Bitty Barnacle Earrings Charred Series

Kate Mess

The Good Supply in Pemaquid Maine Enamel Artist Kate Mess Bitty Barnacle Stud Earrings in Black Enamel and Argentium Silver Handmade in USA
  • The Good Supply in Pemaquid Maine Enamel Artist Kate Mess Bitty Barnacle Stud Earrings in Black Enamel and Argentium Silver Handmade in USA
  • $65.00

A modern take on marine life, these biologically-inspired earrings are sophisticated fun.

Copper is fold-formed to imitate the unique angular barnacle, and colored glass is fused to the metal.  The result: Vitreous enamel, a material of near-permanence and durability.

The Charred colorway showcases a special feature that adds texture. We call it diamond dust.

In fact, the fine dust used to develop the “charred” surface is a reclaimed by-product called cupric oxide, which is ash left in the kiln after the firing process. Enamelists call it “firescale.” 

We are inspired by artists who seek ways to repurpose what can be considered a waste material by some. Both Kate and her husband, ceramic artist Jonathan Mess, try to make reclamation a central feature of their work. This results in one-of-a-kind pieces that gently urge us to remember that every natural resource in our world is worth saving and treasuring for future generations.

Wear these earrings to seize the moment and also to celebrate slowness. The splash of color in the surprising two-tones of the enamel speaks to the beauty of now, while the very nature of barnacles roots us to permanence.

- Small barnacle measures approximately .4" x .15" x .25"
- Sterling silver posts

Kate Mess is an award-winning contemporary jeweler, artist, and designer. She muses with enamel, metal, pattern, and ornamentation while taking inspiration from her home: rugged and gorgeous midcoast Maine.

Making jewelry that pushes boundaries and offers new definitions of adornment, Mess is intrigued by experimentation, clever design, color, pattern, and silhouette.

At The Good Supply, we believe there is infinite value in the idea of slow living; slow enough for barnacles to grow, reclaiming space and intention. That’s why we love Kate Mess.

Kate’s work and artistic processes illustrate the value of taking time. Whether hand sawing designs into metal, melting down repurposed materials, or carefully collecting the ash by-product of kiln fired enamel for the next piece of jewelry, she lets the process guide and inspire her along the way.

From the Artist:  I enjoy imagining my creative inquiries as they leave my studio and go off into the world to live a life completed with you, emerging from my two hands in my studio in the Maine woods to come alive adorning your life or home.”

We are proud to work with both Kate and her husband Jonathan Mess, award-winning ceramic artist. Their studio endeavors have been closely linked since they met in graduate school in 2006. Renowned in their respective disciplines for innovation in pushing material boundaries, both Kate and Jonathan credit Maine’s rugged coastline and nature as their primary inspiration.

A recent Good Supply art exhibition entitled Symbiosis explored the similarities and differences in Kate and Jonathan’s work. The way their practices intertwine opens a dialogue of the benefit of cross-medium influence and experimentation. The couple work out of studio spaces in their home, a renovated gambrel barn in Jefferson, Maine.


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