Tuesday, April 2, 2013

JET Artisan Profile: Tracy of TraceDesigns

Tracy on the beach!
My story begins in a small town in Connecticut. As a child I loved exploring the outdoors. You could find me digging in the dirt, collecting rocks and "fossils" in my backyard. When we hit the beach, I'd stroll along trolling for beach glass, shells, and weathered rocks.

To my mother's dismay, I hoarded my discoveries in my room, on shelves, on the windowsills, in various vases swiped from cabinets... I was hooked!

As I got older I frequented rock shops, making some fabulous natural stone purchases, including an amazing rose quartz and raw amethyst that I still have today, and brought home stones found on hikes or on trips to other parts of the country.

Fast forward years later....

After college I moved to Boston, MA. On a whim a few friends and I took a simple earring making class at a local bead shop. That was all it took for me to rediscover my love for stones and to realize that creating beautiful things was what I was meant to do.

Silver and Copper Geometric Earrings,
Contemporary Mixed Metal, Modern


I’ve taken a few jewelry making classes here and there, beginning with the simple earring class as mentioned above and a few metalsmithing classes, but for the most part I’m a self-taught artist. I love the challenge of figuring out how to make my vision come to life.

I can’t recall for sure when I made my first piece of jewelry, but I was young. I can recall making simple beaded necklaces and macramé bracelets and key chains as a child.

I sold my first piece of jewelry to a friend who insisted I take her money. I was shocked that someone was willing to pay me for something I loved to do! Before that I was making jewelry mostly as gifts and for myself. It hadn’t occurred to me yet to take the plunge and open up a shop.

Turquoise Blue Hoop Earrings, Medium, Flirty Fun


Of course I do have favorite materials to create with ... I started out with natural stones and sterling silver wire and I always come back to those two elements. They are my “go-to” materials and can often bring me out of an artist’s block.

I’ve begun to branch out into copper, brass, aluminum, and stainless steel as well. They’ve helped to bring a modern edge to my traditionally classic looks.

Every artist has favorite things to create. I love making earrings. Hands down. I also make necklaces, bracelets and some rings, but earrings are my favorite!

Copper Cuff Bracelet, Hammered,
Boho Chic, Spring Fashion



My favorite tools ... I always say that my rotary tumbler was the best purchase I ever made.

The tumbler allows me to create the light, airy, delicate pieces I always imagined. Tumbling them makes these pieces hold their own. Even though they're light, they have great strength and durability!

I may also die without my Lindstrom’s pliers!

As you can see from the Copper Cuff Bracelet above, I've been using my hammer lately!



Turquoise and Copper Ring,
Boho Chic, Modern Cocktail Ring



I just taught myself how to make simple wire wrapped rings like the copper and turquoise nugget ring on the left! This is a project that's been on my bucket list for long while.

The rings I’ve been creating aren’t meant to be very serious pieces. They are meant to just be fun and flirty with a sense of humor.

Sometimes you just need that in a piece!

I really want to refine my metalsmithing skills and start to create more intricate, geometric pieces. I have a lot of designs floating around in my head and I’ll I need is to re-fire up the torch and brush up!


This table doubles as my bench!


In the kitchen/dining space I have a gateleg table with 6 deep drawers that stores the majority of my hand tools.

Most of the time this table acts as your typical dining table but when I need to work (or if we have dinner guests) it expands!

My work place is all around my house. Since I’m a city dweller I must make creative use of the limited space available in my condo.


I love my antique Card Catalog!



 I have an antique card catalog that houses (most) of my bead stash. Everything is organized by color and type.

You can find my jewelry here:


Please visit and "Like" my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/tracedesigns

Follow me on Twitter:
@trace_designs

I'm on Tumblr:

tracedesigns.tumblr.com

And Instagram:

instagram.com/tracedesigns

Follow me on Pinterest here:

pinterest.com/trace_designs






Thanks for visiting and reading my JET Artisan Profile!

