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Stephanie Benson has been making jewelry since 1995, when she started attending classes at the University of New Mexico. Born in New York City, she moved to New Mexico when she was five and grew up in the desert landscape of Northern New Mexico. Influenced by the earth tones of the surrounding area and the rich culture of New Mexico, creating jewelry with her own personal esthetic has seemed very natural.
The daughter of Alma Dankoff, who also made jewelry for 13 years, Stephanie was around wearable art since she was young. Her mother was her first teacher, giving her lessons in her studio before she graduated high school and this is where her love for her craft began.
After completing many jewelry courses at UNM, Stephanie apprenticed with Estevan Garcia, a local goldsmith in Albuquerque, NM. The work done with Estevan helped refine her technique and prepared her for the business side of the art world.
Following some time off for traveling, Stephanie returned to Santa Fe and began working for a small clothing store, Timbavati. Working with the owner of the store, Stephanie created a line of jewelry made exclusively for the store. During this time, Stephanie continued her education by taking courses in techniques in gold-work by Holly Stultz and forging and fabrication by Harold O’Conner. These workshops, combined with the previous work experiences helped develop a strong sense of design and form which can be seen in the bold and simplistic lines of her work.
Stephanie has also collaborated with local sculptor, Arlo Namingha, to create a group of Jewelry made from tiny wood and stone pieces. Now working exclusively on her own, Stephanie is represented by Double Take and Cruz Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and continues to create one-of-a-kind jewelry with semi-precious stones and combined silver and gold.