April Ottey

Port Townsend, WA

“From seedpods to sea urchins, from bark to blossoms, I create jewelry that allows you to connect with and keep nature close at all times.”

About Me

My work explores the transformative power of nature. I focus on the intricate details of the natural world—the architecture, texture, and shape of plant and animal parts—in order to draw attention to the often-overlooked beauty surrounding us. My close-up inspection of various stages of birth, growth, death and decay in gardens, forests, rivers, and beaches has shaped who I am as an artist. I cast, fabricate, and incorporate my natural world collections into jewelry that strives to place nature into a new context to evoke wonder and appreciation for the multitude of forms that exist all around us. These pieces provide an opportunity to appreciate nature from new perspectives – and to marvel at the connection between form and function that have evolved over eons.

I live and work in Port Townsend, Washington, where my home and studio is a stone’s throw from Discovery Bay. I have an MFA from Central Washington University and an undergraduate degree from Montana State University. I taught jewelry and metalsmithing at an alternative high school for 10 years until I decided to pursue my own work full-time in 2015. I show my work in various galleries around the country and teach workshops as well. I love what I do and feel grateful that I get to create jewelry that is enjoyed and worn by others.

Examples of My Work

Fun Facts

  • Travel: I’ve hiked Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon in a day.
  • Childhood: I grew up on a farm in Montana building forts and riding horses.
  • Big Experience: I went to France at 17 as an exchange student for a year and fell in love with cheese and chocolate!
  • Plants: I can’t seem to stop adding new ones to my garden. There is always room for one more.
  • Collections: I collect beach stones everywhere I go.

More About Me

What is your hidden talent or claim to fame?

I love to run. I ‘ve been running since I was a kid and last year I ran the New York Marathon!

What inspires you?

New designs come to me while I am on trail hiking or early in the morning when I can’t sleep. My inspiration comes as the sun is coming up with a good cup of coffee in my hand in my studio.

What other non-artist jobs have you had?

I decided I wanted a job when I was 13 so that I could buy my own school clothes. I rode my bike to clean cabins at a little resort on a lake and got paid $2.00 an hour.