Award winning metalsmith Julie Sanford grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She always had an interest in rocks and jewelry. Her dad was a serious rockhound who did lapidary work, silver jewelry fabrication and made a living electroplating organic jewelry components. He passed away at age 39 when Julie was 16. She was devastated. She decided all she wanted to was become a jewelry maker so she could use his tools, metals and stones that he collected and cut by hand.
Julie’s education includes a degree in Art Education from Western Michigan University. She also completed studies at The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Oxbow Summer Program of the Chicago Institute of Arts, Kendall College of Art and Design and The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco.
Julie has been creating quality bench-made jewelry for over thirty years. She enjoys combining organic elements and textures with contrasting contemporary details creating one of a kind pieces that are fabricated, soldered, fused, formed, hammered and reticulated with various metals, final finishes and extraordinary gemstones. She began working with metal clay in 1998 and uses it to add dimensional elements to her fabricated statement pieces. Her work is featured in galleries, books, magazines and museum stores.
Some of Julie’s most recent or notable honors include: Jurors Choice Award Grand Haven Festival of Arts 2019, Featured Maker/Instructor of the Year Halstead Inc. 2019, Grand Prize Winner of the live Project Embellish- Jewelry Design Challenge 2018, Finalist in the inaugural Halstead Kinetic Design Challenge for the Society of North American Goldsmiths, Art Jewelry Magazine Design Challenge Winner, July 2013, Grand Prize Winner.
Julie’s teaching experience includes visual art classroom instruction with an emphasis on curriculum integration, art history, ceramics and jewelry. Julie has extensive experience leading jewelry related classes and workshops at national trade shows and conferences, technical schools, universities, private studios and galleries. She is also the director and lead instructor at Studio JSD.r of the Rio Grande and Lark Books Jewelry Design Challenge 2011 and Finalist in the Design Challenge For Metal Clay Artists Magazine 2010.
Julie teaches our Metalsmithing Classes, Specialty Workshops, Metal Clay for Metalsmiths and Camp PMC Certification, Guided Studio and Wedding Band Workshops. She loves to do custom bridal and special restylings and her current work is featured in the Studio JSD Gallery.