Yakima Metalsmith Jay Carskadden on Creative Side Gigs

Yakima Metalsmith Jay Carskadden on Creative Side Gigs
Photo credit: Lynn Hull

Jay Carskadden is a painter, and metalsmith who also works as a full-time graphic and web designer. Her work is inspired by architecture, animals, color, clean lines, nature, and human nature. In 2013, she relocated from Seattle to Yakima, Washington to get some long-needed open space and fresh air.

Your creative instincts branch into a variety of disciplines, making your living as a full time graphic designer and web designer. Why did you decide to turn to painting and jewelry as a side gig?

My painting and metalwork as a side gig really happened on its own. It’s not something I planned. Since I work primarily on the computer as a graphic and web designer, I crave the tactile process of making art with my hands. It’s very grounding. The way that I do this is through painting and metalwork. People started buying my work and the more I sold the more it became a side gig! I really like the mix of all of my disciplines. Each one supports the other.

Silver and 14k gold rings with Mexican Fire Opal/Blue Sapphire by Jay Carskadden. Photo credit: Jay Carskadden

How has metalwork and jewelry helped sustain you during the COVID-19 pandemic?

At first, I thought this question was about “sustaining” me financially, but a friend pointed out that this could also be interpreted as “sustain” in terms of “well-being” through the stress of the pandemic. I have to say my painting and metalwork has done both! Especially my painting. I’ve had a few painting commissions that were very satisfying and even sparked some new ideas and directions that I might not have otherwise taken.  

The pandemic did inspire me to get my paintings up online since all the venues and events that I sold them in were closed or cancelled. I recently designed a new shop page on my website for my paintings. Eventually, I may add a jewelry and metalwork section. Boxx Gallery in Tieton, Washington has recently reopened and is showing my jewelry, enamel bowls, and paintings in their 2020 Holiday Exhibition.

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