"Love the earrings! The attention to detail and craftsmanship are outstanding. Definitely recommend.
Pam - Etsy, 2019
Here's some common Q's I get!
When did you start your craft?
I was about 37 (I'm 52 now) when I felt the pull to make jewelry. I was working 'for the man' in sales and I remember walking down the street going to my next call and I just wanted to cry. I passed by a jewelry shop where you could watch the jeweler. I stood in front of his window and watched him work. He was a craftsman, and I wanted his life. Well, I wanted a life where I could devote my time to making beautiful things. The seed was planted in that moment. And my life consequently started putting opportunities in my path to do just that. I kept on saying yes and now, 15 years later I'm doing what I love.
What's your professional background? Did you go to school?
I do have a degree in Technical Writing, which coincidently came in handy when I was writing tutorials for Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine and Step by Step Wire Jewelry. But I primarily learned to make jewelry by well, doing it. I screwed up a lot of metal, made some very ugly work & spent a lot of my time frustrated by my lack of skills. I traded my knowledge of making websites for 2 weeks of apprenticeship with a lapidary genius and heavy duty tool user outside of Asheville, NC. That was the best two weeks I could've spent learning because it was all hands on and he basically gave me the confidence to go my own way with my work. He taught me how to solder and what metal can do. And I just went from there.
Why do you do what you do?
I've loved jewelry for as long as I can remember. My grandmother had a fabulous collection and I would spend hours going through her jewelry box. But I am also passionate about self-expression. So I can marry my two passions together by making meaningful metal jewelry that helps me express myself in the making of it, and others express themselves in the wearing of it. Also, I enter into a spiritual, almost meditative state when I'm immersed in my work. I have found out more about myself in my studio than anything else I've every done as far as self-discovery is concerned.
Why do you use silver and not gold?
I love using sterling silver because it is so versatile. When I oxidize it, the silver becomes a neutral color. Oxidized silver looks fabulous on warm or cool toned skin, and I can add warm or cool stones to it and it always looks great. I can texture silver in different ways, and put different polishes on it for a different tone or feeling. It's still affordable also...and that's important to me. I like making quality jewelry that is unique and artsy, and has enough range for the full expression of my ideas. Gold...eh...not so much. I don't like diamonds either...give me a multi-colored agate and I'm entranced!
How would you describe the style of your jewelry?
Comfortable enough to wear everyday, but different enough to start conversations with strangers. Lived in...part of your body, almost. Like a tattoo that you can take off. Weathered and lovingly worn. I wish there was a category for it that perfectly expressed what I'm going for, but I've never heard what it is. I know the style when I see it in pottery, woven baskets and clothing.
Earthy? Rustic? If you have an accurate term please let me know!
Ok, where does your inspiration come from?
My life...my interests in metaphysics, nature, the Modernist era in jewelry, everything really. I have more ideas than time to explore them. Actually, I love it when collectors contact me wanting to change a design a little bit. I like designs that can go bigger or smaller in scale or adding a stone or taking one away. Inspiration comes from all aspects of my life.
I want my jewelry to move...to swing back and forth, front and back, sideways and up and down!
Seriously though, movement is the energy of change and change is how we grow ourselves up.
Whether you are wired to respond to what life dishes up, or you are the Chef dishing it out, movement is necessary.
I put a lot of emphasis on kinetics in my jewelry because it's the most important ingredient for Self-Expression.
We are energetically connected to others in our lives via our intellect, ideas, communication styles, intuition, sexuality, emotions & will power.
We exchange our life force vitality with others so we can learn and change.
I use hot & cold connections in my work as an essential design element, but also to form the structure of each piece.
Our connections to others also form the structure of our lives...our homes, our work environments, our holy places and even our bodies.
I love metal because it offers different values of reflectivity.
I understand my life by living it, then reflecting upon it. I don't often get the significance of the moment until after it has passed.
Time takes it's toll on the reflective properties of most metals. Oxidation pits and discolors the surface of most things...and if too much time passes before we reflect upon our experiences, our ability to learn from them becomes distorted.
Reflection as a daily habit offers us the most benefits.