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Made in St. Louis: Metal artist creates insects and plants
Made in St. Louis • SHERRI JAUDÉS

Made in St. Louis: Metal artist creates insects and plants

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SHERRI JAUDÉS

Age • 50

Home • Marthasville

Family • Partner, Penny; two Scottish terriers and two cats

What she makes • Sherri creates metal sculptures, and she’s the owner of Sherri Jaudés Metalsmith. She’s also co-owner of Green Finger Studio. To reach her, email sherri@sherrijaudes.com. To view her items, visit sherrijaudes.com, greenfingerstudio.com, PHD Gallery, 2300 Cherokee Street in St. Louis, and at Cassandra Erin Studio, 112 Main Street in St. Charles.

Tell us about yourself • I have my bachelor of fine arts from Maryville University in St. Louis, and my master of fine arts in jewelry design and metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. I worked at the downtown Famous-Barr in display, rehabbed historical buildings and was a high-end kitchen and bath installer. For the past 18 years, I have been an associate instructor of jewelry and metalsmithing at Maryville University. I also work as a welder for Eureka Forge in Pacific.

When did you become an artist? • I started oil painting when I was 6 years old, and I sold my first painting when I was 11. I have also done woodworking, architectural rendering and stone sculpting. I started working in metals in 1995.

Explain your metal technique • I create metal sculptures, using various combinations with silver, copper, bronze and mild steel. I use insects and plant forms in my sculptures. My pieces are all metal. Rarely do I incorporate a different material.

Do you work with painted metal? • Using colored pencil on metal is a process that started in the 1970s by a few metal artists who didn’t want to use chemical patinas. The piece must be totally finished and then sandblasted to give it a “tooth” on the surface. I then use Liver of Sulfur, which is an organic patina, to darken the metal. With the Prisma Color pencils, I can build up layers of color resulting in a more painterly effect on the metal. A final spray of pencil fixative seals the layers and keeps the colors true. This method is labor intensive, and it usually takes as long to do the color as it does to make the entire piece.

How do you form the metal? • I use special hammers, stakes and a wooden stump. Smaller pieces are done with the stump but also with metal stakes, hammers and nylon hammers. I work with various tools such as a jewelers saw, files, various types of hammers, metal stakes, anvils, pliers, torches, hydraulic press, casting equipment and much more.

What are your prices? • An insect by itself can run about $300, but larger sculptures range in price from roughly $1,200 for smaller tabletop and wall pieces, all the way up to $14,000 for large-scale sculptures.

How long have you been a member of the Society for Midwest Metalsmiths? • The organization started in 1994, and I am honored to be one of the founding members.

Talk to us about your awards. • I have numerous awards from the Art Fair at Laumeier; an “Award of Excellence” for one of the Society for Midwest Metalsmith’s exhibitions, “Stone/s”; the “Silver Hammer Award,” given by the organization for dedication and volunteerism to the organization and also, various other fairs.

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Karen Deer is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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