I am a creative person at my core who has had to spend too much time being a professional ‘suit’ in the oh so very conservative insurance industry. As a Libra I have always felt compelled to find a balance between my professional life and my passionate creative side.
My creative projects took a backseat during the years I raised two children, completed a BS in business at night and continued to grow in my professional career. I was able to make mine and my daughter's clothing and other ‘crafty things’ during this time, but that was not nearly enough!
As my children got older I found competitive ballroom dancing! I invested 25 years of consistent dancing, being coached and competing in three styles of dance. Not only was the dancing creative, physical and challenging, it also allowed me to dress in colorful gowns covered in Swarovski crystals and wear great crystal jewelry.
I felt the need to stretch even further which led me to the creative world of handcrafted jewelry design in 2004. From one design magazine and a shoebox filled with a few hand tools and beads I've grown into a full studio filled with an extensive collection of stones, beads, copper, hand tools, and even blow torches!
Dance taught me the value and need for great coaches. I have had many, so as I seriously started exploring the handcrafted jewelry world, I knew I needed a great mentor.
I was blessed to find Jennifer Berkley, owner of The Beaded Path, who after being impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attack in NYC never returned to the professional world and instead opened her bead shop. Jennifer took the time to teach me the basics of color, design, stringing jewelry and wire work. I'm proud to say that we have both grown and thrived in our own new directions and Jennifer became an ordained minister which was her lifelong dream.
Since then I have worked with even more amazing mentors, from all over the country, and have found a passion for raw materials like copper. Give me some copper, my hammers and a blow torch and my creativity just explodes!
While I'm still forced to live within the confines of my conservative ‘suit’ I have found a great balance of creativity and expression in my handcrafted jewelry design.
So from a suit, to a ballgown to a blowtorch I am now truly ON FIRE!
- Marsha Sheriff