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My name is... Jesse Mathes

A metalsmith and stay-at-home mom


About me

I’m from Denver, originally, and have lived in Arvada since 2012.

In 1995, I moved to San Diego for my undergraduate degree then I went to Indiana University for my graduate degree. Both of them are in metalsmithing.

Then, my husband and I moved to Chicago just for fun in 2005. We were there for six years. Chicago is a cool city, but we missed Colorado, and when we decided to start a family, we wanted to come home.

I met my husband, Nathan Richie, through a friend in 1999, and we got married in 2008 when we were living in Chicago.

I like Arvada. We live in a very friendly community, and we have really wonderful neighbors. Plus, it’s close to my husband’s job with the Golden History Museums, and it’s easy to get to both the mountains and downtown Denver.

Adornment fit for a queen

There’s something about working with metal that I find very soothing.

I make large-scale adornment about personal space and boundaries. I have found that most people have felt defensive about their personal space at some point in their life, so I feel that most people can relate to the idea. I began to imagine ways a woman could establish personal boundaries, and I got inspired by Queen Elizabeth I of England while studying abroad in Scotland in 1999. She chose to adorn herself in clothing that made her the visual center of a crowd — her prodigious gowns and jewelry enlarged her presence physically and asserted her dominance over her subjects.

I was featured in Denver Life Magazine in September and November. And I was part of the opening night for the fall 2017 Denver Fashion Weekend on Nov. 9. I collaborated with Sara Brentano, who did the models’ makeup, and Charlie Price on their clothing and hair pieces.

That was my first fashion show. I had seen my work on display on mannequins, but this was the first time I got to see it move. It was a really wonderful event. It was great to see all the local talent as well as the world-renowned designers that were a part of the event.

I also do pieces made out of woven metal and small silver jewelry for everyday wear. You can see all my work on my website, www.jessemathes.com, and the silver jewelry is at the Foothills Art Center in Golden for its Holiday Art Market.

Family life

I enjoy going to the mountains and hiking. And I also like to cook — experimenting with new recipes. I am a combination stay-at-home mom and metalsmith. I have two kids, who are 4 and 6. It’s been great being able to spend so much time with them.

I feel very lucky to be able to do all the activities with them that I wouldn’t be able to do if I had to go to work every day.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is..., contact Christy Steadman at csteadman@coloradocommunitymedia.com.


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