Gina Dunlap has studied jewelry making at the Jewelry Arts Institute (Kulicke-Stark Academy), New York; Chelmsford College, England; the Cromwell House Group, Cambridge, England; and Goldsmiths Hall, London. In England, she studied enameling with Jane Short and silversmithing with Chris Bowen. She taught metalsmithing and jewelry making at Chesterton College, Cambridge, England from 1992 to 1994, and teaches etching and metalsmithing courses at Brookfield Crafts Center and Guilford Handcraft Center and advanced metalsmithing at Wesleyan Potters in Connecticut. She received the Excellence in Jewelry Award from the Society for Connecticut Crafts. She maintains a studio in Wallingford, Connecticut.
When I began making jewelry in 1987, I had been a working musician, playing traditional Irish music in bands and as a solo in New York City and New England. I spent a lot of time wandering around the U.K., drawn to stone circles and Bronze Age sites in Scotland and the Orkney Islands. I have been particularly fascinated by those boundary zones, places and times where cultures shift, borders where language and alphabets undergo change, where old symbols linger on stones for hundreds of years then become overlain with a new iconography. The challenge of navigating the journey from concept to physical form is part of the fascination of working in metal. My work is constructed from silver, gold, bronze, and copper. I am drawn to strong graphic shapes and natural forms, often enhanced by surface texture and the emotional, talismanic resonance of text. Inspiration is as elusive as smoke, metalwork is mostly problem-solving, discipline, and spontaneity. I keep a notebook and tin whistle handy for such occasions.