about

Sam Norgard

my work is my passion...
Karen-Sam Norgard, “Sam” to her friends and family, finds inspiration for her one-of-a-kind jewelry from a number of different sources. The intricate beadwork brings together her considerable design skills in painting and ceramic sculpture, her love of floral themes and her eye for unusual combinations of color, texture and form.

Her designs in polymer clay and the rich mix of beads and findings from all over the world are woven into each piece using combinations of traditional African, Native American, French and Victorian constructions. The dynamic process of linking old techniques with new interpretations and contemporary materials reveals a piece’s design as she selects each bead and adds it to the form. Sometimes, if a piece really “speaks” to her, she will create a series based on the same theme so she can fully explore the nuances of the design until it has run its course.

“Creating necklaces, bracelets and earrings that women will love and enjoy wearing gives me great pleasure,” Sam declares. “By wearing my jewelry my clients provide the most intimate of displays for my designs.”

Sam is dedicated to preserving the tradition of handmade beaded art and conveys her passion to her students at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA, where she and her husband, David, live. She currently is a Professor at the Savannah location, served as an artist in residence at SCAD-Lacoste, France and helped open SCAD-Hong Kong where she taught for one year. Prior to her teaching career she worked in a number of design-related industries. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking, and a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Sculpture.

Sam’s artistic pursuits extend well beyond her jewelry designs. She also creates “perishable art” utilizing a variety of materials from live plants to beach stones and shells. After assembling her work she photographs it and allows the materials to return to a natural state. Plants wilt and waves scatter the pieces. “It is much like our human existence,” she observes. “Each of my creations is unique – much like each one of us are unique, in the cycle of life.”

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