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By Elizabeth Harry
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Meet Joanna Gollberg: jewelry designer, metalsmith, and published author. She's a woman of many talents, and has shared her skill in teaching positions at the Penland School of Crafts and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, to name a few. Joanna operates out of an amazing studio in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. The vibrant arts community in Asheville, the multitude of tools and materials in her studio, and the amazing colors and textures of rough and faceted gemstones serve as her design inspirations. Joanna loves to design and to work with her hands, ensuring that she is completely involved in the creation of each piece of colorful jewelry. Joanna's genuine love for materials and techniques makes her company unique. This passion is revealed in the fantastic jewelry that she creates. In addition, she was voted Best Jewelry Artist/Designer in Asheville for 2014.

Read more about the artist, in her own words:

I am a full-time studio jeweler, a mother of an 8-year old son, and a wife. In my work, I teach jewelry making at craft schools and for metalsmithing groups. I make custom wedding and engagement rings, and I have a line of jewelry I make and sell at boutiques and galleries. I began making jewelry when my grandmother gave me all of her enameling supplies. I then took a jewelry/enameling class at Penland School of Crafts. After graduating from Warren Wilson College, I went on to attend a 2-year jewelry program at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. I love embroidery, reading, gardening, canning food, snuggling with my son, old linens, and sewing.


Have you ever made a risky decision in your business or your artwork? How did it turn out?

I have changed my line several times. It was super hard, as my new work did not fit into all the current galleries who carried my old work. But I had to do it in order to no get burnt out and to keep myself interested in my work. A studio artist does not have to be a production jeweler, and it was hard for me to figure out a line that gave me fluidity and flexibility in what I make. I think I have it worked out now for the most part.

What is your dream project?

I have many things I want to do. I want to make some sculpture, things that hang from the ceiling or wall or perhaps sit on the floor. I want to make big, fancy jewelry in gold and precious stones. (I can’t afford that right now) I want to make a line of animal jewelry, which I am beginning now. I want to finish all the quilts I started. I want to do a metal/embroidery project about my Dad’s multiple brain surgeries. I want to make fabric art using some of the amazing fabrics and old linens I collect. There are so many things to make!


Who do you look up to?

Lots of people for different things. I look up to people who are able to give to their community and help others for their jobs. I look up to those who are able to maintain a healthy work/life balance while still making a decent living. I look up to people who are good parents, who instill strong positive beliefs in their children.


Thanks, Joanna! Be sure to visit the shop at GreenHill to pick up some sparkly treasures this season.