Justice Studio Collab

 Thanks to a grant from the St. Petersburg Art Alliance and the St. Petersburg’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and the gracious team at NOMADstudio, I was able to make jewelry design accessible to youth inside of Pinellas Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) through NOMAD’s Justice Studio program.

 During the end of September to mid-November of 2023, I facilitated polymer ring making workshops inside of Justice Studio. Each session I would give a small spiel of the grant and the project concept. Students then opted—into working alongside me creating their ring. We would first start by measuring their ring size and finding a correlating ring blank, that they used as a sturdy base to build their designs on. Students learned to condition, mix, and shape polymer clay to appropriate sizes for wearability. After finishing their design and hardening it, students had the option to keep their polymer clay ring or submit it to the gallery show for other JDC participants to see. Approximately 60% of students choose to keep their ring, and when time allotted, some students choose to make multiple rings.

Coinciding with the November sessions in Justice Studio I used lost wax casting to make Sterling Silver replicas of the student’s polymer clay creations. I explored enameling, engraving, gold plating and various methods to create an appearance that complemented the original polymer rings.

At the end of November, I worked with other JDC students to create plaster molds of their hands, which was used to display rings for the gallery show, that took place during December. While showcasing the designs made, I used a printout to explain the process that occurred outside of Justice Studio sessions, such as casting and enameling. This time was used to answer any questions students may have regarding jewelry and the creation process.

All in all, I was able to work directly with 22 students and explain and showcase their designs with an additional 40 students. During these interactions students made note of their enjoyment creating their ring, questioned about how to become a jeweler, and sought NOMAD’s social handles so they can see the results of the polymer rings turned into metal upon release.

Thanks to this grant, students were made aware that being creative can feel good and be a career option.

Students designs are available for purchase, and the proceeds support the Justice Studio, NOMADstudio's in-house after-school art studio program at the Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Shop the Justice Studio Collab collection here.


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