About the Artist
Lavender Cottage Jewelry is truly a "cottage industry" -- my own little cottage style house built in 1935. It sits in a historic little town in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. I settled on the name Lavender Cottage because of my love for growing lavender, my favorite herb. The workbench in my basement studio faces a door into my garden, looking out on my favorite rugosa rose, Moje Hammarberg. There is not quite enough sun any more for the lavender which used to grow by the rose. (I love trees, and they have certainly grown tall over the years!) My herb garden now resides in large pots on my sunny front porch - always ready for the picking!
My passion for art began as a six-year-old growing up in Chicago. My mother was an art student, and I was fascinated by her oil painting and jewelry projects. Trips to Chicago’s fabulous Art Institute came often, further instilling the love for art that would become a constant in my somewhat strange career path ranging from horsewoman, freight pilot and innkeeper/chef to computer programmer before finally settling into being a jewelry artist. Our family’s organic garden and frequent camping trips nurtured a love for nature, especially flowers and rocks, which find their way into much of my work.
Creating jewelry has been a passion and a joy that has kept the rest of my life in perspective. My style has evolved and grown each year, and I worked full time from my home studio from 2008 until 2018. My elderly mom came to live with me, and I became her full time care-giver in January 2019. I'm creating as much as possible, but not full time right now. My mom is still an inspiration, and always gives me useful critiques of my new work. In spite of advanced macular degeneration, she somehow still cuts out my little gift tags for each jewelry package that I ship, too!
My jewelry skills are mostly self-taught, and after starting with natural stone beads and wire, I quickly found a passion for moving metal with hammer, saw and torch. The beautiful shapes and textures that can be accomplished through these simple tools are nothing short of amazing. Click HERE if you'd like to know more about how I got started making my jewelry.
Each one of the pieces in my shop is completely handmade, including jump rings and clasps. Metal pieces are fabricated by hand using a jeweler's saw, multiple hammers (you can never have too many hammers) and my wonderful acetylene torch. The beads, gems and metal charms that I use are lovingly gathered from sources all over the world. I love vintage brass stamped charms - it's an addiction, and you'll see them in many of my mixed metal pieces. Metals used in my jewelry include fine silver (99.99 pure, and less subject to tarnishing, but softer than sterling), sterling silver, copper and brass, as well as 14 and 18kt gold. Recycled metals and conflict free eco-friendly stones and gems are always used if at all possible.