Susan Lenart Kazmer

As featured in Step by Step Beads magazine

Meet the Designer-Artist
'' ... I have always felt that the more experiences you have in life, the more you are able to offer in your work. On my journey, living life, exploring and unfolding as an artist, I find inspiration for my work in various mediums. Watching a bird run back and forth with the tide creates a beautiful rhythm that can be transformed into a three-dimensional form. The visual impact, the color and condition of a dilapidated barn can be captured in a piece of metal.

I love the idea of using found objects as beads. Anything can be used to create jewelry. Found objects, purchased objects, cut up objects, used or created objects. Anything that draws your attention and speaks to you can be used in jewelry. Sewing bobbins, paper and text, product labels, game pieces, hardware, pine needles, clock parts, computer parts, electronic parts, stones, bottle glass shards, rulers, light bulbs, keys, hair, soda cans, small toys, etc. Most people already possess a small collection of personal objects.

I have always had a passion for found objects. Recently I have considered another dimension utilizing found objects. Picking up a piece, holding it and contemplating it, I let the object lead the way as to what direction the finished piece will emerge. The magnitude of energy carried with the found objects from their previous lives can be seen, felt and touched. When you close your eyes and hold the object in your hand you can feel whether the user has enjoyed, neglected, or cherished it. Fear, happiness, struggle, and strength are also feelings embedded in an object. My job as an artist is to take the found object and present it in a new and unexpected way.

Combining these energies in recycled objects is indeed creating a contemporary talisman. Consider the mental power put into a pencil stub worn down by an accountant during tax season, or the mundane repetition locked into a key from an old factory locker, or the freedom embedded in the bones of a free-range chicken. I believe these energies lend power and mystery to ordinary objects. In my work I use them to create talismans worn for protection, freedom and strength.''

Artist Background
Susan Lenart Kazmer is an explorer, inventor and maverick who has pioneered the use of found objects in jewelry making. As an artist and jewelry designer for over 20 years, Susan has developed dozens of ingenious cold connections using staples, rivets, fibers, resins and other materials as a way of connecting components without soldering. Susan's ground-breaking techniques and fresh approach to cold connections uncovers a world of new options that inspire mixed-media artists and jewelers. Susan shares her cold join innovations in her book, "Making Connections: A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jeweler's and Mixed-Media Artists".

Over the years, Susan has won many awards and has had her work included in museum exhibits such as the Smithsonian in Washington DC, the Art Institute in New York and the Huntington Museum of Art, to name a few. The Post Picasso Gallery included Susan's work in The Best of 2004. She's recently become involved with the American Fine Craft Council and was presented the 2006 award of ''Most innovative use of the medium'' from Robert Lui of ''Ornament Magazine.'' Susan is also considered a pioneer in the field of patination--the process of fading, darkening or creating signs of age on metals. She resides in Ohio with her family.

View Susan's website at for more information.

View all of Susan's designs in the Gallery of Designs.