Kate Hart, Master Goldsmith
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
Dundee University, Scotland
Kate spent the first portion of her career working with typical luxury materials. For decades she owned and operated her brick and mortar business, LeDuc Jewelers, in her hometown in Montana. During that time she created countless custom engagement rings, and became an expert in rare sapphires.
As the cost of raw materials skyrocketed, she began to realize that her customers were being priced out of the market for artisan quality fine jewelry. It was then that she began looking at her surroundings, searching for new mediums to create with- ones that would help keep her pieces affordable.
She realized that old pennies were just what she was looking for! She gave herself a personal challenge. What could she make out of metal that most people saw as worthless?
Mharie Stewart, Metalsmith & Daughter of Kate Hart
Mharie grew up with metalworking as the backdrop to all her best childhood memories. By grade school she had earned the nickname Super Eyes, earned by her success in scouring her surroundings for a rogue diamond or sapphire that may have gotten loose. Pliers were as familiar as a pencil, and gold dust as commonplace dust bunnies.
In college Mharie learned to assist with the basics of assembly and production of salvaged copper pieces. It was then that she fell in love with the atmosphere of working at arts markers and craft fairs.