Jewelry Designer / Artist
a jewelry artist, my passion is design and my outlet to satisfy
this consuming interest (obsession is what some of my friend's call
it) is to saw, cut, hammer, form, sand, grind, solder, forge and
polish precious metals and gemstones into miniature works of wearable
From early childhood, I was visually inspired by color and form.
My first love during pre and elementary school was drawing intricate
colorful patterns for fabric. I used the drawings to design and
cut out dresses for my paper dolls. Guess that says something about
my age since paper dolls haven't been around for quite a while.
Anyway, after elementary school, I graduated from paper doll dresses
to designing and making my own clothes.
Gardening, painting and drawing, handcrafts, sculpture, photography,
gourmet cooking and interior decorating are some of my interests.
These and similar activities satisfied my creative drive during
high school, college and marriage. Later, I worked in computer graphics
and as a software developer.
Jewelry Beginnings ....
years of searching for the perfect "job" to satisfy my
lifelong obsession with design, I stumbled into a gem and jewelry
show that a friend suggested I visit. Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry
was born just two months later with the beads and silk thread I
purchased at the show. After two years of stringing beads and doing
art shows, I wanted to expand my skills so I took some metalsmith
Then I "discovered" rocks! Blue rocks, green rocks, brown
rocks, red rocks - all colors of rocks! I learned that it was fairly
easy to cut rocks with a saw, then grind, and polish them into shiny
gems. This is a very messy and dirty task, but it is so rewarding
to take a piece of rough stone and turn it into a beautiful gem
for a piece of jewelry. Some of my early pieces were actually made
with rocks that I found in my garden or alongside the road.
Now, I work with gold, silver, and unique gemstones to
create one of a kind jewelry. Although I did take a few classes
in metalwork, I am a self-taught jeweler and lapidary. I began learning
my craft the same night I visited that gem show in 1991. Jewelry
takes so many forms that I will never learn all the techniques.
But, that is what keeps it so exciting!
I specialize in custom jewelry design and use my web site to show
and sell my work. My customers often pick a stone from the cabochon
pages as the starting place for an original design. The custom
jewelry design page describes the process of a commissioned
design while the jewelry
design section has some examples for ring
ideas and mens
Working with you to design an original piece of jewelry that fits
your unique personal style is one of the most satisfying aspects
of my work and an added bonus to doing what I love.
Jewelry Design style...
My design style is a mix of contemporary, classic, and eclectic.
It incorporates clean lines, soft curves, and geometric shapes.
Most of my jewelry includes one or more gemstones, which is why color is often the important first step
in a design. Finding the right color combination for the gems can
make or break the
design. I make dramatic and bold jewelry, but even if the piece
is to be small scale with subdued colors, it still needs to "speak"
All of my work is made by hand in my private studio using time
honored fabrication methods; nothing is ever cast, manufactured
or created by any one else.
working with drusy
because of its tiny crystals that sparkle and glisten. They add
an unexpected touch of elegance to a simple clean design. If you
want to learn about the origins and characteristics of the gemstones
I use, go to Gemstones
for information and pictures.
I enjoy the design phase best, so my handmade pieces are all one
of a kind or limited editions and you will never find anyone else
wearing the same piece.
Please visit the catalog
to see my current work. Take a stroll through my studio
to see where I cut the free form stones and create my original jewelry.
I add images of new jewelry and cabochons on a regular basis so
bookmark the site and visit often to see "What's
New". If you like my work and want an early look, please
send a "Put me on your Update List
email" to receive a notice when
the site is updated with new pieces or special items.
Call Nancy at 1-513-561-3057 if you are interested in discussing
a custom jewelry design order.