Susan Seal – Bead Relish

Name: Susan Seal ~ Bead Relish

Website Link: www.beadrelishonetsy.etsy.com

Where are you located? Anderson, Indiana

Tell us a bit about yourself: Years ago my mother told me that when I was a little girl I did not like having my hands dirty — I was always wanting her to wash them off. It’s interesting that today I love gardening and working in clay, two things I never thought I would enjoy. I am intrigued with nature and the natural elements of the earth — plants, animals, rocks and stones, metals and clay. I like the feel of the clay when I work with it and the result I get when I combine a clay pendant with stones, semiprecious stones, or metal adornments, and sometimes it’s fun to incorporate the image of an animal or plant on a piece too!  Nature transformed into wearable art.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art? For most of my life pottery has always fascinated me, especially the work of Rookwood, Newcomb, and the Overbeck sisters. If it was unique, unusual or Art Deco in design, I was even more attracted to it. So several years ago I decided to take a few classes to see what I could do.  I found slab work to be very enjoyable, but wheel work frustrated me. A good potter can make it look so easy, but I think I kept fighting the wheel and it was winning.  When my daughters became involved in bead making and jewelry design, and came up with the name “Bead Relish” for a business that created bead embellished jewelry, textiles, home décor, etc., that started me in a new direction. I wanted to add my own individuality to the business and found that I could incorporate my love of working in clay with jewelry.  It was smaller to work with, I enjoyed the challenge of seeing what I could create, and it definitely was easier to pack and travel with when we did an art fair or festival.

What do you make? At the present time I am creating one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets and earrings in several types of clay, embellished with sterling silver; bronze; copper; antique beads, buttons and buckles; pearls; gemstones; lampwork beads; and antique brass.

What materials and methods do you use? I use ceramic clay most of the time, but I like to embellish it with the wonderful metal clays that have been created, such as PMC silver clay, BRONZclay, and COPPRclay. Once fired those clays become pure metal…with PMC silver turning to 99.9% pure silver. I also enjoy weaving sterling silver wire for my necklaces and bracelets. When I work in silver I make most of my S-hooks for closures, charms or pendants from molds I have made from my antique button collection, and I have also experimented with silver wire fusion.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Every moment of the day our eyes rest on designs we sometimes never see because of our hurried lifestyle or because we take them for granted. I am learning to move slower, look longer, and really try to understand the simple and complex designs that are all around me. Since I love gardening, water elements, nature, and form, there is no end to finding inspiration for my work. Given my enjoyment in working with all types of clay, it’s a perfect fit.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a small studio in the lower level of our home, and it has separate areas where I can work depending on what I am doing at that time: ceramic clay, metal clay, jewelry making, sewing, and photographing my work.  Most of these don’t require a lot of space. In a separate area is a large ceramic kiln that I use to fire earthenware clays.

Where can your products be seen? Right now my products can only be seen on our Etsy site or the occasional local art fair or festival. I am also involved in a new gallery in a neighboring town, and that has been exciting.

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? There are so many incredible artists it is hard to pick just one but I enjoy the work of bead artist Joan Miller, and the textile techniques in metal by Arline Fisch. Talk about statement pieces! Though not jewelry related, I also love the great potters of the past as I mentioned earlier and am fascinated by today’s miniature potters, Jane Graber and Andrea Fabrega. It is amazing to me how they throw on the wheel those tiny, tiny pieces that measure 1” to 2” in size!

Price range:  $8 – $125

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:
Right now my favorite creations are the Art Deco designs.  I like the clean lines and geometric shapes that to me convey elegance and sophistication.

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Anything else you wish to add? I appreciate your kind words regarding my work and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be featured on your website with the wonderful artists listed here.  I am reminded of a quote I have always loved by Helen Keller, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.”

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Ivy Long—designer of Edera Jewelry

Name: Ivy Long—designer of Edera Jewelry

Website Link: http://ederajewelry.etsy.com

Where are you located? Beautiful Vermont, in the United State

What do you make? I make opulent, handcrafted lace jewelry. Many of my designs are one of a kind, and I have recently branched out into a Bridal Collection. I love creating custom pieces for brides–my specialty is designing jewelry that compliments the lace and detailing on a bride’s wedding gown.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I’m fortunate to have grown up in a creative household where all sorts of supplies were at hand, and creativity and experimentation were encouraged. My mother is a milliner and textile artist, so from a very early age I was surrounded by wonderful fabrics, laces, buttons, beads and trims, and could watch her at work. As a result, I’ve had a lifelong fascination with fiber arts and other handcrafts. In my early teens, I became particularly interested in jewelry making and apprenticed with several jewelry designers while still in high school. In my early twenties, I began crocheting delicate lace as a hobby, but quickly realized that I could combine this with my love of jewelry making, and Edera Jewelry was born.

