of SPARKFLIGHT STUDIO
(Above: "Bluebird in the Skies" Pendant by R.Jensen)
If you've never heard of Ruth Jensen, or seen her work
before ... be prepared to be blown away!
Ruth works under the name of Sparkflight Studio, the
home of her amazingly creative family! The name
"Sparkflight" was first conceived by one of her sons,
Tyler, for his web design company, who tragically died
at the very early age of 24 in 2002. Since his death,
Ruth and her 3 sons have put their artistic expression
and works under this name in his memory and you will
find lifesize wire sculptures, jewellery, drawings, paintings
and soul touching music!
Above, is a lifesize sculpture of 'Man drinking coffee' and
dog, created by Ruth Jensen, which was purchased by the
Ruth has such a mesmerising body of stunning wirework
sculpture that it is very hard to pick a selection, but as
most of you dear readers and makers are drawn to jewellery
design, I will showcase some of her beautiful body decorations
Above: Ruth Jensen's REVERIE Necklace
I feel priviledged and honoured to have Ruth give us a little
background information as to how she got started as a wire
Above: DRAGON QUEEN NECKPIECE & CHAIN by R Jensen
WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?
I was born and raised in a city in the north central U.S. state of
Minnesota, called the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". My husband and
I built our family home on a marsh there over 20 years ago, and
raised four sons on it. Now we spend our summers there, but
head south to California in the winters.
Above: ARABESQUE PENDANT by Ruth Jensen
DID YOU ALWAYS ASPIRE TO BE JEWELLERY DESIGNER?
DO YOU HAVE A FORMAL TRAINING?
I am a late bloomer who never gave a thought to jewellery,
though I was always puttering with an artistic project:
drawing, painting, woodcarving. My formal training was
a few basic art classes over 30 years ago. I discovered wire
as a medium in 2006, when surgery gone wrong left me
bedridden for a couple of months. Painting and carving in
bed were too messy - wood chips everywhere! - so I tried
to make jewellery. This didn't go at all well, since I sent
beads flying all over the room and couldn't get out of bed
to retrieve them. However, I found I could fashion the
beading wire, sans beads, into sculptures and it was such
fun that I couldn't stop! A couple of years later, I did try
jewellery again, thinking of it more as sculpture to wear
and this approach worked well for me.
Above: SUMMER WAVE Necklace by Ruth Jensen
WHERE IS YOUR STUDIO? DO YOU WORK OR TEACH
I don't teach. I have a large studio room in my Minnesota home,
with a couple of worktables and lots of storage. In California,
my tools and supplies are spread throughout the house and
garage. It is difficult to bring everything back and forth, so I
try to focus more on wire sculpture in the north and jewellery
in the south.
Above: Ruth's Bird sculptures were commissioned for Harry Winston's (Jeweler
to the Star's) shop window displays around the world !
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
A better question might be, what DOESN'T inspire me?!!
Nature (including people), music, history, emotions, films,
photos, artwork, colours, beads and stones, fabric, other
people's creations and dreams ... all wind up influencing
my direction. I keep a notebook handy day and night to
jot down some of the (seemingly) wondrous pictures and
ideas that stream constantly through my head.
Above: Ruth Jensen's CHANDELIER Necklace
HAVE YOU EVER FILMED ANY TUTORIALS
OR BEEN PUBLISHED IN MAGAZINES?
Alas, I have no tutorials. I did, however, make a stop motion
video called "Make a Wire Bird". It's 36 seconds of fun on
One of my talented sons wrote and recorded the music for it.
My work has been featured on many blogs and on Etsy's
front page, but not in any paper publications except for a
tiny credit in American Craft Magazine.
Above: COPPER MEDALLION by Ruth Jensen.
WHERE DO YOU SELL YOUR WORK? AND HOW DO YOU
Promotion is pretty low on my 'to do' list. I sell through my
ETSY SHOP and by direct email commissions that come via
my WEBSITE through referrals and repeat customers.
My FACEBOOK page is another contact and I also post all my
work on FLICKR.
Above: PANTHER Neckpiece by Ruth Jensen.
WHAT PIECE OR PIECES ARE YOU CURRENTLY
Because each creation is unique, I do not have a favourite design,
but I do love making bold sculptural necklaces. I go back and
forth between sculptures (mainly birds and creatures) and jewellery.
Since I finish thing in my head long before my hands can catch
up, I like to have several projects going at once to keep things
Above: COPPER VINE Necklace by Ruth Jensen
HAVE YOU ANY ADVICE TO PASS ON TO OTHERS?
Experiment! Enjoy! Stay open to the inspiration at the
Above: STERLING and SERPENTINE Necklace by Ruth Jensen
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE ASPIRATIONS AND
I have no aspirations other than the usual one to become
a highly paid world famous sculptor and jewellery
maker and no plans other than to continue making
stuff in happy obscurity!
Above: R Jensen's SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL Necklace
I am sure that Ruth will get the recognition
she so truly deserves - and that's one of a
Mastercraftswoman and true Artist!
Above: SPIRAL SLIDE pendant by Ruth Jensen