I've always been a tinkerer - try this craft, that craft, mix the crafts together. You get some pretty interesting stuff when you just start playing! But it was jewelry that I kept coming back to. After many years in a high-paced job, and lots of encouragement from my full-time-artist husband, I became serious about improving my jewelry craft and creating unique designs. I put my whole heart into jewelry making. I have been selling my creations since 2012 and was accepted as a permitted crafter at Pike Place Market in 2017. In 2018 I found so much fulfillment and success in my art that I left my job and focused my attention on creating and selling my jewelry full time - without regrets!
My husband and I share a studio space in our home, which is great because we can bounce ideas off of each other and we can just go there anytime we want - no commute! We like to listen to old alternative music and sometimes take small breaks to have spontaneous dance parties. Lately we have been spending a lot of time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico so we get the occasional beach day and lots of wonderful warm weather. And I still like to dabble in other crafts when I get a free moment. I am currently trying to teach myself to crochet, something I learned how to do as a teenager but haven't done in a long time. I think it is important for me to keep trying new creative things, even if they have nothing to do with my jewelry.
TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS
Silver and Copper Clay
Most of my metal designs are created from silver or copper clay. I use a special clay that incorporates recycled metal bits into a binder. This makes the compound malleable so I can sculpt it, form it, roll and cut it as I like. Then I kiln fire my work at 1650 degrees which burns away the clay binder and fuses the metal particles together to form a solid metal piece. I then use reaction techniques to patina the piece to show depth. It's almost like alchemy!
Hand Formed Components
Something that sets me apart from other jewelers is I hand-form all of my own components. I use all sterling silver chain and I hand-form each clasp and connection with sterling silver wire. I also hand-form each one of my ear wires out of sterling silver wire. I have selected designs for my findings that add uniqueness to your pieces and show off my commitment to craftsmanship.
Enameled Copper and Silver
I love adding color to my work! The silver and copper materials that I have selected to work with both allow me to add enameling. Enamel is very fine particles of glass that is either sprinkled on a flat surface or 'wet-packed' into recessed areas of a sculpted piece, then kiln fired at 1500 degrees to fuse the glass to the metal. Sometimes I enjoy the simplicity of solid colors, other times call for fading two or three colors together. The possibilities are endless!