I call myself a jewelry "artist". I make jewelry with my hands, constantly changing my materials and techniques to accommodate new concepts. With my heart, my aim is to make beautiful things that will uplift the spirit of those who both see it and wear my work. Gardening, drawing, music and meditation support my journey. My goal is to create three-dimensional images that look alive -- if a completed piece looks as if it will get up and walk away -- that to me is ART! As a child, I always made shiny things from sequins my father brought home from a client. That was the beginning of a love affair with color and intensity and a precursor for what was later to become my life’s work.

Shellie & Lillia

I am essentially self-taught. I begin with fabulous gems and minerals that I’m drawn to and choose for their earthy quality. I then add gold, silver and texture. I carve in wax, repousse, hammer in wood, and use rolled print metal. Sometimes I use a hydraulic press, which is as far as I go for modern craftsmanship. I prefer the time-honored, ancient techniques, though I often feel out of time and fashion. My work is always evolving; both in materials and images. As a result, my display cases reflect the different moods and styles I’ve developed.

Over the last twenty years, I have sold to all kinds of markets, galleries, stores, and individuals. I’ve been fortunate to show at some remarkable venues including my being “discovered” at a crafts fair by the president of The Bonwitt Teller department store years ago. These venues include The Museum of Modern Art, The Chicago Art Institute, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The High Museum in Atlanta, and the New York Public Library. I’ve also been fortunate enough to do the Smithsonian Museum Show and the American Craft Council Shows.

Handcrafting jewelry is a second career for me. I have a Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Art Therapy and worked as an art therapist for fifteen years. Eventually, I wanted to get back to making my own art and found myself drawn to little sculptures. I felt that life was telling me “What could be better than making beautiful things with your hands?” Without formal jewelry training, I went to a show and received a $5,000.00 order. That was over twenty years ago, and here I am, still on my feet! I hope you enjoy looking at and wearing my “little sculptures.”