Cottonwood Instructor Biography’s

Cottonwood Instructor Biography’s

Lyndsey Rieple

Lyndsey went full time with her jewelry business ( in August of 2021
after 6 years of working for other jewelry retailers while pursuing her business on the
side. She has taught new hires stone setting, polishing, casting, and laser welding. She
has also taught metalsmithing, leather working, and drawing/painting to youth, ages 7-
16, and adults at art centers, summer camps, and jewelry centers across the country.

Originally an illustrator/drawer/mural painter, Lyndsey switched to jewelry making in 2008.
Since then, she has been invited to jury the nation-wide call-for-entry Art Fair Jackson Hole,
exhibit as an emerging artist in Art in the Pearl, speak at the University of North Texas, and sell
regularly at The Backyard Market in Colorado, her home roots. She enjoys cruising around in her
custom camper trailer, The Brookelynz, which she built with her dad in 2021 and dancing
whenever she can.

Heather of Towed Studio

Heather of Towed Studio is a primarily self-taught Silversmith.  Though, lately she has taken to learning everything she can from other teachers and colleagues.  She is now apprenticing with a master goldsmith in Tucson, Arizona when she, her husband, and two rescue dogs are not traveling the country in their RV.  Heather teaches at Xerocraft, a maker space in Tucson, in her home studio, and while traveling.  She specializes in Sterling Silver, large stones, sand casting, hydraulic press jewelry, and tool making.  She loves to teach as much as she loves to learn… and coffee… and chocolate.  

Kenny Idleman

Kenny Idleman has spent the past decade building a career in the field of jewelry and metalsmithing.
He began his journey in the medium with classes as Pikes Peak Community (now State) College,
completed his Bachelor’s degree with a focus in jewelry and metals at Colorado State University-Fort
Collins, and found his way back to Pikes Peak State College where he has taught jewelry and
metalsmithing for the past four years. Kenny takes particular interest in the physical manipulation of
moving metal (i.e. raising, chasing and repousse, forming, etc…), though he has built up a diverse
repertoire of nuanced techniques. He currently lives in Colorado Springs, where he happily devotes
his life and time to his partner and four children.

Bonnie Nelson

Bonnie Nelson has been a jewelry artist for over 20 years and loves to work with silver and turquoise. She enjoys learning old techniques and then figures how to use it in a contemporary setting. She believes in building community and works at bringing people together to learn metalsmithing techniques.

Bonnie has a Masters degree in Business Education from Oklahoma State University and has worked in the education field for over 50 years. She loves teaching and currently teaches silversmithing at her st.dio, Cottonwood Silver and Lapidary Supplies in downtown Colorado Springs, CO.  She owns and operates Cottonwood Silver and Lapidary Supplies.