Anna Doll has done a lot of traveling, and like many folks she brings home souvenirs. But unlike most, her souvenirs become permanent artistic representations of where she’s been. Whether it is opals from Australia, pearls from Indonesia, semi-precious stones from Ecuador or even llama leather from Bolivia, Doll uses them to create jewelry with a distinct sense of place.
While spending her summers on the Outer Banks, Doll became interested in College of The Albemarle’s (COA) Professional Crafts: Jewelry program. Under the guidance of instructor and nationally recognized metalsmith Kathryn Osgood, Doll said she “fell in love with the program.”
“Kathryn is always available to help,” Doll said, “whether it’s answering questions about materials or fabrication, providing letters of recommendation, or even lending display units for students to use at art exhibits and marketplaces.” She also noted that the studios used by students at COA have extended hours of operations and access to tools and equipment for those enrolled.
A practical aspect of the jewelry program Doll has benefited from is the Work-Based Learning component. She is currently working on a two-year internship with internationally acclaimed jewelry artist Gail Kowalski of Jewelry By Gail, in Nags Head. Part of her internship is learning to facet stones, and Doll has plans to travel to California next year to complete studies in a graduate gemologist program.
The combination of creative work in the crafting of jewelry pieces, and the workplace experience of the internships give COA students in the Professional Crafts: Jewelry program a comprehensive set of skills they’ll use to build a career.