Working with others

by Laurel Karnecki


There are things I miss about a “regular job” like the steady paycheck, and co-workers. Most of my days are spent in my home studio, music playing and metal being manipulated, just me and my tools. It’s very satisfying but sometimes lonely, and I do have to make sure I get out and talk shop whenever I can. Enter: the Brookes, two artists I’ve been lucky enough to recently collaborate with.

Brooke Peiffer is a sculptor and ceramic artist who I have been collecting (almost obsessively) for many years. Over five years ago I reached out to her about doing a collaboration, her response was quick and positive. She made a beautiful porcelain piece for me to build around, and honestly, I think I was intimidated. It was too nice for where I was both artistically and technically, so I just set it aside and continued to develop my work.

A selection of work by Brooke Peiffer

A selection of work by Brooke Peiffer

Brooke Rothshank paints miniatures and has very recently had a book published titled “tiny gratitudes”. I love the range of her subject matter, it can be an ice cream cone, a tiny shoe, or a family portrait. No matter what she paints it’s miniature, accurate and endearing. She lives only a couple towns over, but it wasn’t until recently that we finally met. I was thrilled when she asked me about working on a piece together.

A collection of mushroom miniature paintings by Brooke Rothshank, instagram @blrothshank

A collection of mushroom miniature paintings by Brooke Rothshank, instagram @blrothshank

I’m pleased to say that both of these collaborations have been a great success. I finally picked up the piece by Brooke Peiffer and built a design around it that I felt complimented its beauty while not taking away from it. I incorporated my own textural work which I hand carved and fabricated. I often refer to these branching, twisted pieces as “root systems”. I also included some of my suspension chain work.

“Surface” collaboration with Brooke Peiffer of Reseed Ceramics, instagram @re.seed

“Surface” collaboration with Brooke Peiffer of Reseed Ceramics, instagram @re.seed

Brooke Rothshank allowed me to select a painting from her collection to work with and, since I recently completed reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with my son, I was drawn to her “Golden Ticket”. I think that being a jeweler, I was also drawn to the gold tone of the painting. We looked over my selection of quartz and crystals and decided together to use a free-form, faceted, high dome quartz piece I had never quite known what to do with. The outcome is just perfect!

“Golden Ticket” process images and completed piece Collaboration with Brooke Rothshank, instagram @blrothshank

Thankfully, with the help of the internet, I am able to discover, keep in touch with and sometimes work with fantastic artists who I admire to no end. This interaction and inspiration keeps me going on those lonely studio days when no music seems quite right.