What materials and methods do you use? My jewelry is created with an unusual fusion of lace making and jewelry techniques that I’ve refined over the years. Any given design might include crochet, tambour embroidery, sewing, hand beading, wire wrapping and stringing. Many of the lace motifs in my jewelry are drawn from my collection of lace patterns, some dating back to the 1800s. I use the finest silk and real metal threads –like those used in historic Renaissance and Rococo textiles–in my work, as well as vintage beads, semi-precious stones, gold-filled and sterling silver wire and findings.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Historical costuming, antique and vintage lace patterns and textiles, ethnic embroideries, silversmithing techniques, Renaissance, Art Nouveau and Rococo jewelry, the art of Klimt, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Glasgow School, Elizabethan portrait paintings–the list goes on! I am like a magpie, blending different eras and inspirations together. Sometimes even the stones and beads themselves suggest a design to me.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a sunny little studio in our house that has a slanting roof and lots of windows.

Where can your products be seen? My Etsy Shop,   My 1000Markets Shop,  My Boticca.com Shop,  My Blog

Magazine articles or press: Courtney Love’s Hotlist Atlanta Magazine StyleList.com OneWed Best Wedding Sites

Who are you a fan of? There are so many talented, independent jewelry designers out there, especially on Etsy. I’m always amazed and inspired by: Magdalena of MagdalenasAtelier.etsy.com,  Jennifer of JenniferMorrisBeads.etsy.com,  Lorianne of Plumevine.etsy.com,  Emily of EmilyGrayJewels.etsy.com,  Penny of SparrowSalvage.etsy.com, Sheela of Eccletica.etsy.com, Wendy of FussJewelry.etsy.com, Jess of RosyRevolver.etsy.com

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite designs right now is the Aurore Necklace. It’s the result of an experiment in creating more layered, three-dimensional effects in my jewelry. Strangely enough, I was inspired partly by translating silversmithing assemblage techniques into textile techniques. The pendant has an openwork base, which I embellished with different motifs and components, including a vintage rhinestone in a handmade cabochon setting. Instead of cutting and sawing and forging, though, the pieces are crocheted, and instead of soldered, they’re sewn in place to the base. This is perhaps one of my most opulent designs, too, in that it features quite a few AA and AAA grade stones, and is a wonderful, dramatic length that can be worn long or doubled up. I started with the large pink chalcedony focal and let it inspire me. The result is a romantic harmony of pinks and gold and crystals, which reminds me of something from a fairy tale.

Aurore Necklace

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Alida Nunez

Name: Alida Nunez

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Website Link: http://www.alidajoyas.etsy.com/

Where are you located? Peru, South America

Tell us a bit about yourself: I’m from Lima, Peru and have been living here all my life. I studied Textile Design and worked in this business for almost 7 years not only as a designer but also as an account executive for brands like Liz Golf and Perry Ellis America. During my experience as an account executive I had the opportunity to visit NY twice, and despite the little time I had to make tourism, I really loved it there. I always had the idea of being my own boss and in 2003, after seeing a local jeweler’s interview on TV, I decided to try it myself. Since then I’ve been working with silver jewelry and in 2006 I landed my brand Alida Joyas (joyas is Spanish for jewelry). I’m also venturing in blogging and I expect to have a lot of visitors. Jewelry design is one of my passions. My other passion is music. I’ve been singing for a few years and since 2007 I joined a jazz choir where I found the most amazing people to share my love for music.

3031824451_b677a88a3dWhen did you begin designing jewelry/art? It was in the middle of 2003 when I decided to take jewelry lessons (metalsmithing), but I started designing my own jewelry in 2004.

What made you choose this type of art? I’m not sure why I exactly chose jewelry because I had the idea of taking metalsmithing lessons long before thinking about dedicating to jewelry design. I guess my dad buying me nice pieces of jewelry when I was little had a little to do with it.

What do you make? I make silver jewelry but I work in 18K gold as per request as well. I also make bridal jewelry, which includes engagement rings, wedding rings and headpieces.

What materials and methods do you use? I use sterling silver 950, which is a purer quality than 925. I combine it with Peruvian natural stones such as serpentine, amazonite and sodalite. The technique I work with is metalsmithing.

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Where do your design inspirations come from? I just realized that they find me. They usually come in flashes when I’m listening to music, watching tv or movies, but mostly in my dreams (it comes in handy to have a notebook in the nightstand). I also get inspiration from art and nature, and I’m constantly surfing on the web to see what’s new.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is at home. I always have music on when I’m working. I can’t be without music. And if it’s sunny, even better! Sun usually puts me in a good mood to work.

