There was no doubt in my mind: I wanted to get my hands dirty the 2nd time around. My second career, that is.
In 2012, after a 26 year career in the information technology division of a Fortune 500 Company, I traded in my cubicle and keyboard for a home studio and toolbox filled with hammers, saws and pliers. Since then, I’ve been immersed in metalsmith and gemology classes, and designing and hand crafting jewelry. I love that my hands really do get dirty.
One of the first pieces I created was a sterling silver and amethyst cuff bracelet of my own design. I’m proud to say I won 1st Place in the Jewelry category at the Middletown (Ohio) Arts Center student show in 2013 for this entry (see photo). I also won “Rookie of the Year” across all art mediums that year.
My online store, called The Brooch & Bangle, is where my work and that of fellow artisan Christine Sanders is available for purchase. The store includes hand forged (metalsmithed) jewelry as well as strung beads. All pieces are one of a kind or limited edition: no production line here. I’ve also put vintage jewelry (1940s – 1970s) from my personal collection in the store.
As you can tell, The Brooch & Bangle doesn’t cater to a particular style. I created the Brooch & Bangle to help women find jewelry that completes their own, personal style.
So, back to the studio I go to saw, shape and solder …. you get the idea. Having a 2nd Career sounds so formal. I’d rather say, “This ‘getting my hands dirty’ thing is here to stay.
Coming in January’s blog posts: I’ll show you how I create a “dog-tooth” amethyst and sterling silver pendant. Future topics will include: gemstone “biographies”; jewelry care including easy fixes; how to wear jewelry; smart storage ideas; and chats with Cincinnati artisans.
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