Meet Jeweler Jennifer Walker

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

This post is another in what is becoming a continuing series on the wonderfully talented and creative people who run small businesses in the Central West End.

Jennifer Walker occupies a 160 s.f. studio at 449 N. Euclid—a space not much smaller than New York apartments where she both lived and created jewelry. Her jewelry-making equipment, shown above, was tucked under a sleeping loft. The artist studied Product Design at Parsons School of Design in New York and received a BFA in Metalsmithing/Jewelry Making from the Maine College of Art. After graduation she moved back to New York (she grew up in Yonkers & in Maine), and, as she laughingly said, "I went to swing dancing classes. That's where I've met all the important people in my life," including her future husband, and a teacher from Parsons from whom she took a casting class at the 92nd Street Y. That class confirmed how much she loved working with her hands, and is where she found her niche. She soon started selling her rings in Nolita and the West Village. 

Four years ago her husband Anders was offered a position teaching Legal History at SLU, and the couple happily moved from a cramped apartment in New York to an old house in Benton Park. She has since become a mother–her daughter is now three–and opened her studio in the neighborhood in February.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

When Jennifer moved into the studio, she amazed me by renovating the space herself. Do you remember a snippet from the nursery rhyme, "Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy"?…well, that's Jennifer…and much more (be sure to read to the end of the post). She sanded the floors, faux finished the walls, hung the lights, and even built the furniture. Bar Italia has enlisted her to make decorative ironwork, and she is currently fabricating planters for the restaurant's outdoor dining area.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

Nature and memories of landscapes from Jennifer's childhood in Maine contribute to the shape, textures, and colors of her jewelry. When she first moved to St. Louis she took a space in the Lemp Brewery where, inspired by fabrics of the '70's like Marimekko, she cut out flowers made of vitreous enamel, precursors of the ones seen in the photos above and below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

Jennifer's jewelry made out of sterling silver, brass, gold, and vitreous enamel, is priced from $48 to $400.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

Limoges enamel pendants, above, are available in sterling silver and gold, $70.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

The "Wonder Woman" bracelet, $60 to $80, upper left, is one of Jennifer's newest designs. This cut-out cuff, which fits right over the wrist bone, has been extremely popular with women of all ages. How about this for Mother's Day? There are a lot of super moms out there!

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery   

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Walker


During an interview with Jennifer earlier this week, her phone rang and the caller had a household plumbing problem. It seems that in order to support herself in New York, Jennifer joined Plumbers Union Local #1 in Brooklyn. She completed a 5-year apprenticeship and worked as a journeyman plumber for ten years. (No wonder she thought of the Wonder Woman cuff.) She said that her specialty, because of her jewelry-making experience, was soldering copper pipes together. She loved working in large New York buildings…just soldering away from floor to floor. So if you need a new water heater…or a pair of earrings, call her.

Next Saturday, April 30, Jennifer and Christiane Danna, whose jewelry studio is in the same building, are having a pre-Mother's Day Show. Drop by to shop, get a henna tattoo, and enjoy Jennifer's handmade chocolates. (If you've tried making chocolates, you know we're talking tempering and the whole nine yards.)

Jennifer Walker Jewelry, 499 N. Euclid, Mons. 10 to 1:30, Thurs.- Sat. 11 to 4, (347) 528-3210. Don't know why you would travel outside the neighborhood, but you can also find her jewelry at the Adam Foster Gallery in Clayton, P.S.: Gallery in Columbia, MO, Ziezo in UCity, and Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, IL.

 


Match the CWE Architects

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture
As you look at the stately homes in the Central West End, imagine the neighborhood as it was being developed, with parcels of pasture reconfigured as urban subdivisions. The majority of the houses located on our streets date from late 1800's to the early 1900's, and many have architects in common.

Lenox Place resident Aaron Williams sent me a link that lists addresses from Olive/Washington to Lindell Blvd., and Boyle to Kingshighway, showing the year the houses were constructed and the architects of record. Using the list, Aaron became acquainted with a resident of Pershing Place, whose house was also designed by architect H. F. Roach–a novel way to meet the neighbors. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture

The origin of the list is unknown. Coincidentally, it identifies a J. Dwyer as the architect of three houses built on Washington Blvd. in the early 1890s. Interesting, because my husband is also J. Dwyer. If anyone can shed some light on the origin of the list, please let us know, and I'll add it to this post.

  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture

The streets I've photographed above include Maryland Avenue, Hortense Place, and Lenox Place.

Find the Architect, origin unknown.

Bulbmania on Pershing Place

Nicki's Central West End Guide Urban Gardens

Nancy and Mark Allen have lived in the Tudor-style home on the southeast corner of Pershing Place at Euclid since 1981. When they purchased the house from Robert "Parker" Burns, Jr., they learned that the tulip beds in the front yard had been featured in a 1950's article in Better Homes & Gardens.

Mark Allen embraced that tradition and has continued tending the garden ever since. In the process, he has treated the neighborhood to a rotating display of spring and summer blooms. He estimates that over the years he has planted thousands of tulip and daffodil bulbs.

The bed that borders Euclid, shown above, is filled with white tulips and just a few purple ones mixed in, not exactly how it was planned—i.e. the purple variety didn't bloom as vigorously this Spring. Allen has learned that it's difficult to get a second season out of tulip bulbs; they need to be planted every year. That isn't the case with a "naturalizing" variety of daffodils that continue to spread into bigger and bigger clumps until Allen divides them about every three years. All of the bulbs are fertilized when planted.Nicki's Central West End Guide Urban Gardens
Gorgeous sherbet-colored tulips are planted in an eye-catching row in the front yard, above. Spring bulbs will be followed by irises, Asiatic lilies, and day lilies. Lots of work for Mark Allen, but a visual delight for all to enjoy as we walk along Euclid.