Where can your products be seen? You can visit me at: my website,   my blog,   dawanda,   Novica.com

3911664338_7a21f5fbb6Upcoming events: I’m designing my new collection and I’m pretty excited about it. I won’t tell you what it is about yet, but I can’t wait to share it with you!

Magazine articles or press: Interview for Handmade Crafts blog
Interview for Sara’s Texture Crafts blog

Photoshoot for a local bride’s magazine Bodas where they showcased my jewelry and tiaras

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? There are tons of jewelry artists I like. These are some of them: H. Stern,  Alexis Bittar, Claudia Stern

Price range: US$9.00 – US$110

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite designs is my funky set of ring and earrings. It’s colorful, fun and playful and for some reason I identify with it. I don’t mean that I’m colorful, fun and playful, but I do joke a lot.


Anything else you wish to add? There’s no better reward than seeing people wearing my jewelry and being recognized for my style and quality. This makes all the effort worth it.

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Einat Agmon

Name: Einat Agmon

Website Link: http://www.einatagmonjewelry.com/

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Where are you located? Buffalo, New York

Tell us a bit about yourself:  I am originally from Israel and was raised in Jerusalem. I found much inspiration for all my artistic interests through the beauty and history of the land. I have had many hobbies throughout the years, but my main focus was on artisan jewelry and music. Both have been my greatest passions since early childhood. I started making jewelry when I was 12 years old and by 17, I was teaching jewelry classes at an arts and crafts shop in Jerusalem. After high school, I enrolled in the Israeli Army as part of my mandatory service. I served as a boot camp instructor for two years which was an interesting and unusual experience. After that, I moved to the US in 2003 to pursue a music career in Vocal Jazz. My plans, however, were soon to change. Today I live in Buffalo, NY with my husband Dave who is a wonderful musician and teacher.

il_430xN_72340106When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I opened my design studio in 2007 after a few years of working as an assistant jewelry designer for an acclaimed Buffalo artist. What’s funny is that I always thought music would be my primary occupation and jewelry design would be my hobby. But, very quickly after I started working with Karol Kirberger, I realized that my heart and passions were in artisan jewelry. Today, I still sing from time to time when I have a free moment, but I love what I do. I can’t picture myself doing anything else.

What do you make? I make artisan gemstone jewelry and my work is “one of a kind”. I use sterling silver and/or 14K gold filled with all of my designs. The details are very important to me, which is something that people always notice. I make many different types of jewelry from rings and necklaces to hair and body jewelry, which is usually custom designed.

What materials and methods do you use? My materials are always gemstones and pearls which I buy annually at the Tucson Gemshow – the biggest gem show in the country. My methods include beading, wire wrapping, soldering, riveting, forging, sawing and other jewelry making techniques. I really enjoy working on small details that tend to be very time consuming and intricate.

ringWhere do your design inspirations come from? It’s funny, but many times I dream my designs. My subconscious picks up on different visuals and they come back to me in my sleep in the form of jewelry. Other than that, I always have music playing when I’m working, which is a great inspiration for me. I also love nature and organic shapes and forms and use them often in my designs. Every now and then I also find inspiration in industrial structures of different kinds. Strong contemporary jewelry is really fun to make when I’m under that influence.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My work environment is in my home. I have a beautiful workshop in my sunroom looking towards my back yard with birds and tree branches looking back at me. I love my studio and it is my special corner where I can relax and create.

TurquoisetearsWhere can your products be seen? My work can be found online at my new Etsy shop.    Etsy is a wonderful platform for artisans and crafters and I love to shop there myself. You can also find my work in shops and boutiques in Buffalo such as the famous and featured artisan shop Wild Things and the Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery. I also take part in many art and craft shows across New York.

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: The Tree of Life is one of my all-time favorites. The one in this photo is made with tourmaline and sterling silver. Like most people, I love trees. They give us fruits and their leaves give us oxygen and so without them, there would be no life. This design always touches people and it is one that I have also made for myself and wear all the time.

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Tree of Life

Anything else you wish to add? Making jewelry has become my world and it is my full time passion. There are many things about what I do that I love. One of them is the joy of meeting the strong and beautiful women from around the world who have bought my pieces. I feel privileged to make jewelry that helps them express who they are.

