We recently caught up with local Mosaic member artist Joy Kruse at Artstreet and learned about her artistic background!

When did you decide to become an artist?

Looking back on my life I have always been an artist. I loved art in school and went to UW-Whitewater for art my first year in college. All of the art classes I took, however where 2-dimensional. I just did not excel at that and eventually left art behind for a nursing degree. I had never been exposed to 3-dimensional art. When I started working with metals it was by accident, just to make one silly project. That was all it took. It has been a natural progression of learning and doing for the past 14 years.

Joy Kruse

Joy Kruse

That’s incredible! Who would have thought, an RN to a jeweler! How did you gain all of the training and knowledge you have as a jeweler?

I never had any idea I would become a jeweler. I have learned the jewelry trade on my own with the exception of a few workshop weekend classes. For the past 14 years I have done both jobs but recently I just hung my hat up as a nurse and only work at my own business. I simply ran out of time to do both and my jewelry work is wonderfully busy.

Ocean Jasper - Joy Kruse

Ocean Jasper – Joy Kruse

What a wonderful thing to keep you busy! Are there certain themes that are found often in your pieces?

Most of my work is inspired by nature. The unusual stones I incorporate into my pieces are works of art themselves. I am just honoring them. When I make my best pieces it’s like being in a trance. I’m completely focused on the process and when it’s finished I often cannot believe what has come from my own hands.

Joy Kruse

Joy Kruse

So besides nature, are there any artists or places that inspire the pieces that you create?

I cannot say that other artists inspire my work. I love other artists work, and I often buy and wear other artists work, but I try not to examine it or let anyone’s work influence my own. That being said, it is pretty much impossible to achieve. Everything has been done. I was at the Field Museum in Chicago staring at a pair of earrings made thousands of years ago, and they were so similar in design to something I had made the week before, I just chuckled to myself. As an artist almost everything can inspire your work. There is inspiration everywhere you look in shapes and colors and meaning. I keep a note card in my purse and I write things down as I think of them or see something striking. Traveling really helps refresh your eyes. I don’t get to do that very often but when I do I can tell it’s like pushing a restart button.

Fossil Mouth - Joy Kruse

Fossil Mouth – Joy Kruse

One last thing – Any current shows or events coming up that we should look for?

I have a show in Wausau September 12th – 13th. I also teach metals the week of September 14th at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. If you want to try your hand at making some jewelry, try a class, you never know!

Check out the rest of the Mosaic Member Artists on our online artist registry!