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Janet Ullrich Theriot

Metal / Lafayette, LA / Master Craftsman

Artist Statement

I stumbled upon jewelry making by accident and quickly realized that there is no limit in the medium of metal.
I’ve always been intrigued by nature and combining the coldness and harshness of silver with an organic feel and look was the challenge and remains the main drive of my creations. Finding peace and calm in the fast pace world we live in is essential for the well-being of our body, mind and spirit. The process of creation of each piece soothes the soul and the end result should do the same.
I like using freeform semi-precious cabochons and working around the stone, rather than having the stone fit into a design. I let the stones and metals guide my creation process.

Biography

I was born in 1973 in the East of Germany. In my past that part of Germany was called the German Democratic Republic. The fall of the wall was and will be probably the biggest event in my life that will follow me and guide me in my path through life. Freedom and personal expression are very important to me. Not being able to travel much while growing up, I was in need to explore the world, discovering different cultures, their histories, their treasures, museums, art. My adventures took me to various places in the US, Mexico, Australia, parts of Europe.
One of my travels led me to New Orleans where not long after I met my husband and together we started a life in Lafayette in 1995. I studied at USL, now UL of Lafayette and graduated in 2003 with a degree in fine arts. During my time as a student I stumbled upon jewelry making and got hooked on working with metal making wearable art. While my concentration of studies was graphic design I found much more joy and freedom in the jewelry creation process.
I joined the Louisiana Crafts Guild in 2004 and been a member since then. I am still a part-time silversmith, due to lack of time. I have two young children that inspire me a lot but are my creative priority. My work is being sold in Gallery Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette and I participate in local festival art markets. I always try to create new ideas, new lines of jewelry, to melt different hands-on techniques into the working process, like the crochet pieces with freshwater pearls or various pebbles. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a child and being able to incorporate that technique into my work keeps those memories alive for me. It allows me to sit with my children while they watch Disney movies or my husband watching the Sci-Fi channel.
I create under the name SilverSister as I work mostly in Silver and personally prefer silver to gold. I am a big fan of nature and I try to create pieces of jewelry that combine the cold hard aspect of metal with the beauty of earth.