Kari Johnson, of Scranton, is the 40th #NEPACreative of 2017. Kari brings creativity to the area through metal smithing. She is a metal smith that specializes in handmade metal jewelry design. Every piece Kari makes is started from scratch, and she also recently started creating small sculptured pieces.
“I started about four years ago just simply messing around stamping on washers you would get from the hardware store,” Johnson said. “It gave me a creative outlet I was looking for. There is just something about manipulating metal, something you see as so sturdy and finalized, that gives the soul satisfaction. Well my soul at least!”
Kari explained that being able to create and show her pieces in NEPA helps people understand the process and gets them interested in the arts. She said anyone can visit AOS Metals, watch her work, and even create something of their very own.
She uses all high-quality metals such as gold-filled, which is 100 times thicker than gold-plated and will not flake or turn your skin green; argentium silver, a higher quality sterling that is brighter and more tarnish resistant; and, of course, copper for fun! Kari stated that most copper pieces are still designed so that there is silver or gold against the skin so that even people with sensitive skin can wear them.
“My biggest inspiration personally is an artist named Sarah Tams. I came across her work when I was living in Jackson, Wyo. Her simple style and stunning turquoise pieces really got me interested in the craft,” Johnson said. “I’m actually not much of a jewelry person, so her work really spoke to me. My own work is inspired mostly by the outdoors. My feather collection has become a popular collector’s item for my best clients. Especially since each piece is fired on it’s own, they all come out differently.”
To Kari, being creative means finding that passion that makes you complete — it is taking something blank and making it yours. It is also making mistakes and finding ways to own them while feeding your soul.
When being considered as an NEPA Creative, individuals are asked to explain how they bring creativity to the area, how long they have been doing it and why, and finally what being creative means to them. Once chosen, the next step is to bring each creative into CoalCreative’s studio space to be filmed for a 60 second video that is shared every Wednesday across all their social media platforms. The series plans to highlight all sorts of creatives throughout the rest of the year. There are no limits to who could be considered. Photographers, musicians, barbers, magicians, and improv artists are just a handful of the submissions CoalCreative has received thus far.
To be considered for the series, submit a consideration form at www.coalcreative.com/are-you-a-nepa-creative or send an email to [email protected]