Bracelets and bangles by Anne Behrsing
A monadnock artist creates jewelry with a light touch
Anne Behrsing describes her metal jewelry work as “architectural.” Yes, there is an interplay of straight lines on her bracelets and bangles, but a good dash of Frank Gehry is thrown in with unexpected curves and turns. Her inspiration is “everything around me,” including the classic lines of antiques. Her bangle bracelets are balanced and the earrings are light. Indeed, her pieces are beautiful and functional. Behrsing says “I enjoy the science of design too.”
She started with adult classes at the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough and has been a League of New Hampshire Craftsmen member since 1988. Along the way, she was fortunate to apprentice with Glenda Arentzen, a New Hampshire artisan who exhibits and sells in New York City.
Arentzen and Behrsing use a work process called the “marriage of metals.” Here, Behrsing slices thin pieces of gold with a jeweler’s saw, creating a quilt of shape and color. The natural color variations in gold range from rose to yellow to white. The shapes are soldered onto the silver that creates the backbone of the design. Finished work can have up to 50 separate solders.
In addition to the interplay of color, Behrsing adds texture with the lost wax process and other subtle techniques. A few use a small gemstone for an additional accent. Her work is in constant evolution, but one that builds upon her signature look. She says, “I have a hard time repeating things — that is just labor.”
Find Behrsing’s work at New Hampshire League of Craftsmen shops in Hanover, Littleton, Meredith, North Conway, plus Exeter Fine Crafts and the N.W. Barrett Gallery in Portsmouth. She will also be showing at LaBelle Winery’s third annual Holiday Bazaar Weekend on December 6 and 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.