Hi, my name is Carla Bissinger, I am a Master Goldsmith and Certified Jewelry Designer from Berlin, Germany, now living in Missoula, Montana.
For all of my life, I have been making jewelry, painting and drawing, and creating beautiful things. After a detour over studying Massage therapy, I learned the goldsmithing trade by acquiring a vocational retraining in 1994. I worked several years as a goldsmith-journeywoman before I completed my education with a Masters degree as a goldsmith and jewelry designer in 2000. Before moving to Missoula, I owned a jewelry store with a workshop and a gallery in central Berlin, Germany for 12 years. Over the past 4 years, I have been maintaining my craft by working in a local jewelry store, designing and carving wax models for the store’s jewelry collection, and custom work. Currently I am teaching silversmithing and basic soldering classes and taking custom orders as well as working on my collection.
In the 27 years of my carreer I have experienced many different techniques and approaches of designing jewelry, and the journey of always learning something new is a continuum. I find that studying other forms of craft is interesting and adds to my designs.
I am creative, detail oriented and dependable, and always committed to delivering beautiful work of superior craftmanship.
My inspiration comes from nature, especially the ocean and its rhythm of ebb and flow, the waxing and waning of the moon, the rise and fall of the seasons, everything that grows organically. Every process of growth needs the allowance of time. A piece of wood, patiently shaped by the gentle force of water, has a beauty to it, or a withered and rusty iron gate, a hundred year old cactus, a windswept coastal pine tree…the shapes the ocean waves make in the sand, corals, sea urchins, sea shells and their perfect pattern and fluid lines. Contemporary yet timeless, my original handcrafted designs have a tactile and a visual aesthetic: the sensuous feel of a smooth or textured finish and the fluid outlines of the pieces make them fun to wear, a piece of art that accompanies rather than encumbers the wearer. Joy is a great part of the process. I love and enjoy handling the noble materials, finding and purchasing unique stones of exquisite beauty, and featuring them by building the frame that enhances the piece rather than competes with it. Natural inclusions of the stone are incorporated in the design, as well as the choice of the materials and techniques. I am utilizing noble materials like gold, silver and platinum and genuine gemstones and pearls, but also found objects or other materials like bone or tooth. Some of my favorite techniques are chasing, repoussé, saw piercing, as well as lost wax carving, etching, stamping, and many more. Wearability is important, so I make my pieces functional, practical and easy to care for. I am dedicated to put my experience, craftmanship and creativity into each piece to pass the joy I had creating it directly on to the wearer, who by wearing it expresses a part of their individual personality and celebrates the beauty of life.