Make the Brutal Tender with February Artist Stasia Salvucci (AKA The Cave Lady)

February was one of the last months to be added to the Roman calendar, since Romans originally considered winter a monthless period. In the depth of winter, we look to that which unifies our hard and soft aspects. STASIA SALVUCCI (AKA The Cave Lady)’s jewelry does that with poetic grace.



One-of-a-kind pendants of bronze, gold fill, sterling, and fine silver by Stasia Salvucci.

“Make the brutal tender.” What does this mean to you? How does your work speak to this idea?
I feel that the theme itself this season describes a process. Whether it be tenderizing meat through brutally beating with a wooden mallet, taking time to be empathetic and constructive when speaking with people who do not share your viewpoints, or water pouring through rock cracks collecting silica to eventually form opals. I love exposed processes and understanding how things evolve.

Beauty in the process. Stasia Salvucci’s delicate charms repurpose recycled sheet metal scraps into wearable art.

How do you think your work and/or practice relates to the theme?
I feel like silversmithing is such a literal interpretation of the theme. Through a process of rolling, sawing, torching, hammering, and filing you end up with delicate wearable pieces. The majority of my work possesses an archaic aesthetic, made intentionally with the process shown. I love leaving in saw marks, solder blobs, anything to show it was handmade with intent along every step of the way.

Describe the editions you’ll be contributing this season.
For this season I’ve made 4 one of a kind pendants of bronze, gold fill, sterling, and fine silver. They’re all from recycled scraps of sheet metal hammered and stamped with small textures and patterns.

What artist, dead or alive would, would you like to sit down with?
Henry Sloan, the mysterious great grandfather of Delta Blues. I love Delta Blues and the stories and mythologies that have risen from different artists’ starts.

What are you listening to/reading/looking at right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts in the studio this year, mainly short horror story, history or sci-fi related.

What is one question you wish we’d asked? (And answer it.)
What are your favourite materials to work with?
While I normally work in silver this year I’ve been branching out more in gold and I love combining the two metals. As ever I am extending my massive hoard, uhm- collection, of turquoise, opals, wampum and other stones. Rare natural American mined turquoise has and will always be a favourite because patterns in it can look topographical or like old landscape paintings.

What wise words do you carry with you into your practice? 
Whenever my schedule gets overwhelming I hear my dad’s voice in my head on a loop saying, “make your bones”.