One of Haywood Community College’s latest instructor additions to the Creative Arts Continuing Education Program is Liecester’s famous Nirado Sloan. Sloan began making jewelry first by beading gemstones over twenty years ago. Sloan then began making wire wrapped jewelry and silversmithing. She has been selling her jewelry out of her studio ever since. Nirado desires to help students as indicated by her writing below to enhance their understanding of how to build a wearable work of art.
“The student will learn the basics of designing and constructing any gemstone necklace and bracelet using commercially made components, the areas of focus are clasp attachment, gemstone placement, focal beads, length determination, what materials are needed and how to purchase them. The student will have a completely basic knowledge of necklace and bracelet construction for all their future endeavors.” -Nirado Sloan
Sloan often uses books in her research as the stones she uses to create jewelry has symbolic meaning. She shared some of her favorites such as Love Is In The Earth: The Crystal & Mineral Encyclopedia by Melody and The Gem Stone Bible by Judy Hall. Both book covers are below.
Sloan’s approach to creating work borders between healing practices and fine art jewelry making. The question “What is your dream project?” doesn’t really apply as her dream is to help others through healing with her jewelry which is exactly what she does.
Sloan searches for magnificent gemstones and approaches how to cut, shape, polish, and cut them by how the form speaks to her. Sloan doesn’t approach a raw gem with the thought “You shall be a pear shape!” but rather with the mindset of “How can I help you look majestic, so you may help others?” This workflow, that is specific to her practice, really speaks as to how much Sloan desires for her jewelry to genuinely make a difference to the person who is wearing it.
She studies her forms and stated that the large stone is the centerpiece of the jewelry item. Sloan focuses on using the metal in her jewelry making process as a stage for her gemstones. As you can see in the image below, the largest stone has a beautiful flame coloring, that is quite complimented by the shape. The necklaces centerpiece, being the largest gem, is place on a silvery platform which truly does display this wildfire of a jewel in a fierce manner.
Sloan was asked “What could you not live without?” Sloan stated very simply “I could not be without my creativity and spirituality.” Sloan views her materials, specifically the gems and minerals as tactile pieces having metaphysical properties that heal. Sloan was quite compassionate when she spoke as to how she interacts with the public.
Nirado Sloan stated “When a member of the public comes and looks at my jewelry I tell them to go to the stone they’re pulled to and they’ll pick it up a stone…I’ll respond with what the stone represents and what it does for oneself and often times they’ll find they absolutely need it.”
The works listed on the page are only a taste of what Sloan has to offer in her courses. If you’re interested in taking Nirado Sloans class and desire to know more about the healing properties of stones and how to encapsulate the metaphysical properties of a gem please visit our events page .