The biggest remark I get about my jewelry is, “How do you do that? I could never do that. I would go blind!” Let’s remember something here, I come from a family of nerds. My father is an engineer, my mother was a programmer in the late 60’s, my sister and her husband are engineers, and hubby and I are also engineers. Given that, I’ve been trained from a very young age to analyze and assess a problem and come up with a solution.
I’ve been making jewelry since I started stringing plastic heart beads when I was 6 years old. I dove head first into everything I could find, from color theory to wire work, carefully honing my skills as an artist throughout my childhood and into adulthood. My love for the infamously engineered Swarovski crystal outweighed my love for natural stones at the time, so I was really working on my color palettes. After one of my sisters bought some stretchy bracelets with Swarovski crystal from Bloomingdale’s, the three of us decided to make our own. I had stacked crystal bracelets before they were ever trendy.
Chainmaille stole my heart because it’s so precise with its extremely calculated aspects to get just the right pattern. The engineer rejoiced while the artist used those analytical skills to figure out how to break down all the different patterns to create something new. Come on, I can weave chains in my sleep, but it gets overly repetitive after awhile. After a year of all the chainmaille, I was bored. I missed my beads. After that realization, I got to work. That was the moment I graduated as an artist. That moment when I started putting things together and it started working. It was a perfect merger of engineer and artist.
I can’t honestly say when my love of stones began to overtake the Swarovski crystal. It just shifted into that direction and eventually I tried to combine the two alongside my favorite lampwork beads. It worked out well, but eventually fell to the wayside as I learned about pricing and wholesale vs retail. Someday I’ll pick them back up, but I’m laying the foundation of my core collections first. The Chinese Knot Collection is my biggest and brightest collection due to its versatility and cohesiveness. It’s a perfect epitome of my engineering and artist personalities.