I’ve always crafted, but after being laid off from my textile design job in 2009 I decided it was time to make my hobby, a full time occupation. What had frustrated me most in my design career, was the lack of caring about the environment. It wasn’t just not a priority it wasn’t thought of at all, and I knew more then anything that I wanted my work to be as eco-friendly as possible. I stumbled across Art Clay Silver on line while looking for sustainable mediums to work in. I knew the moment I opened my first package of Silver that I had found the medium I had been looking for my whole life. Now I create delicate silver leaves, that I mold from plants that I grow in my organic backyardÂ garden.
What do you do when you are not crafting?
I garden, a lot. The gardening started out as just a rouge plant here or there, but since I started using the plants I grow as molds for my jewelry my backyard has exploded. I have many plant varieties that I simply haven’t gotten a chance yet to turn into silver, but I am excitedly looking forward to working with them. I still weave though not nearly as much as I used to. I just can’t leave my 8 harness Macomber loom alone. And then there is always of course my 3 cats, 2 dogs, and a husband to take care of.
Where do you get your ideas/inspiration?
I’ve always been inspired by the plants and insects that make up the forests where I grew up. I love the wildness of nature. As a child I would spend as much time as I could in the woods in upstate NY, making up games while looking for plants that I knew. I first started really working with natural motifs when I was designing textiles while at Rhode Island School of Design, but my work really transformed when I started working in silver instead of painting in gouache.
How do you make your craft or etsy store eco friendly?
Being eco-friendly is my top priority while crafting. I only use recycled silver unless otherwise stated. My packaging, which every piece comes wrapped in, is a beautiful recycled paper box that I have decorated by hand, it is of course recyclable. All of the waste products that accumulate in my studio are sorted then recycled or reused as appropriate. Very little is actually thrown away. I also seal my silver with renaissance wax instead of the more environmentally damaging spray sealants.
Which piece in your shop is your current favorite?
My favorite piece currently would have to be my Citrus Mint Earrings with the Ruby Quartz briolettes. They came out exactly as I had sketched them with the large red briolettes which hang from the leaves like fruit ready to be plucked. It was an added excitement that all of the material in these earring is recycled or vintage.
I’m always trying to be greener whether its making sure that there are no lights on in the house during the day or using reusable bags at the grocery store, every bit helps. To cut down on the amount of food that we consume which isn’t grown locally, I have started a vegetable garden. I’ve recently started using vegetables like string bean leaves in my jewelry as well.