Jennifer Merchant discovered metalsmithing in high school, and went on to earn a BFA in metals and jewelry from the Savannah College of Art and Design. After graduation, she returned to her hometown of Minneapolis and challenged by a lack of access to a metal studio in that city, she began to experiment with alternative materials, eventually developing the layered acrylic process for which she is known today. Through this process she explores transparency, refraction and magnification to create graphic illusions that change as they move. Each jewel is sculpted by hand from a slab of printed papers, often pulled from art books, which Merchant layers between solid acrylic sheets. Many of her designs feature double-sided imagery and can be worn two ways. Merchant’s work is inspired by faceted geometric forms, pop-art, fashion, op-art and Art Deco.