Patsy Croft’s work is that of an artful alchemist, mixing metals and glass in such a way as to create singular distinction and enchantment to each piece of jewelry she creates. Her meticulous and Cloisonne creations reflect her love for the exotic places where she has spent most of her life. She has spent over fifteen years studying the ancient
art of Cloisonne, influenced by such renowned masters as Renee Lalique, and more recent artists as John Paul Miller and Larissa Rosenstock. Croft loves her work, almost as much as she loves the ocean, from which she draws much of her inspiration. She spent ten years living in Hawaii, exploring the depths of the sea and recreating the spectacular aquatic scenes in her jewelry. “Living in Hawaii when I was beginning enameling
was a huge influence,” explains Croft, “The colors underwater, and the people there provided a lot of flavor.”
A graduate of Florida State University, Croft majored in fine arts, applying her love of drawing in the creation of the templates she uses for her Cloisonne pieces. She also applies the values she learned while studying ancient art in her work ethic. Croft says, “It influences my work because it makes me desire to be quality, to do the best I can possibly do with what I have to present.”
Her job requires an incredible amount of patience,
as each piece can take several weeks to create. She creates a design template from fine silver and 22k and 24k gold, then firing up to twenty-five layers of enamel for each piece.
The process is very
tedious and painstaking, with the possibility of failure-cracks or
small bubbles within the glass-increasing each time she fires a layer
of finely powdered glass. “You’ve got to really love [Cloisonne]
to do it, because there is a lot of failure,”
says Croft. “It is very unforgiving.” While many of Croft’s
pieces share a similar theme, reflections of a life primarily spent living
on or near a beach, they are all unique. With the template of each piece
being laid out by hand, it’s nearly impossible to create two identical
pieces in Cloisonne. And that is just how Croft prefers it.