What’s not to love about a handmade piece of jewelry? Here are five local gems worth wearing.
Direct from nature
As a kid, Rebecca Perea-Kane would play with Fimo clay, sculpting tiny animals with her sister (“we must have made hundreds of them,” she says). No surprise, then, that her line of delicate jewelry celebrates the little things. More specifically, the little things found in nature. Each piece is cast directly from a natural element—lemon seeds, blackberry thorns, skipping stones—through a process of lost-wax casting. “I love how many natural objects look like abstract shapes from a distance,” Perea-Kane says. “On closer inspection you can see so much texture and detail.”
One of a kind
Having collected vintage odds, ends, and doodads since childhood (“I grew up lagging behind my parents in all the antique malls, thrift shops, and junk stores, sometimes states away, following their lead and noticing every little thing”), Jen Deibert amassed quite a collection by the time she started making jewelry. Consequently, each of her pieces is unique, and sourced from wherever she goes. “It’s always been about the hunt for me,” she says. “I don’t think I love anything more than walking into an antique store for the first time and looking for treasure.”
Jen Deibert Jewelry jendeibertjewelry.etsy.com
This one’s for the girls
Amy Bauer had always dabbled in the handmade, finding ways to create jewelry, clothing, and home décor for herself that she couldn’t find in shops. Then, after years of creating jewelry for herself, friends, and her daughters as a hobby, the self-taught designer launched Girls Day Out. “I started off making mothers’ bracelets with mixed stones and sterling silver block letters with children’s names on them,” she says. “One of my most popular designs is still the personalized line of bracelets and necklaces in mixed metals and birthstones from my Heirloom collection.”
Girls Day Out girlsdayout.etsy.com
This beading heart
A pro bead-stringer and pearl-knotter by day, Jann White (aka this writer’s mom) started making her own jewelry to sell on the side 30 years ago. “I’ve had an unnatural obsession with beads since I saw my first tiny glass bead so many years ago,” White says. “I started by beading T-shirts (hey, it was the ’60s), and then started stringing them and buying more and more, even skipping a meal or two so I could afford the more expensive ones.” Her only rule for creating her pieces—which often feature semi-precious stones in bold colors with a statement pendant—is that she doesn’t design anything she wouldn’t wear herself.
Relica Design relicadesign.etsy.com