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5 Questions with CELTIC winner Kat Ezzo

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Kathleen Ezzo Favelson of Forest Hills, NY, was our reader's choice winner in the CELTIC design challenge with her "Tara Cloak Pin," shown above. Hand-carved in jeweler's wax and cast into 18k yellow gold, the design for the cloak pin is inspired from ancient cloak pins found in Ireland.  

The pin has three round tourmaline cabochons hand-set in bezels, and the top of the pin has a trinity knot design. This piece was the overwhelming favorite from the people who voted in the March Design Challenge! 

Kat has been a jeweler and wax model maker for 30 years. As a freelance modelmaker, she works from a designer’s sketches to create an original model for their jewelry line.

After attending Ivy School for Professional Art and Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, she took a position at Gentilcore Jewelers in Pittsburgh, PA. John Gentilcore, a master jeweler, gave her a bench adjacent to him and taught her a lot about making jewelry and the jewelry business.
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A lovely pair of earrings available on Kat's Etsy page.
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This fragile bird also flies on Kat's Etsy store. 

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE THAT YOU EVER GOT FROM A TEACHER OR A MENTOR?

Make things that last and stand behind your craftsmanship.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MATERIALS TO USE IN YOUR WORK?

Being a bit conservative I like gold, silver and gemstones. But from time to time I will use antler, bone and jewel beetle wings.

NAME TWO THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE WITH YOU WHEN YOU WORK.

Coffee, for sure, but a sharp X-ACTO knife and a burnishing tool. They are great for adding detail and smoothing out wax models

WHAT’S THE GOOFIEST/MOST EMBARRASSING MISTAKE THAT YOU EVER MADE?

When I first started out, I put the casting flask in the centrifugal casting machine in backwards and instead of the molten gold going into the flask, it sprayed out and some of it hit my boss in the crotch. He jumped up and ran out of the shop to the restroom. I thought he was going to fire me. It is something I will never forget, and he won’t either!

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK?

Inspiration comes from many different places. I like symbols, primitive, religious, ethnic. I am also inspired by my favorite designers like Lalique. Recently, I saw a Medusa ring that he made—it was at a jewelry auction at Sotheby’s. It inspired me to create my own snake ring.

See more of Kat's work in her Etsy store or on her Facebook page.
FIND MORE: metal , stone setting , brooches

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