Torch-fired enamel earrings with fiber
I love Laura's work and thought you would like to meet her. Many times, jewelry artists get lost in the big world of Etsy. Laura and I have been "talking" (emailing) for about a year. Then this summer, she and her family vacationed in the St. Pete Area so she could take an advanced enameling session with me ... one on one ... just she and me. I think she learned a lot, but so did I! Her husband is a doll ... and a great cook ... and her kids are bright, talented, and funny!
Torch-fired enamel earrings
During our visit I learned so many interesting things about Laura, like, for instance, she has a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Interior Design. I was definitely impressed. It was obvious to me that she had a trained eye ... and her education explains her astute understanding of color. She taught herself to do torch-fired enamel simply by using my tutorial. Enameling is a great way for colorists to express themselves ... because the options appear to be endless.
Bracelet of patinated brass
But as far as Interior Design, Laura found the "selling" part of her job less than appealing. So, first as a volunteer and then as an employee, Laura designed an art instruction program for 75 deaf students at the Central Institute for the Deaf in Missouri. Laura loved her seven years with the students and explains, "For many of them, art was a way they could express themselves, for the first time, without the limitations of being deaf ... I adored the students ... my own hearing loss lead me down the path to the job of teaching the deaf. My program was accredited by the Illinois Department of Education and acknowledged as an excellent and outstanding art program in the Spring of 1993."
An artisan bead with torch-fired enamel
Laura's husband, Kevin, took employment as an aeronautical engineer in the Atlanta area. This new job and a move from Missouri to the Atlanta Area meant that Laura could be a stay-at-home mom. Her penchant for making jewelry snuck up on her like it did for many of us. One year she decided to make earrings as Christmas presents for some of her family members. Uh oh! Before you can say "Swarovski crystal," you're hooked!
In the process of acquiring metalsmithing tools and skills, Laura enjoys working with silver, brass, and copper. "I also love the texture of Czech glass beads ... all shapes and sizes. I like lots of texture and asymmetry in an overall design. I love a rustic, imperfect, natural look and feel to my jewelry."
Antique key with torch-fired enamel
Laura has more than a few vintage collections: Pyrex, Fisher Price Little people, linens from the 40's, depression glass, white pitchers.
She gives us another little known fact about her, "I can read lips very well! I can tell what people are saying from across the room! I love doing this at restaurants! I also love the new forensic science TV shows. I could be the next Sue Thomas FBI! Just in case you don't know, she was a Deaf investigator (on a TV show ) who used her ability to read lips to solve crimes...hmmm a new calling? Perhaps!" So, my warning to you is to be careful what you say when you're around Laura. Mmmmm ... I wonder why she didn't tell me this before I met her?
Please check out Laura's etsy shop with fresh, new work: www.BlueAntiquities.etsy.com I love that torch-fired enameled artisan bead of hers. Whether you're in the market for finished jewelry or torch-fired enamel components, Laura's shop has some really nice things. I know she's adding more as we speak!