HERE’S MY STORY:
I have been passionate about jewelry, fashion and expressing yourself with a personal style or as long as I can remember and its all due to my favorite Grandmother June. She had great style and always wore the most amazing clothing and jewelry, even while bedridden in the last few years of her life. My Grandmother would let me look through her jewelry boxes and told me where she got each piece and how much she loved them. She would allow me to string the broken beads in the bottom of the jewelry box to create my own little wearable art pieces. She also taught me to crochet, bead-weaving and sewing as a young child. She use to tell me when crocheting gloves or sewing the latest McCalls dress pattern - “Always make what you wear your own” i.e add your own personal spin on it even if its just changing the buttons on a store bought shirt. That idea of “standing out’ has been firmly implanted in my brain every since.
Another influence was her love of modern art and we often went to Philadelphia museums on the weekends. Through the bright colors, surreal compositions and freeform drawing I learned to love abstractionism as expression of emotion.
As I grew older, I feel in love with creating jewelry as well as the cultural and psychological aspects of adorning ourselves. I have taken classes in college and from amazing jewelry artists and spent a lot of time learning on my own. I love learning new techniques such as electroforming, powder coating, enameling, reactive metals in addition to traditional silversmithing. I have used vintage, recycled, reclaimed, found objects, antique beads and more in my jewelry creations over the years. I love the thrill of finding a new use for something that was headed for a landfill. Over the years my jewelry has evolved from traditional Native and Russian bead weaving, bead embroidery, vintage repurposed jewelry, resin work, mixed media/found object jewelry, electroforming and currently powder coating. I have taught jewelry crafting, worked for a jewelry supply company, created charms that were sold in Michaels, sold in stores and galleries throughout the country and have numerous jewelry projects published in books and magazines. I also collect a LOT of jewelry.
In 2020, I felt the ping to start my own modernist inspired jewelry as a sort of full circle to what started my obsession. I wasn't able to find a lot of affordable contemporary modernist style jewelry that I wanted to wear so I decided to create it. I know that the right piece of jewelry can show the world a part of who you are, it can make you feel confident and empowered and it can change your mood. I hope that you find a piece that speaks to you and makes you feel like the big, bold, beautiful work of art that you are.
‘By Barbe’ jewelry reflects my belief in artistic self-expression and I celebrate big and bold individuality. My work is more than just adornment – it's a feeling, a statement and a reminder to always be your daringly stylish self. I create jewelry for people who love to express their artistic side by wearing something that is dramatic, unique, and bold. By Barbe jewelry pieces are made to stand out and help you feel unique in a sea of sameness. Most pieces are one of a kind or limited edition and all are contemporary, affordable and created with quality materials such as sterling, 14 kt gold-fill, brass and gemstones. 100% handcrafted with love in my little attic studio along with my furry studio assistants..
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