“Silver and I are married”

“When working with silver make it obey you. Smack it around. It’s gotta do what you tell it to. If worse comes to worse tell it you’ll melt it down.”

Heartless words from Wendy Yothers, chair of Jewelry Design department? Or just what comes from a long working relationship with a lustrous metal?

Teapot
Teapot by Wendy Yothers.  Photo: Richard Duane

“Silver and I are a couple,” says Yothers. “We’ve been together a long time. I’ve had my affair with glass. Silver didn’t worry about it.”

Don’t tell the Pope.

Professor Yothers work is part of the collections at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Corning Museum of Glass, Newark, Victoria and Albert Museum in London … and, yes, the Vatican.

Lightning Bolt Yad, by Wendy Yothes
Lightning Bolt Yad (Torah pointer) by Wendy Yothers.  Photo: Richard Duane

“Silver’s my stalwart life partner.  Silver is handsome and glass is hot,” she professes.

“Both know of each other in my heart and they’re gentlemen. They can sit together and they’re fine. I’m the only one who’s suffering. When they’re done with me they find someone else.”

Challis by Wendy Yothers. Photo: Richard Duane
Chalice by Wendy Yothers. Photo: Richard Duane

Says Professor Yothers, “Someone said to me that it’s quite appropriate to allude to relationships in art. That passion, it comes from a different place. It’s self-renewing. It never burns out.”

The risque duo has really gotten around. Their work together have yielded a chalice for Pope Benedict, a picture frame for the last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, and a commemorative reliquary for the 82nd Airborn Division, to name a few.

Wendy Yothers planishing a silver cup. Photo: Rachel Ellner
Wendy Yothers planishing a silver cup. Photo:  Rachel Ellner

Professor Yothers is a professional silversmith and process methods engineer. She worked as a silversmith specializing in restoration, prototype making and production smithing for Tiffany & Co. and Kirk Stieff & Co.  She has exhibited widely and received numerous honors and awards. Among the courses she teaches are silversmithing and silversmithing for industrial processes.

 

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