Brenda Schweder

Brenda Schweder is a recombobulator of found objects into wearable jewelry and sculpture. A queen of the coldest of cold connections, her schtick is combining disparate stuff and quasi-trash into wacky new works with whimsical and joyous narratives.

Schweder is a juried international artist, winning placements in Alliages [Lille/Munich/Valencia Jewelry Weeks], Athens and Milano Jewelry Weeks, and placing in the top ten of Arte y Joya Annual Barcelona [2020-21].

Her work has been shown domestically at New York Jewelry Week, Sedona Arts Center and Boston’s Piano Crafts Gallery, Museum of Wisconsin Art [MOWA], and her former space, A Working Gallery, in Tubac, Arizona, to name a few.

Schweder was awarded as a Top 5 Innovator [2022] by Interweave for her achievements in the DIY jewelry space as designer, author, teacher, influencer, and tool inventor for over two decades.

A re-homed Arizonan, she creates in her desert casita among the coyotes, quail and a javelina or two.


BFF's: Penelope & Glitch / BFF's: Pinky & Frank

Date of Creation: July 5, 2021

List of Materials: Plush toys, vintage clothespins, plastic toys, gemstone beads, pearl heishi, waxed linen

Dimensions: 9” x 13” x 3”

Photographer's Name: Brenda Schweder / Artist

Model's Name: Amber Alwin

Other Contributors: n/a

Conceptual Statement: Betty Boop meets ET. A clash of pop culture spanning decades, this whimsical portrait camouflages a duo of plush wearable necklaces featuring unlikely BFF's. Both Pinky & Frank and Penelope & Glitch represent friendships that transcend race, religion, age, affluence, political affiliation and all other delineators we humans choose to wear to both separate and protect ourselves. Hidden in plain site, the BFF's Series seeks to truly normalize the individualism of all shapes, sizes and forms.


Ima Stork Laundry & Delivery I with

Date of Creation: 05/07/2021

List of Materials: Neckpiece: Millinery stork, deconstructed toy figurine hat, toy washing machine, toy baby/elephant/rattle, spoon charm, Barbie hanger, toy basket, baby reception blanket, Pop Beads, wood molding segment, ephemera, cotton twine, baker's twine, model light and battery. || Hat: Millinery fabric/straw/trim/stork, vintage button, wooden bead, marker, thread.

Dimensions: Neckpiece: 8" x 5" x 4" || Hat: 7" x 8" x 10"

Photographer's Name: Brenda Schweder / Artist

Model's Name: Amber Alwin

Other Contributors: n/a

Conceptual Statement: Betty Boop meets 50's camp. This collaborative narrative portrays the innocence, hope and joy [along with the fantasy enjoyed in the era] of American post-World War families, but magnified with a bit of irony from the new millenium. The stork that so personified the virtue of a society rebuilding, hints of industriousness beyond its time expanding baby delivery to an ambitious laundry side-hustle as well. This pairing is a collaboration between myself and art milliner, Val Kupczak, for a project I originated in 2020-21 named Collaborate: Respond. Kupczak constructed this pink and blue chapeau [Special Delivery] to whimsically coordinate with the chosen neckpiece. Collaborate: Respond is an art project based on inclusivity. Artists and authors collaborated with me by responding to a single work within my narrative jewelry collection via a work in their chosen medium. Collaborate: Respond provided a platform for which there were no age or experience limiters to creative interplay.


Parental Advisory: No Standing at the Dinner Table || Parental Advisory: No Masks at the Dinner Table

Date of Creation: 13/11/2022

List of Materials: Ceramic dolls, miniature chairs, duck faces, waxed linen, steel, filament.

Dimensions: Standing: 6.25" x 2.5" x 2.25", 21.5" long necklace || Masks: 5.75" x 2.5" x 2.25", 21.5" long necklace.

Photographer's Name: Brenda Schweder / Artist

Model's Name: Brenda Schweder / Artist

Other Contributors: n/a

Conceptual Statement: As the eldest of six children, dinnertime was often a means--as it probably was to many families--to instill values and gain a bit of consistency [control?] to a flock of young personalities all vying for attention [position?] and the seal of parental approval [dessert!]. I've titled this duo Parental Advisory. It is part of my Friendship Series inspired by those broken-heart state fair necklaces, each side cheaply engraved. Extension titles to each further my many decades of distance and some tongue-in-cheek sass: No Standing at the Table and No Masks at the Table. [It should be noted that, had I uttered these words out loud at the time, I would have probably received a mouth full of dish soap!] Thus, this portrayal becomes a symbolization of strangulation-via-the-rules and an ode to parenting [and growing up] in the 60's and 70's and the irony that still exists as parents attempt to instill order with the [sometimes] ridiculousness that is all a part of the familial hierarchy.

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