Michele Judge

Michele JudgeThe combination of nature and industry is an existence that we see growing everyday and is progressively becoming more and more thought about as something we need to be conscious of. Although industry in the past has proven to be very damaging to the environment it is seemingly our savior in sustainability, environmental education and rehabilitation. Instead of nature and industry working separately or against one another, we are beginning to learn how to use permaculure as a way to benefit humans and nature, and the future of both.
Our senses are all a major part of our human experience. They are the source of emotion, inspiration, pleasure, and pain. If we are surrounded by beauty, we feel beauty and pleasure in our emotions. In the same respect when we are surrounded by filth and vulgarity we have a strong negative emotional response. As we all know, our emotions affect our behavior from moment to moment. We can influence our behavior and the behavior of our community by putting consciousness into our surroundings; namely our visual experience. The effect of feeling beautiful wearing a piece of art not only has a positive effect on the wearer and the behavior of the wearer, but also on the people around them.Michele Judge
Self adornment has always been one way to for us to connect with the beauty in nature in combination with the beauty in ourselves. The effect of feeling beautiful wearing a piece of art not only has a positive effect on the wearer and the behavior of the wearer, but also on the people around them. Although most of us are not aware that these affects are happening they still influence our behavior. In order to be able to put consciousness into our physical environment and improve our visual experience, we need to be in touch with the part of ourselves that is aware of this phenomenon. Society can sometimes extinguish those attempts at connection.
My work is an attempt at influencing the beneficial qualities that come with positive sensory exposure. My interactive jewelry line allows individuals who may not otherwise have the opportunity to involve themselves in self expression through nature. The intent is to let the piece be a catalyst for attention and sensitivity to ones environment. The juxtaposition between a material that is as transitory as a leaf, and the permanence of Michele Judgethe metal locket is existential. The intention of my work is to enlighten and ignite creativity in others who may not otherwise be individually inspired, resinating positive emotional response. In addition, I attempt to bring attention to the powerful potential that permaculture, sustainability, and technology has and the benefits they bring to our society.
After graduating with a BFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, Michele Judge continued her education traveling through many different countries living, working, and learning with people of several different cultures. She started her travels in Guatemala where she lived most of 2 yearslearning the Spanish language, getting her first experience of a developing country first hand, and learned about all the different kinds of life styles that exist outside of the United States. It was there she became intrigued with the lifestyle of the traveling artists. Traveling and living along side these artists in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, she built relationships of all kinds. The ability to make and sell art while traveling led her to realize the ultimate form of freedom for her. She began her first days of street vendingMichele Judge on the streets of Guatemala in a small but popular village known as Panajachel. Having had intense training in drawing in college, she began teaching herself caricatures by practicing on the other travelers she lived with at the time and was soon selling caricatures and portraits in the streets.
In the fall of 2006 Judge found herself on the streets of Rome, Italy putting her new found knowledge of street vending and foreign language skills to the test. It was there she meet another street artist from Mexico, Edgar Nabor Ortiz, who taught her more in depth the ins and out of street vending in Rome. It was during that time, while she was selling her hand crafted crocheted hats and scarves, Edgar began teaching her the basics of his craft, jewelry. He showed her how to use pliers, make earring hooks, wire rings, and collect objects from markets that could be taken apart and used in more creative ways. Michele Judge’s earring display immediately received huge enthusiasm and encouragement from the street. She found making jewelry gave her a wider range of material use and possibilities for her creative outlet. Little by little her jewelry began to over take her display until she eventually became the jewelry artist she is today.
After returning to Philadelphia in 2008, Michele continued her craft on the streets of Michele JudgePhiladelphia. To her surprise, her work was even more appreciated by the people of her home city! It was shortly after her return to the States that she met Michael Manthey, an internationally renowned German jewelry artist who has worked in the metals and lapidary field for nearly 40 years. Manthey became a very important mentor in her life, graciously teaching her one on one his knowledge and skills in the areas of silver smithing, and stone setting and cutting, for 5 years. He continues to be an extraordinary friend and teacher with a wealth of knowledge. Michele Judge currently lives and works in Philadelphia and continues to build and develop her body of work. She is now studying 2D and 3D software programs under the guidance of Adolphe Alexander, a talented mechanical engineer and sculptor of Philadelphia. This has expanded her possibilities as an artist and designer.
Michele has sold her work on the streets of many US cities such as San Francisco, New York, Boston, and New Orleans and continues to make trips to Mexico traveling, finding materials, and selling her work throughout the country. She finds her inspiration through her materials and is guided by their existence. The materials are found in a kind of treasure hunting fashion. While she is mostly selling her work online and inMichele Judge Philadelphia, Michele continues her travels seeking out new materials and possibility for future creations. Since returning to Philadelphia she has treasure hunted in countries such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Mexico, and often finds peace and tranquility in the cliffs and mountains of our own National Parks throughout the country which she states, “… is all part of the process”.

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