That's me on the right ... in my new hometown ...Boston!

Please remember to visit our Team Blog
again for our next JET Artisan Profile ...

Coming Soon!

30 comments :

LoveStoneArts said...

What a wonderful artist profile!! Kudos to Bob and Trace on a great collaboration.

Ribasus said...

This is a beautiful profile! And I love the last photograph of Trace out in the streets of the city looking so serene. Great story, too. Golly... I hope when it comes to my turn that I can post an old picture of myself before I started to look like a fat Georgia O'Keefe!

urban pearl studio said...

Trace, you are such a absolute gem of a human, a talented artist and accomplished business woman. So honored to be a part of your team! Great blog post!!

WanderingJewel said...

Awesome profile Trace, well done. I really enjoyed learning more about you and getting to see your workspace.

Leslie Kill said...

"Fun and Flirty" truly captures your wonderful art!

Beadsme said...

Awww the gorgeous Trace. Just loved seeing a bit of you. Fabulous.

Brooke said...

Thanks for sharing your art and your work space, it was nice learning more about you! Nice work Bob and Trace!

Bev Feldman said...

Loved reading your profile, you work is beautiful!

Mary Ryan said...

Wonderful! Makes me wish I hadn't thrown out my old card catalog. I never thought about filling the drawers with beads!

capitalcitycrafts said...

Great article! Thanks for sharing your inspiration !

Lori Taggart said...

Fabulous profile! I can imagine your room with all those vases and window sills full of rocks! And I'm so jealous of your card catalogs for supplies!

Tracy said...

Thanks for all the love :)

TheSilverBear said...

This is awesome, Trace, & I echo what Urban Pearl said. You are a veritable treasure!

Rough Magic Mollie said...

Ah Trace, what an absolute delight you are! Seems like I've loved your jewelry, so it's a special treat to know how it all began and to see where you work. But don't let me in your door, or I'll walk off with that card catalog and all your creations! And that dress!!!! ;)

Rough Magic Mollie said...

Snap. Should be: "Seems like I've loved your jewelry FOREVER, so ...."

MadeByTammy said...

Fantastic blog post and artisan profile! I loved reading and learning more about our team member ~ Trace. That last photo of Trace is awesome!! Just like Mollie, I'd like to walk off with that card catalog too. What a great idea!

SendingLoveGallery said...

So much fun learning more about you Trace and your jewelry journey! That is some seriously gorgeous storage, too!

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

All credit on the photo goes to Elizabeth Wertz a dear friend and amazingly talented photographer in the Boston area! http://elizabethwertzphotography.blogspot.com/

She makes me look good!

Gemstones On My Mind said...

What can you say - Trace is one classy lady, and it shows! As a person and in her art.

cooljewelrydesign said...

Trace, this is intensely wonderful!! It's like a tour through your life that led to this point ... LOVE that card catalog and the last photo of you standing on the streets of Boston. Oh...and your joo-ray!

WearableByDesign said...

What a lovely read. It was so fun to get to know you better. Love that card catalog!

Siany said...

amazing feature! talented artist, beautiful lady! super!

DG Jewelry Designs said...

Wonderful feature. Beautiful jewelry and lady.

Ida @ Adroit Jewelers said...

So fun to read your profile, Trace! Nicely done. Thank you for sharing it!

Cher said...

Love the article, and getting to know more about our little trace! Altho we're decades and miles apart, I saw myself in so much of your history and finding a love of jewelry... must be the Connecticut connection ;)

Your Daily Jewels said...

It is such a pleasure knowing you Trace, and now knowing a little more about you! I am so glad the JETs brought us together as friends.
Great article!
Thank you Bob:)

Michele said...

Amazing post, love that antique card cabinet, nice idea!! Lovely picture of you!!!

Metalicious said...

Great article, thank you for sharing your space. Love the photos of you!

Judy Lott said...

Tracy's designs are awesome. She has a wonderful modern style and her pieces are unique and so well made.