As a kid I always loved playing outside and exploring nature. Bugs, plants, clouds, rocks, water. . . it was all fascinating to me.
From the time I was quite young, I had a table in the basement to call my very own. It was the place I would go make a mess and “be creative.” I can remember playing with Play-doh®, painting, working with clay, and carving wood. Working with my hands has always been very rewarding.
I went on to become a graphic designer—I loved the problem solving, and creating posters, magazines, logos, letterheads . . . anything in print. As technology replaced most of the hands on work of design, I realized just how much I missed working with my hands.
I still have a table in the basement to call my very own, but the table has grown into a well-equipped jewelry studio. It’s still the place I go to create and make a mess and work things out from an idea to an actual piece of jewelry. The making is what drives me. It is so fulfilling to carry an idea through to a finished piece.
For as long as I can remember, I have noticed and been amazed by the way the light changes, the way a branch moves. I am forever picking up rocks, sticks, bird feathers when I walk the dog, go on a hike or walk on the beach. There is usually something that catches my eye. I am an artist and a collector. They go hand in hand. These “finds” start spinning a story in my mind. Often they will be on display on a shelf or my table, until they eventually work their way into a piece of art.
I create jewelry utilizing copper, sterling, gold and 23K gold leaf and often combine semi-precious stones with river rocks, beach glass, petrified wood, branches, and fossils. It is the unexpected combination of objects and materials or textures that give my designs a sculptural quality. All of my work is inspired by nature and how I interpret the world that surrounds me.
My line of jewelry appeals to people who find beauty in the subtleties of nature and the unexpected. Wearing one of my pieces sets you apart from the ordinary. Buyers have told me they feel beautiful, empowered, unique and as extraordinary as the piece itself. That makes me smile.
Ellen & Cooper enjoying the garden–
he makes me smile
Photograph by Eric Weidman
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