Tuesday, March 4, 2008

BeachStreetBeads: SF Etsy Team shop review by Chelsea Groves, Bird Nerd

For Anne Wright, her journey towards jewelry design began, naturally enough, by creating beads. She participated in a lampwork beading workshop, where she discovered the joy of losing oneself in the act of creation. At the end of this experience, she found herself with a large variety of lovingly handcrafted beads and a question: what now?

She found her answer upon visiting a bead store, where she found a wealth of new and exciting materials. Her focus quickly shifted from making beads to the exciting, new prospect of making finished pieces of jewelry. She stocked up on new beads and materials and set to work, again experiencing the meditative joy of creation, this time stringing beads instead of creating them. It is telling of her talent that, though she has only been making jewelry for a short time, her work has already been featured in the Nov/Dec 2007 and Jan/Feb 2008 issues of Bead Trends magazine.

I was lucky enough to visit Anne's home, which immediately revealed to me her artistic eye and excellent taste. She lives in Moss Beach, a small town just south of Half Moon Bay, where her front door is mere steps from the shore of the Pacific Ocean. During my visit, sea lions bobbed contentedly in the water a short distance away. It is no surprise, with this picturesque surrounding, that Anne draws much of her inspiration from the ocean.

Many of her pieces contain abalone shell beads and lampwork beads made to resemble shells. In addition, she uses semi-precious stones such as onyx, turquoise, quartz, peruvian opal, jade, carnelian and fire agate. Once in a while she will combine a vintage bead with the natural stones, and she also likes the effect of tiny seed beads and crystals. For her findings (ear wires, clasps, wire and metal beads, she uses only Sterling silver, and avoids base metals altogether because the other metals can contain lead and other irritants that affect the skin. Sometimes she more abstractly captures only the essence of the sea, as in her “Dancing Seafoam Earrings.” Describing them, she says, “Elegant green chrysoprase ovals and rounds remind me of the sandy ocean bottom in Monterey and the whitish moonstone, the foamy waves.”

In her shop, Anne sells earrings, necklaces, and matching necklace/earring sets. In person, her work shimmers from all of the crystals and the iridescent surface of the abalone, reminiscent of the sparkle of sunlight on waves.

You can find Anne's wares at http://beachstreetbeads.etsy.com and find out more about her and her craft on her blog: http://beachstreetbeads.typepad.com.

1 comment:

Linda M Davis said...

Great review! This gives me a better understanding and feel for Anne's art and inspiration. Would love to visit in person sometime (when there aren't major storms).

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