Jessi Stead designs kinetic jewelry. Her process includes thinking up engineering ideas, failing to sketch them out, scouting out parts, failing to measure them, and experimenting with the parts months later in her home studio until she finds a design that she just can’t stop playing with. Stylistically, she takes simple geometric shapes and turns them into moving silhouettes. She is responsible for creating the oxidized and sanded surfaces in her pink, gold, and black toned pallet. Her construction is playfully functional and minimalistic.
Since starting Playthings Studio in 2019, Jessi’s most notable appearances have been in the exhibits at Abington Arts, Eclipse Arts and Chester County Art Association, art shows with Tyler Park for the Arts, Haverford Guild of Artist, Winterthur, and Wayne Arts Center, and a surprise runway appearance in the 2020 Numinous Magazine fashion show. Jessi is a self-taught jewelry artist and before a slight detour away from art to dual major in Philosophy and Political Science at Millersville University, she was a celebrated artist, with Four Lancaster County Young Artist Association Awards, the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design Summer Scholarship, and a Third Degree Black Belt in American Karate by the time she graduated from Octorara Area High School.
Today, when not swiveling in her studio chair with parts and pliers between her knees, Jessi is doing her part to contribute to the arts community as a cofounder of a badly needed tech-and-business business for artists called art|Works Initiative.