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Bonnie Van Hall

Name: Bonnie Van Hall

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Website Link: http://www.bonnievanhall.com/

Where are you located? Prescott, AZ

Tell us a bit about yourself: Unique clothing and jewelry have always held an attraction for me. From designing my own tops out of scarves as a teenager, to a fascination with the weaving of cloth from a single thread, my love for this practical and personal form of expression has continued to grow. My educational background is in spiritual psychology, and I see parallels between the forms and layers of the mind and the physical wearing of clothing. I hope my work expresses the idea that we can find meaning in everything we do, no matter how seemingly mundane or ordinary.

glasswear1047002When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I began doing beadwork in 1987 because I wanted to wear a certain kind of jewelry, but couldn’t find anything I liked. I taught myself to bead and gradually I found myself interested in creating larger wearable and decorative pieces. In the twenty-two years since then, I’ve found that my purpose in creating these pieces has evolved along with my skills. I’m interested in further refining my skills and methods, and finding new and more creative applications for my work. But perhaps more importantly, I’d like to generate some new interest in the old-fashioned traditional “women’s arts.”

What do you make? Most of my work is wearable, usually women’s clothing, jewelry, and handbags. Beadwork is the main focus of most of my pieces, if not the entirety. I have also experimented a bit with decorative works such as tapestries.

What materials and methods do you use? My materials range from glass beads, silver, gold and semi-precious gemstones to various fibers and antique or found objects. My methods are standard beadworking techniques (including both loom and off-loom weaving), and knitting. But I try to apply and combine these standard techniques in unique and creative ways.

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Where do your design inspirations come from? Many things inspire my work, most notably nature, color, and interesting forms, but often more elusive things like ideas, numbers, and even questions. The mysteries of being alive, and inquiries into the nature and meaning of life are often the seeds that grow into a new work.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My “studio” is wherever I can find the space. Currently, my husband (bronze sculptor Gary Persello) and I share a tiny room in our house for studio space.

Where can your products be seen? My website has the most up-to-date works available for viewing.

libertyPrice range: My prices range from $75 items all the way up to $5000 for a one-of-a-kind beaded top.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite pieces is the very first beaded top I created, called “Desert Demonstration.” This piece actually began as a necklace/choker, but it took on a life of its own and evolved into a top made entirely of beads and gemstones. This was the beginning of a whole new direction for my work, and it really taught me to trust the creative process.

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Desert Demonstration

Anything else you wish to add? For me, one of the most exciting aspects of creativity is in not knowing where it will take me next. The most recent turning point in my work has led to the combining of knitting with beadwork, and I am enjoying the new possibilities this has led to. But I fully expect this will become something else entirely, and I welcome this unknown twist of fate!

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Black Crow – Trudy Gerritsen

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Name: (Black Crow) Trudy Gerritsen

Website Link: http://www.blackcrowjewelry.nl/

Where are you located? I’m located in a small town in The Netherlands.

IMG%20001aa_mTell us a bit about yourself: I grew up as an only child with beloved parents. My mom was creative too and she could make wonderful things with knitting. I was a creative child with a special love for collecting beads and feathers, pieces of wood and stones. Ever since I can remember I was  very interested in Native culture and their respect for nature and all living things! Many years later, I started to make dreamcatchers with gemstones, and that was (again)  the restart of my love for beads!

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I started with making dreamcatchers when I had my own small bead shop on the world wide web. In the beginning, there were only glass crow beads and gemstone chips that I used for my dreamcatchers. That was in 2004. A few years later, the bead collection became bigger and I started to sell other gemstone beads and that was also the start for making jewelry myself. The addiction to seed beads was much later and I created the first cuff in April 2007 after I saw the art of Heidi Kummli.  Designing and making jewelry started as a hobby, but slowly it became my work and I love it !

What do you make? My favorite piece of work is to design and create a beadwork bracelet, especially turquoise and bridal cuffs, but I also make rings, necklaces, earrings and jewelry with gemstones and natural beads. I guess bracelets are my favorite because I wear them myself too, I never wear necklaces.

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What materials and methods do you use?  I love to work with gemstones and all other natural materials, for the cuffs I always use leather as a backing. The seedbeads I use are size 15-11 and 8. The methods I use are beadwork (embroidery) and beadweaving. At the moment, I am busy trying some new stuff like lace or wool in combination with gemstone cabochons.

Where do your design inspirations come from? My inspiration is in everything I see – nature, a picture or painting, people…just everything.

IMG%20011a[4]_mWhat is your best working environment/where is your studio? I work the best when I am alone at home, just with our 2 cats, a strong cup of coffee and a CD by Metallica in the CD player.  I don’t have space for a separate studio, I always work in our living room, but it is still a dream to have my own studio one day…

IMG%20006grtur[2]_mWhere can your products be seen?  My products can be seen on: http://www.blackcrowjewelry.nl/

Upcoming events:  I don’t do shows, but a few times a year I’m on a local art market in the neighborhood. 

