"I drill holes because I like to. My jewelry is reminiscent of industrial relics.
Thin gauge silver is perforated with tiny holes, creating an organic quality
that transforms spare hollow constructions. The density and pattern of
the minuscule perforations lends and indeterminable surface to the object.
The pieces vibrate, the interior and exterior shift with changing light."
Growing up in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Sandra Enterline has been inspired by abandoned factories since she was a child. The factories in her memories rise in mysterious forms, much like hulking cathedrals. However, these cathedrals of industry are immense, gritty, and dark, yet strangely fragile—elements found in Enterline’s own work.
Enterline’s sculptural jewelry comes to life on the wearer. Her pieces incorporate precious and semiprecious gemstones, quail’s eggs, snail shells, insects, and vials of found objects. The intrigue of each piece lies in the ability of the jewelry to reveal and conceal treasures gleaned from the earth.
Enterline is best known for her myriad of hand-drilled holes, a signature of her jewelry. The countless apertures that dot her pieces are reminiscent of precise insect bites on a leaf, and this technique allows light to pass through, creating a vibrating surface of light and shadow. As the wearer moves through space, the constantly shifting dynamic between interior and exterior evinces the complexity of Enterline’s contemporary and timeless work.
Born in Oil City, Pennsylvania in 1960, Sandra Enterline graduated with an Associates Degree in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Crafts in 1980. She went on to earn a BFA in Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1983. In addition to her studio work, Enterline gives lectures on her craft and conducts metalsmithing workshops. From 1991 to 1992, she held visiting professor and visiting artist positions at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, respectively. Currently, she guest lectures at universities in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Academy of Art University and the California College of the Arts.
Enterline’s award-winning work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world. Her many honors include two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships (1988 & 1992); the Best in Show Award, Smithsonian Institution Craft Show (2016); the Gold Award, “Ornament Magazine, Excellence in Jewelry Winner,” Smithsonian Institution Craft Show (2005); Grand Prize Winner, “Crocker Kingsley 73rd Exhibition,” curated by Gladys Nilsson, Crocker Art Museum; and a nomination for the National Design Awards, Smithsonian, Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum (2003).
Her pieces are in the collections of both national and international museums, most notably the American Craft Museum, New York, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Renwick Gallery in the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Seymour Rabinovich Collection in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom.
Enterline’s work has also been covered in publications such as The New York Times (1989), Metalsmith magazine (2004), American Craft magazine (2013) and Ornament magazine (1989 & 1990).