When I was around five years old, I would hose down our gravel driveway and rock hunt. Mom would patiently collect the rocks in the house until the bucket was full, then toss them back into the driveway for me to find later.
Growing up in Alaska, my father taught me how to tie fishing flies, and around about fifth grade I made my first pair of earrings by attaching earwires to the flies and clipping off the barbed hooks. I sold them to my teachers, who LOVED them – I mean, this was Alaska, where moose nuggets made popular tourist earrings, so I was a hit!
Gems were always my love, my hobby, and that started to become a very expensive relationship! The more I create, the more costly my taste gets – with stones, with tools (my kingdom for good tools!), techniques, classes… I realized I was actually making pretty great pieces and I could better support my gem habit if I started selling them. Still not my day job, but maybe someday.
I like to think of myself as a benevolent version of Smaug, with his treasure under the mountain… okay this may be a little over the top, but you get the idea. When I get new stones, I carry them back and forth to the office, just to look at, to touch, to wait for inspiration. I find bead strands in pockets of my clothes the way other people find loose dollars! I admire color and design everywhere in life – it’s all over the place if you just look. Gemstones come from the earth, and connect us to it.
I am beyond grateful and humbled by each person who chooses to purchase a piece of my handcrafted jewelry.