Shelby Goldsmith is a jeweler and death doula. Working from her home studio in Saco, her metalwork and deathwork are both in service of her goal to encourage and normalize conversations about death and dying.

“Inspired and informed by sentimental jewelry throughout history, I offer my contemporary take. I utilize a dark, limited color palette of stones and oxidized silver to create modern mourning jewelry. Moving away from the motifs common in memento mori (remember death) jewelry, my most recent body of work employs the letter X as a non-traditional symbol of death. Derived from the 1932 film Scarface, where a cinematic X motif is used as a harbinger of death, appearing as each character meets their death. The shape provides a departure point to design from, endlessly multiplying and manipulating it. The finished work abstracts the dark context behind it, often utilizing asymmetry and movement to create elegant jewelry that is playful and dynamic.”

Having earned her BFA in Metalsmithing & Jewelry from Maine College of Art in 2014, she has since assisted and taught multiple classes in their Continuing Studies program as well as classes at Penland School of Craft, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Artascope Studios. In 2020 Shelby completed the Maine Craft Apprentice Program under the expertise of mentor, j.e. paterak. They collaborated and worked together for over 100 hours, to further technical skills and develop Shelby’s business practices. In 2021 Shelby completed the Going with Grace End of Life Training Program, to become a death doula & end of life planner.

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