About the Art

 
Biography

Detail from portrait by

Harry Rallo

rom her earliest memories, Bridgette L. Rallo has been in love with jewelry – not just any jewelry but handmade art jewelry. Her first encounters with this kind of jewelry came as a child in the 1950’s through her father’s friends. Her dad, a New York City jazz drummer, had many friends in the hip art scene of the fifties, several of whom wore brilliantly conceived, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry.

She began her affair in earnest as a high school student, making pieces for herself and her friends until a visiting artist noticed the quality of design and attention to detail Rallo incorporated into her work.

In exchange for lessons in painting, she began an offhanded apprenticeship with the Italian artist, Paula Wolfson,

which lasted for three years. During that time, she absorbed the fundamentals of abstract art from one of its celebrated European proponents.

Rallo then studied with and worked for East Hampton potter and sculptor Frank Pereira. It was in his studio that Rallo met the next generation of 1960’s jewelry artists, many of whom sold their work through Pereira.

But Rallo was also a writer and, after college and her marriage to painter and architect Harry Rallo, she eventually began a career as a newspaper reporter in Florida which lasted until 1999. Tired of the hectic pace of news writing, she began a second career and returned to what she loves best: hand crafting jewelry.

Rallo immersed herself in the mechanics of her craft after deciding to start her own business. She studied metalsmithing and PMC techniques with prize-winning jewelry artist Susan Lewis of Metalmorphosis Studio in Dania, FL, and Precious Metal Clay (PMC) techniques with Vera Lightstone of Lightstone Studios in Manhattan. A “Level Two” member of the PMC Guild and of The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), Rallo is the advanced PMC columnist for BeadBugle.com, an online jewelry trade magazine.

Bridgette L. Rallo’s work can be seen at Tokonoma Gallery, West Stockbridge, MA.

Artist's Statement

ne of my earliest memories is of taking an antique ring from my mother’s dresser and wearing it out to play. Needless to say, I got into a lot of hot water for that one. But jewelry was a compulsion – then and now.

I truly believe that jewelry is wearable art and I approach each of my pieces that way. The color and form of my stones, the compatibility of stone and metal type with the piece I have in mind, the “wearability” of each piece, all of these things are in my mind as I work on a particular composition.

Like any artist, I’m always trying to create a work that will evoke a special feeling in the viewer or, in this case, the wearer. My work is strongly tied to the environment because I understand that Nature is the ultimate artist. I incorporate both gems and minerals in my jewelry, as well as fiber, glass, shells, coral, primitive and ethnic beads…just about anything that will evoke a sense of natural elegance.

Even though a long, long time has passed, I still feel just like that little girl who wore Mom’s ring because it was so beautiful. I’m still that ten-year-old rock hound who tried to figure out a way to wear smooth stones from the beach. And I always will be.