Colleen White - Jewelry Design

Silversmith & Lapidary, Enamels, Precious Metal Clay, Polymer, Beads & Wirework

Offering custom design and creation of original jewelry, custom stone cutting, and instruction in silversmithing, precious metal clay, enamels, polymer clay, beading and wire work.

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Colleen White At the Bench

With a heritage of artists and craftsmen (her father was a silversmith & lapidary and her grandfather was a painter & woodcarver) Colleen came by her creative instincts naturally. In school she studied photography and fine art, and her interest in jewelry design began with beaded pieces in the 1960's. By the 80's she was silversmithing & stonecutting under her father and mentor, Mike Howes. With his passing she inherited his lifelong collection of exotic stones and many texts on stones and fossils. She carries on the fine craftmanship learned from her forebears, creating unique adornment with unusual materials.

She traveled throughout Southeast Asia for many years collecting gemstones for her designs, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand and Pakistan, where she bought lapis from UZI draped tribesmen at the Kyber Pass. (Her husband David calls her "Adventure Girl".) Now she uses many of these rare gems in her jewelry creations.

Colleen designs and builds custom jewelry, goblets & tiaras, and also does custom stonecutting. She is certified in Precious Metal Clay through Rio Rewards and member of the PMC Guild of America since 2004.

Her works can currently be seen at Pixie Dust Metaphysical Boutique on Main Street in Sarasota and on her Etsy store, C White Jewelry Design. Photos of her jewelry designs have been published in StudioPMC, the national publication of the PMC Guild of America, Polymer Cafe Magazine, and Metal Clay Artist Magazine. An article written and photographed by Colleen, "Carving Filagree in Precious Metal Clay" was published in the Fall 2011 edition of Metal Clay Today magazine.

Colleen teaches classes and gives private instruction in her home studio in Bradenton, Florida, and does group workshops, home jewelry shows and creative jewelry parties for both adults and children. Contact her for a "Clay Play Day" or "Beading Party" for your next girl's night out, birthday party or get together.

She also teaches group classes and workshops in beginners beaded jewelry, wire and bead jewelry, polymer clay, kumihimo, and Bronze Metal Clay for the Adult Community Enrichment Classes (ACEC) at Sarasota County Technological Institute, Florida State University's Lifelong Learning Academy program, Art Center Sarasota, and Art Center Manatee. See her "Classes and Workshops" page for the latest listings. Just click the link at the top left side of this page to go to listings.

Artist's Statement

"To see the world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in a hour." - William Blake

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of digging for fossils and collecting stones with my father. He showed me the wonders our amazing planet created, fascinating patterns of stone, crystals and minerals. In my work I share this beauty that is all around us, hidden in the depths of the earth. Set in silver, copper, and bronze, these stones are a part of the history of our planet. Fossil creatures, wood and bone, the splendid colors of jasper, agates, and mulitcolored stones, the sparkle of ruby, sapphire and emerald - these are just a few of the materials in my creations. Although I began as a silversmith and stone cutter, as new materials were introduced I became fascinated with the possibilities of precious metal clay, enamels, and polymer clay. With the upsurge in beading popularity, my teaching drew me to wire work , beading and kumihimo, either in combination with stone and metals or standing on their own. Teaching others so that they too can know the joy of creating is a passion for me. Knowing that I can pass on this fascination with what lies deep beneath our feet motivates me to share the beauty hidden all around us.
- Colleen White