Coming from a family of makers - sometimes for fun and sometimes for necessity - has taught me the joy in creating. I learned my aesthetic growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s with strongly opinioned women of excellent taste. I later studied visual communications and have continued to learn in various classes, workshops, and through observation.
I have been designing and fabricating jewelry since 1999. Working from a background in graphic design, I have applied my love of design and creating to making handmade jewelry.
All jewelry is created in my studio in Western New York.
Each piece is made individually, by hand using silver metal clay combined with traditional silver smithing methods. The components are molded from sculpted wax originals or found natural objects. They are then fired in a kiln, combined with other components and findings, and patinaed to bring out the detail.
Working with silver clay allows me to explore ideas and designs using metal, while allowing me to put my hands into each piece. The clay gives amazing results in picking up the detail and texture that are so important.
Beachcomber Designs jewelry is perfect for anyone who appreciates things with a little history and earthy magic.
The silver used in my jewelry is sterling and fine silver metal clay. Metal clay is a relatively new product (since the 1990s) which uses a binder to keep the silver in clay form. When fired, the binder burns off leaving 99.9% silver.
The brand I use is made with recycled and reclaimed silver. I really appreciate its versatility and beauty. The level of detail it holds is amazing. It allows me to create one-of-a-kind pieces or create designs that can be repeated, while still requiring quite a bit of hand finishing. This ensures each piece is unique.
Bead weaving is the process of combining hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny beads to form a single piece. It has a rich and varied history, having been practiced by many civilizations through the ages. Each piece carries that history. Working in this medium is very mediative. It takes time and unwavering concentration. I believe these elements are intrinsic in each of these pieces.
They are as interesting to look at up close as at a distance. They are also a pleasure to wear. There is something about the weight of the beads and how they move. When I wear bead woven jewelry, I often find myself unconsciously touching it. There is a connection to the past, the maker, and the wearer in this jewelry.