DESCRIPTION OF WORK :
As a designer craftsman, Martha Richter sculpts jewelry from precious metals, using the ancient techniques of lost wax casting, forging, fabrication and reticulation. Martha individually hand creates multifunctional pieces of jewelry with inspirational form and contour which communicate the spirit of the artist as well as the wearer.
Martha has acquired an ever-increasing audience of collectors because her clean designs have a simplicity and purity which blend classic and contemporary styles. She works in 14k and 18k gold, sterling, and platinum, often set with genuine gems and minerals which allow an interplay of color between stones and metals.
Martha earned a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University and taught English at Niles West High School in Skokie IL. After her first two children were born, Martha enrolled in a high school evening class to learn lost wax casting, and she has been addicted to jewelry making ever since.
She continued her studies with several prominent goldsmiths as well as the Gemological Institute of America where she studied colored gems, diamonds, diamond grading, gem identification, rendering, casting, and setting. She also completed a course in platinum working with the Johnson Mathey Corporation. Her favorite workshop was in hollow form raising taught by the renowned Heiki Seppa. She says the best training experiences, however, are the late night moments of inspiration and the challenging custom orders which stretch her boundaries.
Martha has traveled around the world studying ancient and primitive cultures for their universal aesthetics. Visits to Greece, Egypt, and Turkey inspired her love for classical form and architectural detail. She currently visits the major gem cutting centers in Europe and Thailand to select, design, and commission unique gems for her discerning clients.
AWARDS AND HONORS:
Over thirty-five years of exhibiting in more than 250 major regional art shows ( 57 th Street Fair, National Craft Festival, Milwaukee Lakefront Art Festival) and national art shows (ACC shows in MN, MA, and NYC) have brought Martha numerous awards and national recognition. One memorable honor was being selected by the American Crafts Council for their "One of a Kind" show at the Armory in New York City . Her jewelry has also been exhibited in numerous art galleries throughout the Midwest .
Recently, however, Martha has chosen to show her work directly from her Lake Forest, Illinois studio where she welcomes visitors both for designing custom pieces or just browsing. She receives orders from across the country and around the world from former customers and from people who have admired her work on others. She finds the FAX an invaluable tool for working long distance. Her unique wedding rings are now sought by a second generation whose parents wear Martha's rings. Customers come to Martha because they know they can trust her skill, integrity, and knowledge.
American Craft Council
Society of North American Goldsmiths
Jewelers of America
Illinois Retail Jewelers
#1 Rating with Jewelers Board of Trade
A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau
Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce