When, at the age of 55, my "Inner Child" started having tantrums about not being able to express her creativity, I retired from my career as a college librarian and moved to Florida with my husband, Laurie. I had no idea what direction my creative expression would take, but a friend introduced me to jewelry making, so I began taking every jewelry class I could find in the area. I took classes in beading, lampworking, wire wrapping, glass fusing, silversmithing and Precious Metal Clay (PMC), and loved them all. My work space grew from a table in the corner of the bedroom to a full studio in the garage, with kilns, grinders, tumblers, and hundreds of little specialized tools - a jewelry-maker's dream!
While my jewelry sometimes features fused dichroic glass and fine silver crafted from Precious Metal Clay (PMC), I am currently concentrating on lampworking, making glass beads using soft glass rods and a torch fueled by propane and oxygen. My specialty is large-hole beads with sterling silver linings, which fit European style bracelets such as Pandora, Biaggi, Troll and Chamilia. Some of my beads feature tiny gold nuggets from the 40-Mile gold mine in Dawson City, Yukon, where the Gold Rush of 1898 began.
I call my business Chechako Beads ( “chechako” is an Alaskan native term for “snowbird”), since we move around the country a great deal, spending winters in Florida and summers in Alaska, with visits to Vermont in the spring and fall. With all this traveling, my inner child continues to clamor for creative expression, so I bring along basic equipment and supplies and set up my studio wherever I can - a friend's basement in Alaska, a tool shed in Vermont, and even a tent on the beach in the Florida Keys! Making Beads in a Tent
To expand my artistic vision, I have taken classes in pastel painting, and have attended summer art sessions in Atlin (B.C.) and at Fletcher Farm School in Ludlow, VT. I have demonstrated my skills at art fairs in Canada's YukonTerritory and in Skagway, Alaska, and I often demonstrate at the Wild Child Art Gallery in Matlacha, Florida, where my jewelry is currently on display and available for purchase.
Wild Child Art Gallery
Fine Art -Artists at work in the "Heart of Matlacha"
Original Fine Art & Jewelry- Voted Best Art Gallery in Matlacha