Baltimore’s April Wood uses intricate lace patterns that are hand-pierced in blackened and oiled mild steel. Her work is dark and densely ornamental. But also light and airy.
The artist: Wood grew up in San Antonio, TX, and lived in Austin as a young adult. She earned a BFA in studio art with a concentration in metals/jewelry from Texas State University in San Marcos. Wood also received an MFA in studio art in metals from Towson University in Maryland.
Over the years, the jewelry designer has also taught for a variety of educational institutions, including the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), the Corcoran College of Art & Design, Towson University, Texas State University, Penland School of Crafts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, and the Baltimore Jewelry Center.
Wood has lived and worked in Baltimore for 20 years.
The studio: April Wood works out her home studio in Baltimore producing her own jewelry designs as well as custom and commission work.
In the beginning: Wood grew up pursuing painting and 2-D work and originally focused in college on graphic design (hated it) before switching to painting. Then she discovered metals when she had to take a 3-D class as an elective.
“I loved the physicality of the material and the way I could manipulate it through forming, texturing, patinas, and more to resemble other materials,” said Wood. “I loved sawing from the moment I learned how to do it, and it has stayed central to my process and designs.
The art & materials: One-of-a-kind and small-batch production jewelry and sculpture, predominantly created from mild steel. Wood’s work is hand sawn with intricate lace and botanical patterns.
What’s popular: Earrings ($100 to $250).
Other favorites: Sculptural brooches and necklaces ($400 to $2,000).
- The placement of flowers and plant forms on the body, both real and fabricated varieties.
- Botanical motifs and patterns that appear in nature and in human ornamentation, like lace.
- People’s relationships to food and rituals around eating, the connection of food and nourishment to sensuality. She explores these ideas through the inclusion of antique silverplate, imagery and forms based on fruit and other food forms transformed through a dense lace patterning.
Fun, special or unusual requests: Made a custom metal cake topper for the TV show, “Ace of Cakes,” for Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes.
- Received three individual artist awards and one professional development award from the Maryland State Arts Council.
- Has work in the permanent collection of the Racine (WI) Museum of Art.
- Co-founder of the Baltimore Jewelry Center.
- Has served on the board of SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) for three terms.
- Her work has been published in several magazines, including Metalsmith, Sculpture, and a cover and feature article in Surface Design Journal.
- A solo exhibition at the Contemporary Austin-Laguna Gloria museum in 2012.
- Recently left her positions as studio and program manager and exhibitions director at the Baltimore Jewelry Center to reinvest in her personal art practice.
- Working on new designs.
- Solo exhibition at the Ombre Gallery in Cincinnati, tentatively titled “Juicy Fruits,” Oct. 7-Nov. 4.
- Pieces in Mad for Hoops at Gallery 2052 in Chicago.
- Pieces in WEAR|Contemporary Jewelry in the Penland School of Craft FOCUS Gallery, Aug. 16-Sept. 10.
- Participating in the Trunk Show at this year’s SNAG conference in Providence, RI, June 1-4.
- Teaching several upcoming workshops for Pocosin School of the Arts, Metalwerx, and Silvera Jewelry Academy.
Where to buy:
- Instagram: @aprilwoodmetalsmith
- Facebook: aprilwoodmetalsmith