When I was a teenager I liked spending time in my dad's workshop searching through his bin of offcuts looking for pieces that were small enough to turn into beads. I loved the idea of making jewelry out of wood. Back then I didn't have the skills or the tools to shape the beads but that didn't seem to bother me. I cut and drilled the wood and strung them on a piece of rope. I don't think I ever wore my creations but I had fun making them.
I rediscovered my love of making wooden jewelry a few years ago. While I was cutting branches to make building blocks for my sons, I noticed how beautiful the wood was. I wanted to wear this!
I'm often surprised when I cut into a plain looking branch and discover purple or yellow swirls. Some of my favorites are maple, black walnut, apple, lilac and silver buffaloberry. My process starts when I go out for a walk in the woods or even around my neighborhood. I salvage sticks and branches that are lying on the ground and bring them home. In some cases I remove the bark, then I cut and sand them. At that point, I might paint them or just finish them with bees wax and linseed oil.
The environmentalist in me likes making jewelry out of salvaged wood. The artist in me is inspired by the beauty of the wood and enjoys wearing unique pieces of jewelry.