Featured Member

Each month a new Featured Member is chosen from the completed member profiles on our website. Their interview and work is highlighted on our blog and social media. Visit our archive of past Featured Members.

August 2019


  • Judy Pagnusat
  • Judy Pagnusat
  • Judy Pagnusat
  • Judy Pagnusat
  • Judy Pagnusat

Judy Pagnusat

Website: judypag.com
Instagram: Judypag_designs

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have been making art as far back as I can remember and no matter what medium I work in, I make jewelry. My first recollection creating jewelry was in 3rd grade when a friend and I made sword pins to sell, using pearl topped hat pins, added beads and lanyard for the hilt. My first profession was as a hairdresser and salon owner which fed my artistic nature. I next became an outside sales rep and my favorite sales job was selling, teaching and demonstrating Asian art supplies to art stores throughout Northern California. As I approached retirement, I looked for what was next and started fusing glass and making glass jewelry. I wanted to make my own findings and found metal clay, from there I studied and began to work in metalsmithing and now am doing a lot of enameling. I am amused that I have gone full circle, from glass, metals and now am working in glass on metal.

What is your favorite tool and why?

Choosing a favorite tool is like asking me to pick a favorite child. I love my hammers, forming tools and kilns, I couldn’t live without them. I just love manipulating metals and love any tool that helps me do that.

Which materials do you create with most and what is your attraction to using them?

My favorite material is copper as I love its warmth, plus it is inexpensive so I can experiment and play as much as I want without breaking the bank. Copper is easy to work with and I like its rustic look. Not only can I heat patina it, it is the best metal to use with enamels and contrasts well with other metals. I feel it is limitless and feeds my desire to include color in my work.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

It is most likely nature as my favorite subjects are leaves and birds. They both make me happy and I try to convey that joy in my work.

How long have you been working in metals and what brought you into this field?

I have been working in metals since 2001, starting with metal clay. I love to wear jewelry and thought it would be fun to create my own. Little did I know the vast experiences that were available to me.

What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in metals?

Metals are fantastic and there are no limits to what you can learn, especially with resources like YouTube and many other knowledgeable sites such as manufacturers and vendors. If you are attracted to a style or technique, look for information about it as you will likely find out how to do it or where to learn about it. There are so many directions you can take within the subject. Go for it, don’t be afraid!

What has been the biggest challenge for you as a metal artist and have you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?

My biggest challenge right now is having to work in production mode, what I dream of creating and what sells are not always the same thing. I make one of a kind jewelry that I sell in a tourist area. I am likely to sell more inexpensive items there as opposed to more elaborate work. I don’t really see this as a burden though, as my work sells, I love making it and I earn enough to keep doing what I do.

Favorite resource/vendor or website

I am a shopper, so when I am looking for something, I look at all resources to find the item and the best offer. The vendor I use the most is probably Wire Jewelry. I am a gold member which means I get a discount and plus whatever special they are offering. Cool Tools and Enamel Warehouse are a couple of my other favorites.