Magazine articles or press: An article in a local newspaper and in a women’s magazine and my work can be seen in the book “Flatwork” written by Nicole Campanella/Beadwright.

Who are you a fan of? Sherri Serafini, Heidi Kummli, Jamie Cloud Eaking, Good Quill Hunting, Kerri Fuhr, Vampi Choi.

Price range:  $20.00 – $400.00

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: It’s hard to choose a favorite one, I love many of my cuffs, especially the turquoise ones…but this one is my favorite!Just simple earthtones in combination with lovely turquoise cabochons, they don’t need more.

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Anything else you wish to add?  Thank you so much for choosing my designs for your interview, it is a great honor and I am delighted  to be on your beautiful website among such other great artists!

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Karen Sugarman

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Name:  Karen Sugarman

Website Link:  www.karensugarmandesigns.com

Where are you located?  Scottsdale, Arizona

Tell us a bit about yourself:   I grew up in Louisiana as an only child (although I do have a wonderful older step-sister) with parents that made certain I had plenty of artistic experiences.  I graduated from Northeast Louisiana University with a degree in Education and taught high school for four years early in my career.  I eventually transitioned into interior design and eventually owned my own retail design store in addition to my design firm for over 20 years in Boston. 

16221_aWhen and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I began designing jewelry in 2005 when my family was transferred from Boston to Arizona.  Having been uprooted from such a long-term career as a designer and leaving behind a fabulous office on Boston’s posh Newbury Street in addition to a busy schedule with high profile clients, I began tinkering with jewelry in an attempt to occupy my sudden abundance of free time in this new city.  I was inspired by a necklace I had brought back from Paris a few years prior and attempted to modify and improve upon a very simple style.  Although that necklace was lovely, I always felt it needed to be more bountiful and creative.  My first prototype was a floral inspiration and the lush bouquet format confirmed my idea resulting in a completely new design.  If interior design was my first love, beautiful jewelry was my second!

What do you make?  Although I make several different styles of jewelry, my hallmark design is the lush format statement necklaces that were inspired by the Parisian necklace.  I like to think of it as handcrafted couture jewelry with a twist.

What materials and methods do you use?  Most of the designs I prefer to work with utilize a wire twist and/or wire wrap method.  I do seem to have a fascination with time consuming and complex designs and much prefer a long-term project over the simple bead stringing techniques.  I utilize a cacophony of semi-precious gemstones and freshwater pearls and most often work with either sterling silver or 24K gold vermeil due to metal allergies.  I do hope to try my hand at working with high karat gold sometime in the near future.

11817_aWhere do your design inspirations come from? Like all designers (interior, fashion & jewelry), I am inspired by everything!  A garden of delicate flowers, beautiful artwork, a fabulous pair of shoes or stunning interior design can become a point of inspiration.  I believe that my experiences as an interior designer have greatly influenced my style as a jewelry designer and, as a matter of fact, I have devoted an entire blog to that idea.  Additionally, my southern roots have clearly had a great influence on my “feminine” style both as an interior designer and as a jewelry designer – something I am completely oblivious to!

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? Believe it or not, since all of this started out as a little folly, I still work at my kitchen table.  I must admit that it frequently spills over into the counter space of my very generous kitchen.  I’m certain that my Hubby is secretly worried he is going to have “gemstone soup” some evening for a first course at dinner!  Since a kitchen renovation is in the works and will begin shortly, I have plans to restructure my office into a studio with long expanses of counter surfaces to allow me the luxury of keeping several projects out simultaneously.  Necessity is the mother of invention!   

Where can your products be seen?  In addition to my web site  ,     my blog,    and 1000Markets,   my jewelry is also in an elegant store in Phoenix called – Do Me A Favor  which specializes in the most magnificent custom gift wraps you have ever seen!

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Magazine articles or press: WGSN, Recessionista Americana, April 2009; AZ Society, April 2009; Desert Living, April 2009

Who are you a fan of? I admire antique and estate jewelry for the quality of workmanship and fine details and Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels for their feminine genre.

Price range: $65 to $1,500

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I have been transfixed by sea shells since I was a child and this amazement continues as an adult.  One of my favorite designs was this “Shell of an Idea” necklace which not only fed my fascination with seashells, but also included an exquisite antique angel skin coral cameo brooch.  It was purchased by a young man in Boston for his girlfriend after she admired the necklace – a very lucky gal!

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Shell of an Idea

Anything else you wish to add? I am just delighted and honored to have been invited to do this interview for World Artisan Gems.  To think that I have been included in such a prestigious group of artisans is more than I could ever have hoped for.

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