ARTIST’S BIOGRAPHY FOR JEWELER BECKY SOLON
YAVAPAI COLLEGE VERDE VALLEY ART STUDENT TRAINING 2016-PRESENT
At the time of my retirement from the U.S. Army civilian workforce in February 2008, Rock and Gem magazine named me “Craftsman of the Month.” My evolution from Armaments Engineer to Gemstone Jeweler was years in the making. It was facilitated by my government training in materials science and my interest in geology, mineralogy, specimen collecting, rock cutting and cabochon gem polishing in my spare time.
My jewelry features traditional gem setting and natural-shaped gemstones, native copper, and the special attribute of interchangeability. The latter feature allows the wearer to reconfigure jewelry components for an entirely new arrangement. I create necklaces and earrings with detachable pendants and strands to reduce weight and enhance the versatility and re-usability of my wearable art. My education includes the following:
- Yavapai College-Clarkdale Art Student, Jewelry-making course, 2015-2019
- Sedona Arts Center (SAC) “The Business of Art” Series Seminars, 2012
- Professional Member, SAC, 2012-Present; 36th & 37th Annual Juried Shows
- YCC “Best of Jewelry“ President’s Office Exhibit & Student Award for Pendant and Earrings set entitled “Interchangeable“, Yavapai College Verde Art Gallery, Student Exhibit & Sale, 10/17/16 – 11/10/16; also exhibited work in Student Art Show, 4/17/17-5/4/17
- Charter Member, Verde River Rockhounds, and Director and Webmaster, Mingus Gem & Mineral Club; past officer and director of Sedona Gem & Mineral Club
- A. Two Majors in the History of Ideas and Comparative Literature, Residential College of Literature, Science and Arts, University of Michigan, 1971
- B.A., Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 1981
- Masters of Engineering, Integrated Product Development, Stevens Institute of Technology, NYC, 2003; Graduate Certificate in Ordnance Engineering, SIT, 2/6/14
- Picatinny Arsenal Toastmasters, ATM-Silver and Competent Leader Certifications
My YCC jewelry-making training has provided me with an opportunity to learn stone-setting techniques while using my specimens and handcrafted cabs to become a more competent jeweler. Skills that I have studied and applied include bezel making soldering, riveting, embossing, stamping, patinizing and fold-forming.
I continue to participate in art and gem & mineral shows since my 2008 retirement. In 2017, I published an article “Enhancing Nature’s Agate Sculptures” in the December issue of Rock & Gem Magazine. I won the People’s Choice Award and received a Best of Show citation for my jewelry work in the October 16- November 9, 2018, Yavapai Community College Verde Valley Campus Student Art Show.