About

Every Moment is a Memory

 

While wandering my grandparents' farm in Illinois, and the cornfields and abandoned coal mines of Southern Indiana, I followed in these footsteps. I collected rocks, fossils and artifacts that I began to incorporate into jewelry at an early age. My fascination with ancient cultures led to studies in archeology. This in turn, melded with my love of the environment, and led to a degree and career in Geology, in parallel with my passionate pursuit of jewelry creation. I find inspiration for my jewelry designs from both the natural environment and the metalwork of the Celts. As a professional environmental geologist for over 30 years, I have devoted much of my career to water protection, which has served as inspiration for my freshwater/marine life collection of one of a kind statement works. My love of geology, gardening, and the outdoors draws me into utilizing rare gems, minerals, fossils, coins and found objects in my work, in settings that achieve an understated elegance while maintaining their earthy essence.  I hand select each stone used in my work, and regularly attend the Tucson Rock and Gem Show for my gemstone supplies.

 

My passion for Irish fiddle music led me to a detailed study of Celtic metalwork, and often I incorporate ancient designs and elements in a contemporary manner, with clean lines, freeform patterns, and handcrafted quality. I also plan in future to delve into a series of animal designs inspired by figures in the Book of Kells.

 

A separate new collection of works, “Doodle/Paisley,” are inspired by the intricate focus aide drawings which I create during professional meetings and which my co-workers collect afterward as artwork. These designs are combined with minerals and gemstones. I utilize Sterling, Fine Silver and Carat Gold in my creations, sometimes with Copper accents.  I transform these metals through hand forging, reticulation, acid etching, bezel setting and lost wax casting techniques.  While my work often is very bold and statement making, the pieces themselves are very lightweight yet durable. Many of my jewelry creations can be worn several different ways, adding to the versatility and wearability of my work.  I often texture my pieces to have a natural weathered look that tends not to fade with wear, as opposed to a bright shiny surface. I hope you will share my passion for the celebration of nature and creative energy that I put into each handmade jewelry piece.  As a metalsmith for over 23 years, I have created many special custom pieces, but still retain several lines of handmade reproducible jewelry designs that are available in stores listed on my website.

 

 

“Many of the women in my family tree have been known for their 'peculiar' habit of picking up stones, fossils, and shiny things during long walks, canoe trips, and hiking excursions. Eyes firmly planted to the ground, they focused on the hidden, lost and long forgotten beauties of the environment surrounding them.”

All of my jewelry is handmade. I am able to keep my business successful because of all the help I receive from my close jeweler collaborators who assist me both in and outside the studio. I personally design all of my jewelry but at times other jewelers may help me to produce the recreatable pieces for orders. I am involved with the entire process of each piece from its start to its finish where I examine, and if need be, select and set all the stones.

 

Occasionally I draw my ideas on paper, particularly for my custom/one of a kind pieces. However, many of my designs evolve through my hand fabrication techniques and my torch. This gives me the freedom to follow my inspiration for the design. Many of my statement pieces start with an idea in my head that sometimes takes a year or more to come to fruition because I like to experiment along the way.  Custom work is welcome, and can be completed in an agreed upon timeframe.  Feel free to contact me at bette@betteconway.com for a custom piece.

 

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