Hello! I'm Jess, the designer and maker behind Mirage Metals. I grew up collecting rocks, at times adding googly eyes and making cardboard box homes for them. Without thinking much of it, I began working at a crystal shop while I was in college for interior design & architecture. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by giant amethyst towers and quartz-encrusted geodes, and my love of rocks was rekindled. I craved a change from my computer-centered coursework, so in my last year of school I enrolled in a metalsmithing class. I was captivated by the processes that brought life to a seemingly rigid material and excited to have found an art form that aligned with my love of natural stones. Since then I have continued to learn about new tools and techniques, and now explore ideas on a smaller scale through handmade jewelry & object design.
Mirage Metals is a collection of handmade jewelry and homewares inspired by the ever evolving landscapes of our planet, and the relationships between oneself and the spaces around us. At times I design around a particular stone, working to create a piece that highlights its natural beauty. Certain designs take on organic forms inspired by geological formations and mineral textures, or utilize geometric shapes and patterns from architecture and our built environments. No matter the inspiration, at the core of each piece is a promise of integrity and a desire to add beauty to our chaotic lives.
Mirage Metals is committed to transparency and is inspired by the metalsmithing processes used throughout time. Each piece is handmade in my Fort Collins jewelry studio. Every piece is hand fabricated or crafted in beeswax to be cast in metal. Hand fabricated pieces begin as metal sheets and wires, which are designed, measured, sawed, filed, soldered, and polished by myself in my studio. Certain components and finished pieces, like my upcoming mineral-textured collection, are brought to life using the ancient lost wax casting process. For these works, I first create models in beeswax, either hand-sculpting or using my own custom molds. I opt for a sustainable local beeswax instead of the synthetic waxes typically used in jewelry production today, and my pieces are cast in Fort Collins by another Colorado business. I prefer designing and producing my own components like ear wires, however I source chains and certain findings from trusted vendors. My selections are always made in USA or Italy. I believe these daily details make a difference over time, and am proud to support other small businesses through the operation of my own whenever possible.