Kai Hill

Kai Hill is a goldsmith based in NC. She graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Colorado College, where she taught jewelry making in the Arts and Crafts department. She studied under Tom Muir at Arrowmont School of arts and crafts, and Arthur Hash and Elliot Clapp at Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft. She also studied stone setting at the New Approach School for Jewelers. Kai’s work has morphed over the years from 3D motorized sculptures to fine jewelry. Kai prioritizes queer commitment ceremonies, and explores ways of breaking down gender binaries both in how jewelry is made, and how it is worn.

New Mexico born and raised, Helena Christine Gates is a U.S.-based photographer, digital media professional, and jewelry fanatique. Her work specializes in highlighting the micro aspects of visual art. What makes an image significant according to Helena are the small and often swallowed moments of intimacy within each image that play supporting roles for the good of the whole.

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The Presence of Absence

Date of Creation: March 10, 2023

List of Materials: Freshwater pearls, sterling silver, gold, citrine, peridot, diamonds, silk, carnelian

Photographer's Name: Helena Gates

Model's Name: Lina Flefel, Justin Laidlaw, Corbin Richards

Conceptual Statement: We were shooting with this wonderful friend of ours in an abandoned rail yard to document my designs as well as a few pieces from my personal collection. This included my grandmother’s wedding band. We got so swept up in the shoot, somehow the ring disappeared deep in the grass. Unable to accept the loss, Helena and I decided to return several weeks later with a metal detector dressed in our work attire (business casual, decked out in jewelry). It was a hilarious defeat. Turns out abandoned railroad tracks are littered with metal shards of all kinds. Yet there we stood in the deepening dark, ever hopeful in our finery.

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Needle in the Haystack

Date of Creation: 10/03/2023

List of Materials: Freshwater pearls, sterling silver, gold, citrine, peridot, diamonds, silk, carnelian

Photographer's Name: Helena Gates

Model's Name: Lina Flefel, Justin Laidlaw, Corbin Richards

Conceptual Statement: During the re-enactment with our friends/models, new scenarios arose. Everyone was so creative and collaborative that the place and the task at hand took on new meaning. Everyone was dripping in jewelry, yet the original reason we were there was the heartfelt absence of it. Through play and improvisation in the name of jewelry photography, I was able to release the loss.

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