What happens when you live in Beertown, USA? You find artists inspired by beer. Some paint with it, while others capture the beauty of beer lace in sterling silver. Denise Harrison is inspired by much more than beer but she makes beer lace look so good. You are probably wondering what beer lace is. It’s the beer foam that sticks to the side of your glass. Now you are thinking, I want a job where I have to drink beer to get to the beer lace in order to create my work. Too bad, Denise already has it!
How does Denise make her beer lace jewelry? Besides drinking a beer, it starts with a photograph. She manipulates the photograph and creates a copper etched plate with the photograph’s pattern. Then she presses a wax mold into the plate to transfer the pattern. She uses the wax mold for lost-wax casting to create her piece in silver.
Beer Speak Ring
Inspiration for the “Beer Speak” ring, a photograph of beer lacing.
The bronze etched plate Denise uses to create a wax mold alongside the final silver pendant.
Denise designs and creates her jewelry at her studio at The Workhouse in the Old Ironworks Arts District of Bend, Oregon. The Workhouse is a creative space with open, active work studios made up of a collective of over 60 local artists. Denise was one of the first artists to join The Workhouse, which just celebrated it’s first anniversary.
I asked Denise what was next for her. She showed me some new pieces she’s working on incorporating gemstones. She’s also been playing around with recycled materials. I got a sneak peek of some sliced beer bottles that had been kiln fired into smooth green discs.
Denise Harrison’s studio at the Workhouse in Bend, Oregon.
Denise’s favorite tool in her studio, her torch.
Pendant with the design of 10 Barrel S1NIST0R black ale foam.
Denise Harrison’s pendant created from a photograph of the Catacombs in Paris, France.