Monday, November 16, 2015

11.16.15 Shop Local - ATX Artisans

I'm having a wonderful time in my fabrication classes at Creative Side Jewelry Academy, I've learned so much - and I'm a little sad that this is my last week (for this course).  I'll write more about that experience in the future, but in the run up to the holidays, I want to stick to talking about local jewelry artists.

A number of folks associated with Creative Side are not just instructors, but working jewelers.  So - I'm devoting this post to some wonderful Austin jewelry artists - hoping you will take a look at their work and consider keeping it local for the holidays.
Photo credit:
Courtney Gray Arts

Not only does Courtney Gray, owner and founder of Creative Side, provide opportunities for folks to share and expand their skills, she is an amazing jewelry artist in her own right.  While most of her work is in the form of custom commissions, she does have a limited number of beautiful pieces available for purchase in her online store.  One of my favorites is her Pinwheel pendant, shown here with an aquamarine, but available with the gemstone of your choice.

Photo credit: Shalena White

Another very experienced jeweler - our course instructor, Shalena White, has what my daughter refers to as "mad skillz"!  With an MFA and a BFA in metal smithing, plus numerous awards to her name - she knows her stuff and as a real talent for sharing that knowledge.  In addition to her teaching, she has had her work displayed as part of Austin's People's Gallery, and creates and sells her custom jewelry on her website, Shalena Designs.
Photo credit: Andrea de Leon

Also working with us in my fabrication class is Andrea de Leon.  Like Shalena, she has a BFA, and is a working metalsmith in addition to teaching at Creative Side.  Andrea works in metal, leather and glass creating custom jewelry and knives.  You can find her work on her website, and this coming weekend on the E.A.S.T. Studio Tour at location 335.

Photo credit: Nora McMullen
Nora McMullen (one of my wax carving instructors), does amazing work in silver and enamel.  Her filigree work is exquisite - and I hope to take one of her classes in the future - but I don't yet have the necessary skills (which is part of why I am so excited about the fabrication class I am taking - it's a step in the right direction).  You can shop Nora's jewelry on her website - or at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (more on that in a future post).

Photo credit: adaptive reUse

I would never have had the opportunity to work and study with all these folks had it not been for Christine Terrell, as she's the person who introduced me to Courtney and encouraged me to look into classes.  As a jeweler, Christine gives old things new life - she upcycles old, decorative tins into earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets.  Not only are her pieces fun and fabulous - they are incredibly affordable, and make wonderful gifts.  You can find Christine and her work around Austin (including the Blue Genie Art Bazaar) and on Etsy.

Photo credit: Laura Gibson

While she's not associated with Creative Side, no post about my favorite Austin jewelers would be complete without Metalsgirl - Laura Gibson.  I've written about Laura before, as she is one of my "go-to" folks for gifts.  You can find her and her work on her website, Etsy and often in person at the Austin Flea (a great year round opportunity to shop local). Laura does incredible work with silver, stones and enamel.  I love this pair of green onyx earrings in her Etsy shop.

I am so indebted to all these wonderful artists for sharing their time and energy with me, and encouraging me on my own jewelry adventure.  I hope you will go out and support them - or the artists in your community - when you are shopping for gifts or something for yourself.

Until next time.

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