Catherine Randolph Hamilton

Lily of the Valley Necklace

Warrior One

Warrior One
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2013 featuring Metals
Honorable Mention
Category: Fashion Accessories

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
I live in a rural part of Virginia, filled with beautiful farmland yet a short drive from neighboring towns.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
As a child I loved watching my mother dress for occasions, especially admiring her antique necklaces. Delicate metalwork and stones like garnets and topaz always caught my eye, and I loved seed pearls. I also loved waterfalls, orchids, and organic shapes. As a result, my jewelry and art seem to combine a more modern aesthetic with delicate traditional styling.

What medium do you work with mostly?
After graduating from macaroni, beads, and clay, the first necklaces I made (as a high schooler) were from the buds of French lavender, strung with a needle. People noticed them, and asked for them. Years and kids later, I returned to jewelry making after being introduced to PMC® and fused glass at the Glass Palette, a local walk-in studio for glass fusing in Charlottesville, Va.

Then I was given a large assortment of jumprings and two books on chain maille. The chain maille and fusing go very well together, so most of my jewelry incorporates glass, jumprings, and or metal clays.

Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making?
I like the idea of creating something with a traditional technique, like maille, but not in the traditional way. Adding seed beads or mixing metals changes the effect. The PMC silver syringe, which lets you literally draw with silver, gives total freedom. These things are exciting, and fun to explore.

Where and How do you sell your jewelry?
I sell my jewelry in local shops as well as on my website, and am now a regular contributor to "Fired Arts and Crafts" magazine, for which I was asked to write a series of tutorials.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Lily of the Valley Necklace

What inspired this design?
My father planted Lily of the Valley in our garden, and would send us out to find the small green shoots among the periwinkle when the leaves would first come out of the ground. The graceful blossoms have long been a favorite. I wanted to create a design reminiscent of the feeling of discovering the year's first blooms.

How did it come together?
This was made with the PMC syringe. I drew the shape first, then layered it with the syringe, trapping the fused glass cabochon into the design.

What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?

The lovely photograph of your employee and friend inspired me. Her smile and eyes embody joy and kindness. How wonderful that you were able to bring her joy during her struggle. I have lost friends and family members to other forms of cancer and seeing an effort like your Circle of Hope shows the impact one life can have.