Where do you go today to find accessories that are as unique as you are? Every accessory you choose is a vehicle to project your originality and authenticity to the world. Surely, art jewelry from independent artisans and craftsmen is the answer.
What makes what I do different?
I design and make jewelry using my original drawings, (example: right sidebar) by fabricating precious metal pieces as miniature sculpture you can wear. Each one is a work of art that tells its own story, never to be duplicated. I’ve taken a modern approach to ‘slow fashion’.
How do I do this?
Starting with sheet metal and wire, rocks and minerals, and my own drawings, I forge the components of my designs.
Embossed sections, called chasing and repousse, are done using hammer and chisel with the metal embedded in a pot of pine pitch to hold it fast.
Engraving and inlay use hand gravers and a rotating vise for gouging out the metal.
Bright and colorful enamel is ground glass heat fused to metal using a kiln, torch and temperatures over 1400°F.
Precious and semi-precious gemstones, whether purchased already formed or hand-shaped in our own lapidary studio by my husband, are set or strung by hand to bring more color to the piece.
Torch fire and chemicals color and alter the metal surfaces.
I’ve developed a vocabulary of techniques that enable me to execute my design as a unique signature. Often, there are hidden details on the reverse or inside; a secret message between me, the maker, and you, the wearer.
Who I am
I was a professional portrait painter and gallery owner for years after retiring from a career in corporate accounting. I loved doing that, but moving to Florida to care for my aging parents meant leaving that life behind. It was my honor to care for them, but in time it was possible to begin again to build a business. However, it felt like a new start called for a fresh start.
Over the years, I’ve gone through “phases” of handcraft from raku pottery to lace making, but was kept completely enrapt by how humans decorate their bodies.
Indeed, I’d have a tattoo but my European husband would have apoplexy. (Shhh! Our secret!). Instead, I chose hand crafted jewelry.
Why I do what I do
I make only one of a kind pieces, because I believe they are precious objects. In a world where printers can pop out anything from a high-rise building to a new left ear, a piece of art made completely by hand using basic tools is borderline endangered. So today, the ultimate in luxury is exclusivity. Pieces that are one of a kind, made one at a time, by hand, are as exclusive as you can find.
As a mature woman, I know I am continually looking for wearable art that provides me with comfort, practicality and a pinch of drama. In a culture of youth, I work to stay relevant as a woman. I know when I wear artful jewelry I connect more readily with people, who often comment. It’s a confidence builder. And I certainly don’t feel invisible!
Where do I work?
My husband and I live in southern Florida, where the Tropical Studio is just steps from our living room. I also occasionally demonstrate my techniques at trunk shows and galleries. Watch my website for events or become a STUDIO INSIDER. Click HERE
When did I begin my jewelry business?
I began making jewelry professionally in 2008 following a 15-year career in portraiture. I just love doing it … making metal, glass and stone follow my wishes. It’s my rocket.