Meet Kim Rumberger
Winner, Intermediate Category, Man, Myth, Magic Challenge
Congratulations to Kim Rumberger! Kim chose the category of Man in this challenge, creating a 20″ necklace and metal clay statement pendant called Ogoni Joe. It was inspired by her father-in-law Joe, who taught in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in the 1940s. He became a Swahili instructor, first at Johns Hopkins and later at Wesleyan University where he was an administrator. Over the years he taught countless students who went overseas, and hosted many amazing dinner events for African students studying in the U.S.
“The design of the fine silver pendant was inspired by some photos that one of my clients had clipped from a museum catalogue and sent to me,” says Kim. “There were a variety of beautiful African masks from the 1700s and 1800s made from clay and wood. I decided to try to build my own version of a mask and pair it up with rustic African Trade beads. African trade beads have a complicated history as a currency used between African chiefs and outside slave traders.”
“I added drilled blue freshwater pearls for more refinement and contrast, and to add to the significance of the piece as a symbol of all the ocean water that must be crossed to travel from the African continent to North America. These would have been terrifying trans-Atlantic journeys for the forcibly uprooted Africans en-route to become slaves in the new world.”
“My piece is a tribute to both the resilience of these Africans, and to the work of my father-in-law who helped so many people communicate and foster international understanding centuries later,” Kim adds.
Kim’s favorite piece so far is Kick the Corona, a cowboy boot locket that swings open to reveal a big cactus with white CZs blooming inside. The hinge is a rivet and includes nano-gems as well as Aura 22 gold. It won a Certificate of merit in the AMCAW Hidden Worlds Challenge earlier this year. “The best thing about it,” says Kim, “is that it was a wedding gift for my new daughter-in-law who married into our family in October. She always loved the piece and had no idea that I had made it for her. She cried a little when she opened the box!”
“I am typically inspired by techniques that I either would like to learn or love to use. For example, I would like to make screw-topped vessel and have purchased an online class to learn how to do it. Next I will come up with a design (most likely a tooth fairy box for a family friend’s newborn son. For Ogoni Joe, I wanted to try creating a face for the first time. The primitive style and exaggerated features from the ancient masks gave me that push. Another inspiration source is a challenge or call to artists. I love working with a theme!”
Kim is the owner of Metal and Beads, where she teaches metal clay and more. She was in the beginning stages of creating a Cape Code and Islands Metal Clay Guild when the pandemic struck earlier this year, putting plans on hold until in-person meetings are feasible again.
She is a juried metal clay artist, an instructor and member at galleries, studios and museums on and off of Cape Cod, and a mentor in a program called ArtWorks which matches high school art students with professional artists. Kim was just named a trustee of the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
Find Kim on Facebook Metal and Beads, and on Instagram at @metal_and_beads.