We’re continuing our Chadds Ford Days spotlights on this year’s amazing crafters. Here is our interview with Carlene Bleacher, who designs and creates stunning natural jewelry out of minerals and gemstones. We are excited to see what she will present at Chadds Ford Days this September 12th-13th.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, etc.?
Although I live in Lancaster County now, my family originates from Pittsburgh PA. My Uncle is a miner who moved to Arizona and has been an invaluable source to me, not only in supply but in inspiration.
I remember when growing up, he and his beautiful wife would return to Pittsburgh wearing these fabulous stones from the southwest that was unheard of in the east at that time. I was always in awe of nature’s majesty, but this added another facet.
How did you end up in Chadds Ford Days, and how many years have you attended?
For many years, my husband and I have been frequent visitors to Chadds Ford. We love the winery, the restaurants and the area shops. When I discovered this event several years ago, I was so excited to be a part of a long standing tradition in such a historic setting. Everyone here is a pleasure to be with.
What is your craft and how did you get started in it?
I make jewelry using natural minerals and gemstones. Most are set in Sterling Silver and 14k gf. Also leather bracelets have become somewhat of a specialty. I began my journey as a self-taught artist, again mainly because of my southwest family’s influence. After a few years I developed a hunger for more advanced options. I take metal smithing classes on an ongoing basis to enhance my skills.
What is it you want people to remember about your craft/how do you seek to inspire people?
I’ve won numerous awards for my designs. I’m most proud of the originality and my focus to quality and customer service.
How do you seek to impact the community with your business?
The best compliment I can receive is when someone tells me that one of my pieces makes them feel good about themselves, or the way they look.
What in particular can we look forward to seeing at your booth this Chadds Ford Days?
Every year is a new experience. Although my style remains constant, you can look forward to new designs, colors and arrangement.
Photos Courtesy of Carlene Bleacher