welded steel


breathing life into metal

by Marbeth Schon



silver and blister pearl

Cher Fox appears to breathe life into metal: ingeniously, it becomes vital in her hands. Whether her forms are intentionally naturalistic (such as birds or flowers) or nonobjective, they are organic--biomorphic.  

Cher, as you may know from our previous article  Cher Fox, Sculptor/ Jeweler , attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge,  where, in 1999, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a double major in sculpture/jewelry and metalsmithing. 

She has won numerous awards for her work,  both in sculpture and jewelry.

Shore bird, welded steel

In June of this year, as part of their permanent collection, Cher's steel sculpture titled "Memories of Namina" was installed at the Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Maryland.  Cher created the 6-1/2 feet tall heron in memory of her grandmother, Sibyl Street Ramsey (called Namina by her children), a scientist and naturalist who loved bird watching.
"Memories of Namina"

Steel sculpture of a heron with hundreds of individually cut steel feathers that were welded one by one.

6-1/2 feet tall x 5 feet circumference.

"When rain falls the earth softens, inviting reflections.  Memories surface, along with inspirations; a single drop against the skin can cause a flood."  Cher Fox (inscription on "Memories of Namina" plaque)



Cher's birds are created by meticulously welding hundreds of pieces of cut steel onto armatures. This arduous process, however, is never revealed by the final outcome which appears amazingly spontaneous and natural.

Vulture sculpture
welded steel


Detail of steel feathers

The influence of  Louisiana and Mississippi's flower and plant forms is apparent in Cher's lamps that burst from long steel stems balanced on root systems that wander across the floor or hang from ceilings on intertwined steel vines.

Torch ere
welded steel

Hanging lamp
welded steel

Cher's jewelry is no less sculptural than her larger designs.  She is tremendously versatile--creating huge welded steel forms as well as delicate pendants, pins, rings, and earrings.

Pendant and chain
sterling silver, African cobalto calcite, chrysoprase

Cher's use of patination to achieve  naturalistic surfaces can be seen in these earrings that are reminiscent of  biomorphic designs of certain mid 20th century  jewelers. 


patinated sterling silver


Stones are used to create desired colors, textures, and shapes within Cher's overall designs. A stone is rarely used for its intrinsic value or as a main focal point.

Cher prefers unusual cuts of semiprecious gems, raw crystals,  freshwater pearls, turquoise, carnelian, chrysoprase, and amber.

Many of her pieces have hidden elements, such as stones set in the back or inside of designs where only the wearer can see or feel them.  Clasps are designed with the same care and attention to detail as the more apparent parts of the jewelry--all work together to create beautiful, successful small sculpture.

In 1

gold, hematite, freshwater pearl

sterling silver, amethyst crystal, hidden carnelian

Pendant and chain
Chinese turquoise, carnelian, chrysoprase, garnet

sterling silver, amber


Cher uses found glass in the same way she uses gem stones for color, shape, and texture. She titles these pieces "Lost and Found."

Pendant and chain
sterling silver, carnelians, found glass

sterling silver, found glass, wire

Cher's jewelry and sculpture are handmade, one-of-a-kind works of art with significance well beyond the intrinsic value of their materials; her unique, creative use of these materials brings her work to life and insures its longevity.


For more information, email Cher at
Jewelry  by Cher Fox is available at 


Marbeth Schon is the owner of M. Schon Modern at
   She is moderator of SilverForum, editor of MODERN SILVER magazine, and author of the book, Modernist Jewelry 1930-1960, The Wearable Art Movement.

web design by Marbeth Schon
 Copyright   Modern Silver magazine 2004

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