CLT Made: Kate Allen

Copper and wool collar, $150.
Copper and wool collar, $150. Courtesy of Kate Allen

What: Handmade copper and silver jewelry with river stones and wool.

Who: Kate Allen is an art teacher at William Amos Hough High in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

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Kate Allen Courtesy of Kate Allen

She’s also taught continuing education jewelry and metalsmithing courses at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC). “Growing up I spent a lot of time playing in the woods on my grandfather’s farm, collecting stones and interesting bits of nature,” said Allen. “I continue to love the outdoors and still spend a lot of time camping and hiking.”

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Copper and wool necklace, $250. Courtesy of Kate Allen

What sets them apart: Each of Allen’s pieces are different. If she uses a design again, she changes an aspect of the piece.

How it launched: Allen started out by making jewelry for herself. She took classes at CPCC to have access to the metals studio there. In 2013, she had the opportunity to be an Artist in Residence at McColl Center. “It was a life-changing experience and allowed me to focus solely on my artwork for three months,” she said. “During this time, I was able to experiment and build a more cohesive body of work.”

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Sterling silver and wool cufflinks, $350. Courtesy of Kate Allen

Inspiration: “My ideas mostly come from nature and the world around me. I’m inspired by texture and form. I try to create objects of adornment and natural beauty. I use combinations of organic and processed materials, manipulating them to simulate organic objects and surface textures.”

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Etched copper and wool cuff, $150. Courtesy of Kate Allen

Find it locally: Shop online at or contact the artist at

Find more CLT Made goods by searching the Observer website for that title, or on the “CLT Made” Pinterest page.