I have always enjoyed creating things, from jewelry, to stained and fused glass or anything else that happened to peak my interest at the time.
I’ve lived most of my life by or near the ocean, racing sailboats or scuba diving and so, like to incorporate the various ocean colors in my jewelry. I also get a number of my design ideas from places I’ve been or plan to visit in the future.
When my husband and I retired I was able to live my dream of cruising the Caribbean on our sailboat “Sursea”, which means “gift of love”. I absolutely loved it and enjoyed the time we lived down there sailing from one island to the next. What a cultural experience.
While cruising I would often make and sell jewelry as gifts for friends we’d met on the way. It was sometimes difficult to find just the right piece to finish off some of my jewelry ideas. When we made a trip back stateside I heard about precious metal clay, took a class and was hooked. From then on I was able to make designs from found seashells or anything else with a unique texture. The best part was that the pieces were small enough to fire on the stovetop in our galley. It was perfect.
Toward the end of our four year jaunt, we settled in St Maarten. Word started getting out about our jewelry and we were invited to sell our pieces at a friend’s pub, then another. It was great. Our jewelry was purchased by both local residents as well as visitors to the island. By the time we left to return stateside we were also selling our jewelry through a resort spa, and several other gift shops.
After we sold “Sursea” we decided to find a place with a bit more elbow room then we’d had on our sailboat and ended up purchasing a traditional log cabin which sits on a wooded lot. It’s not the same as being on a boat, but at least we no longer wake up wondering if we’re going to drag anchor when the wind picks up. While we’re no longer near the ocean, we are close to Lake Michigan, so that should count. We’ve spent time working on the cabin, meeting new friends and traveling. We spent a solid month during our winter, traveling through the North Island of New Zealand with friends we’d met while cruising who’d moved back there. The beauty of their country and pride in culture was overwhelming and a great resource for new ideas.
Earlier this summer we were invited to sell our jewelry at a local artisans market so we finally took the next step and started our business. We haven’t had the time to look back since but are now considering where we want to visit next. Prague, maybe?