Q & A with Kay Rashka

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Portrait of Kay Rashka, a mature woman expert on Metalwork Jewelry

1. How did you start making jewelry, and how long ago did that start?

In 1984 right after college I was travelling in Big Sur and while waiting to dine at a local restaurant I met a professional fine art metalsmith. While admiring her work it just clicked in my head that I would look into taking an introductory metals class at my local technical college.

2. What inspires your designs?

I have always been a ‘doodler’. I love highly textured surfaces. Etching metal and transferring design patterns either from a texture mat or free hand is one of my favorite techniques. There are a myriad of hammers and stamps that can be used as well to create a unique surface embellishment.

3. What is your biggest day-to-day challenge?

I work full time so finding time for creating or making is sometimes difficult. I try to make something everyday as a means of recharging. For me this can be cooking or working my yard or finishing a jewelry project.

4. Name three unexpected things that COVID-19 has taught you this year:

Growing more vegetables is fun!

Canning and preserving all those vegetables is fun!

Cooking for one is fun!

5. What is your favorite part about being a metalsmith?

The transformational nature of the process is still just fascinating to me. Turning a flat sheet of metal into a multi-dimensional piece of art with character. I love jewelry with a “Sound” dimension such as Spinner Rings and bracelet bangles. As a metalsmith instructor I love to see the student smiles as they are finishing an etched metal piece uncovering the design. It is so powerful with a few tools and techniques to be able to fabricate and transform metal.

6. What makes your teaching style unique?

I have had students tell me that I meet students where they are whether they are a timid beginner or a more experienced student. Metalsmithing includes a lot of closeup and fine detail so I will get down on my knees next to students to be close to their workspace. I celebrate their challenges and accomplishments and I learn in the process. I love the comraderie of the multi-day Boot Camp format where students challenge themselves and support oneanother. Friendships of like-minded ‘Makers’ are created due to the support that the students provide to oneanother.


Kay will coming to Wild Rice Retreat July 18-22, 2021 to teach her Metalwork Jewelry Bootcamp which is a is a self-paced, instructor guided workshop in which students challenge themselves to step out of their ‘Metal working skills’ comfort zone.

You can learn more about Kay’s work on her website, www.kayrashka.com.