We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlin Dunn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caitlin, what inspires you?
The beauty of nature inspires me. I was lucky enough to be born and raised in Aspen, Colorado where I’ve been surrounded by mountains my entire life. I have stared at certain mountains countless numbers of times, in awe of their power and beauty. They inspire me to push myself to ski them, hike them, spend time alone within them and respect them. The mountains define our landscape and they define the people who live within them. My latest collection of jewelry features all things Aspen including these gorgeous mountains. If they inspire me, I know they inspire countless others and how unique to be able to wear the places that inspire you!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I strive to create jewelry that is simple and elegant, jewelry that you can wear and cherish everyday. Each piece of my jewelry is handmade, making each unique. I recently learned how to wax carve and I can’t wait to do even more and explore and perfect the technique. This new skill allowed me to create my Mountain series, which I am most proud of! This new series features Maroon Bells, Aspen Mountain and Mt. Sopris as well as Aspen leaves. I can’t wait to continue to grow the series this spring with new mountains and new designs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Okay pre-covid! I would have them visit in the fall, my absolute favorite season in Aspen! I would have hikes planned for each day to go see the gorgeous yellow aspen leaves, including American lake trail and the Sunnyside trail. We would definitely have to go see the Maroon Bells at sunrise. Maybe a bike ride down to the Woody Creek Tavern for a margarita! Lunch and drinks at Pine Creek Cookhouse in Ashcroft, a Big Wrap picnic up Independence pass, dinner at L’Hosteria, Meat and Cheese and of course the chicken sandwich at White House Tavern. I’d take them through the Aspen Saturday Market to pick up local fruits, veggies and flowers and to Paradise Bakery for my favorite lemonade and cookies. We’d stop by Pitkin County Dry Goods for the best shopping in town and then to The Red Brick Center for the Arts where I have my studio along with 11 other local artists.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people have helped me on my journey that deserve a shoutout! Thank you to all the people who instilled a passion of art in me, supported me, mentored me and took a chance on me! Thank you to the women who taught me their knowledge of metalsmithing as well as the ins and outs of running your own jewelry business. Thank you to all the people who have purchased my jewelry and told their friends about me. A special thank you to my dad, Joe Dunn, who has made most of the displays I use and helped me set up and tear down all my market booths when I was first starting out. It’s hard work! Thank you to my boyfriend, Cody Ratledge, who now helps me with booth setups and who is my biggest fan and supporter. To all of my family and friends that are always wearing my jewelry and telling everyone they see where to buy it for themselves! To my friends who have worked by my side at markets, who always lift me up, and inspire me to get creative. And to my best friend Jen Leddy, who is an incredibly talented metalsmith, who always answers my jewelry questions, gives me the best tricks of the trade and who inspires me to push myself and continue to learn new techniques!
Last photo of Caitlin Dunn courtesy of The Scout Guide Aspen