Studio Discovery Tour

North Coast

Joan Rhine - Jewelry, Mixed-Media Art

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JOAN RHINE, widely known for her abstract wall pieces in mixed media, has also been creating jewelry for more than twenty years. During this time, there has been a symbiotic exchange of ideas and materials between her bodies of work. Color and texture in her jewelry first appeared in her artworks; jewelry concepts have entered her wall pieces in her uses of wire, gold leaf and beads. An example is one jewelry collection where she miniaturizes her handmade paper art, and creates frames for it in silver and copper. She continues to explore the qualities of art and jewelry materials, enjoying playing with the versatility of metal and paper, and how they can be perceived to be both hard and soft.

All of Joan’s jewelry is hand made in series, small editions and one of a kind. Her materials are traditional silver, gold and semi-precious stones and beads and chemical patinas, plus her unique use of handmade paper. Besides traditional fabrication techniques she has been weaving, looping and knitting metal strips and wire. “Metalworking has seemingly endless paths to pursue, and I was intrigued to follow one that combined two of my interests, fiber techniques and metal.” Her contemporary jewelry designs are light, comfortable to wear, and flatter the wearer.

For her wall artworks Joan has originated a unique way of weaving with paper, metal and fiber. Using her favorite paper mold, a Vietnamese style deckle-box, she forms handmade paper sheets using pigment colored cotton or abaca paper. Depending on the piece or series, she then builds up layers of materials with multiple laminations, or weaves pressed paper sheets, integrating them with textiles and wires. Surface treatments include detailed gouache painting and gold leafing.

Currently, Joan is exploring a new direction: sculpture combining copper wire and handmade paper. This series contains some of the metal forming techniques she has employed in her jewelry on a larger scale.

Stylized organic and geometric designs define Joan Rhine’s jewelry and artwork. “Living in coastal Mendocino County gives me many opportunities to find inspiration in nature. I love walking on the beach or in the forest, where I pick up souvenirs of seaweed, rocks and leaves to study for their forms, textures and colors. Landscapes, skies and manmade structures seen while driving along the coast and through the countryside also stimulate my imagination.”

Biographical Note JOAN RHINE grew up in New York City, where she first graduated with a BFA in Art and Design from The Cooper Union, then earned an MFA degree in Painting and Printmaking from Pratt Institute. She received training in jewelry from Charlene Modena at Academy of Art College, San Francisco, and continues to learn at every opportunity.

She has worked as a graphic designer, art instructor, fine artist and jeweler. She moved to San Francisco, and in 1984, with Jim Meilander, established Submarine Paperworks in Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. She relocated home and studio to Gualala in 2000.

Joan shows her work in juried exhibits locally in the North Coast area, in competitive national exhibits such as American Craft Council’s Baltimore and San Francisco Craft Shows. Her jewelry can be seen at The Ren Brown Collection in Bodega Bay and Mendocino Gems in Mendocino. Her mixed media wall artworks were exhibited in “Expressions in Handmade Paper 3” at the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka, California in 2007 and “New Directions in Handmade Paper: The Deckle Edge” at Gualala Arts in 2008.

Joan is a founding member of the Northern California based group of handmade paper artists “The Deckle Edge”, and is an active member of the international papermakers’ organization “Friends of Dard Hunter”.
Contact Information:

Joan Rhine
PO Box 1295
Gualala, CA 95445

Email: subpaper@mcn.org
Phone: 707-884-4564