My journey into jewelry making began in the fall of 2011. There is a large boulder on the campus of Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio that is fun to take a look at now and then. I live in Wilmington with my family, and enjoy many connections to the college, including my husband being a librarian there.
Over the past 25 plus years it has become a tradition to paint what was once known as the “kissing rock”, which stands in front of the administration building. Students use this venue to proclaim devotion to Greek life, sporting events, campus life, political causes, and social events. As time and weather take their toll, chips of layered paint fall to the ground. My daughter, Sabrina, and I have picked up these paint pieces and wondered what stories they could tell. While thinking about the years of painting, the people involved, and the events that the layers of paint depicted, I was struck with an inspiration to create mementos. Rock painting is a tradition on many campuses, I have discovered. So I will add new campus collections as my road trips expand.
To create jewelry pieces I select an interesting chip, shape it, file it to expose the layers of paint, and coat it with layers of acrylic lacquer. I wrap the paint “gem” with wire and sometimes add beads, to make a pendant, earrings, or a pin. My hope is that people enjoy my jewelry as a fashion accessory, and as a memento of a place they hold dear.