Artist Biography – Jill Tower
I grew up in Idaho with “rockhound” parents, spending many family vacations hunting opals, agates, onyx, and other treasures all over the U.S. western states. Now years later, my family is more likely to be found buying and selling similar items at the rock and gem shows in Quartzsite and Tucson. My father cuts and cabs many of the stones I use in my work today.
I began my metalsmithing and enameling journey with classes at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, and have further developed my skills in workshops from artists I admire including Harold O’Connor, Merry-Lee Rae, Linda Darty, Jeanie Pratt, and Charity Hall. I work slowly in my free time while raising a family in southern California. Currently, you can find me teaching classes in Enameling at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. I am a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and the Metal Arts Society of Southern California (MASSC).
Exhibitions & Awards
2020 Interweave's Jewelry, Bead and Gem Arts Awards Grand Prize - "Fancy Guppy"
2019 International Metal Artistry Awards Grand Prize - "Praying Mantis Captures Moth"
2019 Halstead Design Challenge - juried exhibit "Adorned Spaces" at SNAG Conference - "The Killdeer Mother"
2018 Saul Bell Design Award Finalist in Enamel - "North American Owls" Bracelet
2018 Halstead Design Challenge First Place - "Koi Fish" brooch
SNAG JaMS 2018 (Society of North American Goldsmith's Jewelry and Metals Survey) print exhibition - Nuthatch Brooch
2017 Halstead Design Challenge Runner Up - Laguna Beach Tidepool
2017 Instructables Jewelry Contest Third Place - Double-Sided Bezel Bead
2016 BeadDreams - First Place / Metalwork Cherry Blossoms Necklace
2016 BeadDreams - Second Place / Handmade Beads Flora & Fauna in Copper & Leather
2016 MASSC Jewelry Challenge - Second Place Little Dark Gem Moth Necklace
Appalachian Nature Art Exhibition, June-July 2016, Alleghany Arts Council
Arte de Avian Exhibition 2015, Tubac Center of the Arts, Arizona
MASSC Metal Extinction Exhibition 2014 - Honorable Mention Mission Blue Butterfly Brooch; Saddleback College Gallery, Mission Viejo, CA
Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine, Nov/Dec 2020, COVER ARTIST and featured on page 10
Bead & Button Magazine, October 2019, featured on page 20
Bead & Button Magazine, October 2016, featured on pages 17 and 19
Nature Inspired: Animal Edition, Christine Agro, Falling Leaves Press, August 2016
Jill can be reached at: