My name is Cat Bates.
I spent my early childhood, and summers through grade school, on Monhegan Island off of the Maine coast. I remain strongly influenced by the island's nautical history, rugged landscape, and the resourcefulness and hard work that one needs to live there year-round. For an extended biography, please click here.
14 years ago I began studying metalsmithing. I started working as a professional jeweler in 2004, and graduated from Maine College of Art in 2009 with a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. I have received scholarships to study at Penland School of Crafts, Peters Valley, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and have taught workshops on basic metalsmithing, sand casting, and decorative sailor knotting. For a resume, please click here.
I employ a variety of techniques in the design and manufacture of my work, from sand casting to sailor knotting, 3-d modeling to forging. I utilize the skills of other professionals when economically and/or conceptually appropriate, and in these instances give credit in the product description. I believe that the method used to produce a piece of jewelry (or any object) resonates within it, even if it is not obvious to a casual observer. For more information on my process please click here.
As a designer, I find a distinct beauty in utilitarian objects, and often notice that through use such objects become more beautiful still. I think of a bronze oarlock, its exterior caked with oxide from exposure to salt spray, its interior buffed to a warm luster by the rubbing of a dinghy's wooden oars. I design jewelry to be durable, so that use may compound its beauty. If you wear one of my pieces, I hope that you will take pleasure in knowing that you are part of what makes it beautiful.
I sell my work through this site, at a number of small craft shows throughout the year, and select retail locations around the United States. For information about making purchases through this site please click here. For a list of retailers currently carrying my products, please click here.