I started Conceits over 17 years ago from my love of old things and unusual juxtapositions of antique pieces of jewelry and handmade new pieces.
I love the collecting aspect and the breathing of new life into things that have a history and lots of character. Also, I love the way some pieces surprise people who see things they recognize but which are put together in unexpected ways to make something different and unique.
For example, intrigued with the grace and shape of a vintage salt and pepper shaker top, which upside down looks like an old vase, I created a bunch of flowers for the vase using vintage stick pins. The shape of the salt and pepper top started the creative process. Hollow knife handles can also be used as the "vase".
I search antique shops, estate sales and flea markets for the unique and rare as well as the mundane but fun (such as old monopoly pieces). Rather than destroy the old, I instead add to it, transform it and incorporate seemingly disparate elements in with the new.
For example, I hand cut and form a wide sterling cuff bracelet and finish it by riveting an old pocket watch dial on top.
Some of my pins have titles
and/or themes. I want people to stop, look and try to figure out what I'm
trying to say.
Sometimes I work backwards from my love of whimsy and words--the process might begin with the old saw "Time marches on". I will begin to collect objects to express this whimsically: the metal shoe from an old monopoly set, a Red Goose shoes advertising whistle and an old watch dial.
Heard It Through The Grapevine
My work could be like a good gumbo or jazz itself-a mixture of many different elements-the old, the new, the funky and the elegant, the many variations on a theme.
When putting elements together I like to mix metals and materials-each has it's own texture, color and "look".
I do custom work,
too. Everyone has a drawer full of "stuff" that belongs to them or their
Mom or Grandmother and it just sits in a drawer.
I take people's memorabilia and make them into a pin, necklace, bracelet or ring that they can wear and enjoy. Also, someone can call and say "my sister is a lawyer and plays tennis" and I'll make a pin for her birthday.
I do cufflinks, studs and paperweights for men, too.!.