Necklaces by Berta
Works by Roberta Rose
Reception: Sat, Mar 4, 4–5pm
In college, I took a metal smith course as a respite from the more cerebral coursework for my nursing degree. I remember loving that class, and my daughter honors me today by routinely wearing a couple of rings that I fabricated years ago. The realities of raising a family and my “practical career” in nursing buried my jewelry-making drive until seven years ago when my dormant artist was awakened. A friend informed me that she was tired of losing her French wire earrings and was going to take a class at a local bead shop to learn how to change over the earring wires to a more secure finding. I asked if I could join her at that class, and…my addiction began.
I began immediately making dozens of pairs of earrings each weekend. I hunted for beads after work, at local bead shops and shows, and on every vacation. A wire wrapping course added to my skills. A glass bead workshop humbled me and taught me great respect for lamp work and for handmade glass beads of all kinds. The Wasatch Gem Society members taught me the fun challenges of local rock hounding and the basics of lapidary. Blue ribbons won at the Utah State Fair encouraged me.
Necklace designs were a natural evolution from earrings, as I learned necessary skills and found I had too many earrings! In addition to taking a handful of courses, my work has developed from techniques and inspiration gleaned from scouring jewelry design books from the library, beading magazines, and from continually admiring jewelry worn by others or in shops. Venetian beads, Chinese cloisonné beads, African trade beads, vintage Swarovski crystals, and chain maille have all won my great admiration and made their way into my works. Hunting and gathering for beads has become a passion. The surprise of designs just plain presenting themselves to me seems like a gift from an unknown source. Family, friends, and anyone admiring my jewelry started receiving gifts. “Enough with the earrings,” said my daughter, so now she gets necklaces. I have enjoyed observing each person’s unique style and envisioning new items for them from my treasure trove of beads and supplies. Along with my favorite purchased beads, I love the challenge of bringing new live to heirloom and hand-me-down jewelry. This likely is the first chapter of my story—after all, I am an addict.
I hope you will have as much pleasure viewing my creations as I have had in fashioning them!
Location: Chapman Branch
Contact Information: 801-594-8623