Nature stirs my imagination. I am both a collector of natural artifacts and an observer of the natural world; I seek to explore the beauty and delicacy of nature, translating the delicate patterns I see into the work I create.
I am drawn to both traditional and contemporary techniques in jewelry making. I love to experiment and push the boundaries of the material. In my most recent work, I am drawn to the nebulous, yet static qualities of plastic resin. I freeze pieces of silver, traces of paper, leaves of gold and other minuscule fragments, capturing their essence in time. In the resin viscous state I attempt to arrange these objects to create a balance of line and form. Once the resin is set, I often rework the surface to expose the embedded object while leaving the resin semi-translucent. No matter how much preparation and planning is given to the craft of resin jewelry, the maker is always subject to the whims and uncertainty of the chemistry and substance itself. Resin jewelry brings out the alchemist in me because it requires raw, unrelenting experimentation.
Born outside of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Carla Pennie grew up experiencing both the majestic beauty and social challenges of a country under strife. Pennie attended the University of Ulster receiving a BA with honors in Fine and Applied Art. After spending the majority of her life in Northern Ireland, Carla decided to work and travel, art tutoring in New York State, working on a barge on the Seine River in France, and as a museum technician at Pecos National Historical Park in New Mexico. She returned to the U.K. in 2001 completing an MA in Gallery Studies from the University of Essex, in England.
Carla Pennie set up home and studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So drawn to her roots in Northern Ireland, she will always return, and now shares her time between both places.
Public Collections National Museums Northern Ireland
Selected Shows 2017 Pattern, Rhythm, Repetition, Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery, Washington Celestial: Comets, Cupids, and Other Heavenly Bodies, Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery Ann Arbor The Original American Craft Council Shows, Atlanta, Georgia, St Paul, Minnesota 2016 Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery, Washington American Craft Council Shows, Atlanta, Baltimore and St Paul 2014 Top Jewels, Durango Arts Center, Colorado EACA Eldorado Arts and Crafts Association, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Spring Show (2014 -2012) MADE, Space CRAFT, Belfast, N. Ireland Louder Than Words, Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery, Washington 2013 Celebrate, Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, N. Ireland Craft Exhibition, Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, Kansas Nature of Jewelry, Peninsula School of Art, Fish Creek, Wisconsin Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, Colorado 2012 Heavy Metal, Precious Metal, GVG Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico Rhythm and Rhyme, Fuller Lodge Los Alamos, New Mexico 2011 Radical Jewelry Maker Over, Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe NM Emerging Artist, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, Colorado County Antrim Craft Exhibition, The Braid, Ballymena, N. Ireland Jewelry Show, GVG Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico 2010 Plastics Show, Velvet Da Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Selected Publications Celestial, Ornament Magazine, Vol. 39 No. 4, 2017 Photo Gallery, Handcrafted Jewelry, Winter 2012 Resin demo and Jewelry Salon, Jewelry Artist Magazine, September 2011 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs, Lark Books 2010 Resin Trends, Jewelry Artist Magazine, February 2010