Kay Denning was an artisan jeweler who created enameled copper jewelry in the 1960s and 1970s. Her designs, with their Modernist influences, were rendered in bold, geometric patterns. She made jewelry during the 60s for Bovano; an independent studio, art company that specialized in metal and glass sculptures since 1952 and was based in Chester, Connecticut. The firm contracted with her in the 1960s to create designs for them.
She is best known for the rich deep glow of her enamels that she crafted using raised cookies of glass. Her distinctive style features designs made with large ‘frit’ cookies or globs of colored glass with contrasting color backgrounds.
Her work, when signed is marked, “Denning” or “K. Denning,” usually in green on a white background. Generally, most of her large items like bracelets and necklaces are marked, but rarely (if ever) does the mark appear on the earrings and pins she created. Her copper jewelry, with its bold enamel designs, have a devoted following among collectors who now scour the market for mid-20th Century enamels.
Kay Denning's enamel arrangement of blue and orange triangles in a grid-like pattern reflects the precision of design work in industry. Denning appears to have stopped making jewelry around 1980.