Nature-Inspired Jewelry From Michelle Hoting in Santa Rosa

Fern Necklace by MIchelle Hoting. Photo Credit: Michelle Hoting
Fern Necklace by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

Few objects symbolize the beauty of autumn better than fall leaves. Rarely do we examine a leaf’s intricacies – its veins, curves, ridges and imperfections. But study a fallen leaf up close and you may agree that they are nature’s works of art. That is how Santa Rosa jewelry artist and organic metal sculptor, Michelle Hoting, views leaves, petals, acorns and other flora found here in Sonoma County and in her travels.

michelle-hoting-autumn-oak-necklace-3
Autumn Oak Necklace by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)
Eucalyptus Lariat Necklace by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)
Eucalyptus Lariat Necklace by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

Michelle Hoting designs distinctive wearable art – for every season – in her Santa Rosa studio and is among the artists selected to participate in Sonoma County Art Trails 2016 Open Studios, beginning October 8th.

Michelle Hoting
Michelle Hoting in her Santa Rosa studio.

Natural leaves are one of Hoting’s favorite subjects when creating her one-of-a-kind pieces, inspired by her love for nature and the outdoors.

Michelle Hoting Grape Leaf Bracelet
Grape Leaf Cuff by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

Using leaves from oak and ginkgo trees, grapevines, sage leaves and other flora that catches her eye, Hoting carefully and meticulously casts these delicate items in her studio with a special technique she developed.

Michelle Hoting Gingko Neckpiece
Gingko Neckpiece. (Photo by Adrienne Shubin)
Grape Leaf and tendril chain Necklace. Recycled Fine Silver, Sterling. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)
Grape Leaf and Tendril Chain Necklace. Recycled Fine Silver, Sterling. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

Hoting calls her techinique “Lost Leaf Casting” which uses pure silver Hoting sources from recycled electronics. This technique brings out even the subtlest of details in the leaves. Hoting describes this technique as similar to nature’s way of creating a fossil, only in Hoting’s case it doesn’t take 10,000 years to create, thankfully.

Fern Leaf Necklace by Michelle Hoting. Recycled Fine Silver. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)
Fern Leaf Necklace by Michelle Hoting. Recycled Fine Silver. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

No two pieces of Hoting’s are alike, including her sets of earrings. While they may compliment each other and appear symmetrical on the wearer, they are separate pieces cast from individual leaves.

Oak Earrings by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)
Oak Earrings by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

The day I visited her studio, she was working on casts of two similar ivy leaves that would soon be a pair of earrings. Nearly identical yet with their own characteristics, Hoting has an eye for finding just the right leaves to compliment one another and more importantly, the fortunate wearer.

Ivy Earrings by Michelle Hoting. (Photo by Adrienne Shubin)

Along with her Lost Leaf Casting, Hoting works with gem stones, rocks, antique pieces, and wood. Her career in jewelry has spanned 25 years and includes positions as jeweler for Cartier, manager at Bulgari, and manager of the jewelry repair department of a well-known jewelry firm.

Hoting majored in Geology and Fine Art at The University of Texas at Austin before attending the Gemological Institute of America where she focused her studies on diamond grading and colored stone identification. She also studied metalsmithing at the Glassell School of Art.

Michelle Hoting Peony Brooch
Peony Brooch by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

Originally from Texas, Hoting moved to Santa Rosa with her husband four years ago. It was then that she decided to pursue a career that unites her love for nature and the outdoors, her finely honed jewelry making skills and her passion for art.

Michelle Hoting moth necklace
Moth Necklace by Michelle Hoting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Hoting)

Today Hoting is an accomplished and much sought after artist with a thriving business and many returning customers who collect her pieces.

Agate Drop Earrings by Michelle Hoting. (Photo by Adrienne Shubin)

Stop by Michelle Hoting’s studio-boutique during Sonoma County Art Trails Open Studio event at 321 Buena Vista Dr. Santa Rosa, CA, October 8-9 and 15-16, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hoting’s Art Trails location is #124

Visit the  Sonoma County Art Trails website for maps and more information about the artists participating in this free self-guided artists tour.

You can also visit Michelle’s workshop by appointment by calling 707-791-4680 or shop pieces from her collection at Corrick’s on Fourth Street in downtown Santa Rosa. michellehoting.com

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