing techniques and metals provides so many possibilities for jewelry designs.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I toyed with different business names, but “Kate Martin Jewelry,” seemed to work best for me

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I actually started out working in clay. However, after numerous weeklong courses at Snow Farm ( Williamsburg, MA) and metals classes at RISD, I was hooked on jewelry making. I’ve been creating jewelry for a quite a while, but now have the opportunity to devote more time to play with the techniques learned and apply these skills to design jewelry that I have fun wearing and others enjoy owning. Juried shows really appeal to me since I love the interactions with people who are attracted to my work and so pleased at having opportunities to get to know other crafts people.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration is varied… shadows of plants, a stone wall, reflections …often trying one technique and then thinking, “I wonder what would happen if I do this or add a different metal …”

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
Right now, I’m into one of a kind earrings and necklaces made from hammered, shaped, mixed metals. I also like making items inspired by friends and family. Recently, I made a pair of silver earrings for a close friend when she retired as a junior high school teacher, kidding her that she finally graduated from 8th grade after 28 yrs. The earrings look like mortarboards viewed from the side, tassels hanging down…kind of a secret unless you know what you’re looking for. The American Food Truck Festival at India Point inspired quirky, themed taco earrings. Various feather jewelry was inspired by my son-in-law.

6. What’s your best seller?
Overall, the one of a kind hammered &/or etched, mixed metal earrings are my best sellers. People appreciate that they are all different and that I make the sterling silver ear wires in varied lengths and styles. It can, however, vary depending on the venue.

Glass pendants / earrings and the feather designs are pretty popular.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I’ve lived my whole life in RI. Growing up, my family spent May to October at a beach house on Narragansett Bay ( commuting to school when it was in session) and in Providence the rest of the year. I’ve lived in southern RI and on the East Bay in my adult life.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
What’s not to love? The beaches, the shops, the little towns, the food…From Pastiche, to Eli’s Kitchen, to Baker Street Cafe to Modern Diner to Cafe Nuovo, to so much on Federal Hill…

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Some of the restaurants I’ve mentioned above are go-to spots. Recently out of state visitors wandered around Warren and Newport, checked out Beavertail and Narragansett Beach, went to Roger Williams to look out over the city of Providence, rode the Crescent Park Looff Carousel and wandered around the Farmer’s Market on Blackstone Boulevard.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Talk to other crafts people…Do what feeds your soul…Keep learning…Be curious…Make sure you have the right tools…

11. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
It is so cool to talk with people who visit my booth and comment on/buy my jewelry. At a recent show, a young woman bought my bronze feather earring and necklace set and put them on to wear right away…She was so pleased and they looked great. Then a 20ish petite woman and her boyfriend arrived. She tried on a single bead, flamework necklace, but the bead looked too large for her body type. I had other beads with me and just showed her the box of beads and two different silver necklace styles and let her have at it. She made a choice and she also walked away wearing a smile and the necklace. It’s fun! I’m doing this because I enjoy the whole process, I’m curious and like interacting with people. ‘Works for me.


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