I started making jewelry in 1996 and haven’t stopped. It was very relaxing at first to just play with my beads. When I accumulated too many, I started selling my creations. My jewelry is one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Materials I use are semiprecious stones, Venetian glass, Swarovski crystals, flame work, and metal. I use quality findings of sterling silver and 14K gold filled to finish my work.
My latest items since moving to the Lake Michigan shore are Beach Finds—jewelry made out of beach glass, fossils, rocks, and Crinoids. These have been big sellers. I make earrings, necklaces, and bracelets with them.
Enameled jewelry is another area I specialized in. The enamel is a vitreous glass powder which I fuse to copper. It is fired in a kiln at 1500* for about two minutes. Multiple layers of enamel powder are added for color and design effects. I also use decals which are permanently affixed to the enamel. Another effect is Millifiori glass, which means “a million flowers,” and it is also melted into the enamel on the copper.
I have studied jewelry making with Curry Butzbaugh, Jessica Bohus, Neil Kraus, and Veleta Vancza. My daughter Arianne and I own Dragons Fly Beads. My work can be seen at The Box Factory, Water Street Glassworks, and Dragonsflybeads on Facebook. I also teach enameling and jewelry making at Water Street Glassworks in Benton Harbor. I show at Art Fairs throughout west Michigan and northern Indiana, including the South Haven Art Fair in July.
I have a new piece ready for the Setting Stones exhibit at the South Haven Art Center. It is a 26” necklace made entirely of Lake Michigan beach stones.