Just got word today that a very deserving local jeweler got a very nice national grant. I love news like this! Susan Frerichs, whose studio and line is called Susan Elnora, just received the seventh annual Halstead grant for new silver jewelry designers.
She has been one of my favorites since I spotted her in her studio on the fourth floor of the Northrop King Building—I even named her one of the Best Ofs because I was so taken with her distinctly Midwestern aesthetic and featured her for hip gifts. But by that I mean she actually makes jewelry that looks like the Midwest. Think power lines, railroad tracks, and other scenes from rural American highways. It's like taking a road trip with your accessories. When I see her pieces, they sort of transport me to a place. A place I live, but also a place we sort of have as an icon in our minds. (The press release mentions her "exploration of a fading American mythology," which I think is especially poignant.)
Frerichs will receive $5,000 cash and $1,000 in jewelry supplies, and she intends to exhibit her work in her first national wholesale show—possibly the Buyer's Market in Philadelphia.
Susan regularly shows her work, which runs from $75 to $1,800 at Art Attack and Art-a-Whirl, and her pieces are available at Gallery 360 and I Like You. Something tells me more people are going to be able to buy it in more far-ranging places soon. And we'll be the better for it. Congratulations, Susan!