In fabricating jewelry, I spend a lot of time experimenting with new techniques, such as including layers of resin with fine silver pieces, using keum boo (an ancient Korean technique for applying a layer of 24k gold), and figuring out how to incorporate a vintage piece into something modern and edgy. It is important to me that my jewelry be “green,” so I mostly use recycled sterling and fine silver.
I work both in sheet metal and PMC (precious metal clay). I am a certified instructor in PMC, which is recycled powdered pure silver mixed with an organic binder. I can work the silver much the way a sculptor works clay, though I have to “baby” the PMC because of its tendency to dry out quickly. Once I’ve designed and formed a piece, I fire it in a jewelry kiln. The binder burns away and what remains is a solid piece of .999 fine silver (sterling is .925 and less pure), which then needs polishing and finishing. I usually oxidize my textured pieces and polish the high areas to give them depth and dimension.
Because I like to experiment and find out what happens next, I rarely make the same piece twice, though I will sometimes create variations of a piece. Challenging myself to investigate and learn new skills and techniques is what draws me into my studio every day.
Mirinda Kossoff was born in North Carolina and raised in Virginia. From her teenage years, Mirinda longed to explore the world, so she became an obsessive reader. Upon graduating college, she took the first job that promised an overseas assignment, working for the American Red Cross in Japan. After that heady experience, Mirinda sold her possessions to spend a year living in the U.K., exploring the London museums and the English countryside. Her passion for reading led to a career as a writer, journalist and communications director. Her first foray into artistic expression involved mixed media collages that were accepted into several juried exhibitions, including two at the Durham Arts Council. Mirinda’s metal work reflects her love for mixed media. Her designs are an investigation into materials, techniques and layering. Her work in sterling and fine silver is highly textured and often incorporates beautiful stones or specimens from nature.