About My Wooden Jewelry

Wood is a fantastic medium for earrings and necklaces! Wooden jewelry is extremely lightweight, compliments all skin tones and hair colors, can be worn with a range of looks from boho and casual to chic and elegant, offers a diversity of natural colors from dark rich red-brown (padauk) to light beige (maple), and is not cold to the touch like metal jewelry (such as necklaces and dangle earrings that touch the neck throughout the day) on those cold winter days!

I offer a variety of natural stone, glass, crystal, and shell bead options for most dangle earring and necklace designs which is an uncommon addition to wooden jewelry. Every dangle earring and necklace design also has several natural wood species options including maple, cherry, and padauk.

Using pencil and paper is my favorite way to design jewelry. Although I appreciate the power of technology and require it for my work, my personal feeling is that designing using pencil and paper provides a more natural and free perspective. When designing jewelry I aim to incorporate a diverse range of styles and interests that lend to unique yet elegant individualism and self-expression. I especially love combining opposites such as sharp confident edges with soft curves into a single design. I find inspiration from many things, but mostly find design inspiration through conceptual patterns with movement and meaning often found in nature and abstract art.

After designing, it's time to prep the wood and cut! Cherry, Maple, and Padauk are the primary species I use for jewelry, but I've experimented with at least eighteen additional tree species including Bloodwood which was a particular favorite since it smells like roasted coconut when burned! The wood species I use must have the perfect combination of uniform strength, density, hardness, "cuttability", and natural beauty. All of my jewelry designs are put through a series of tests to ensure strength and integrity for daily wear.

I love my K40 laser cutter! This particular machine was not an "open it up and turn it on" machine and I only recommend it to those who are interested in learning about laser cutters and are up to the task of fixing several problems since these cutters usually never arrive in working condition. It took a few months of research, fixes, modifications, upgrades, rewiring, cooling system development, and help from online groups and local experts to start making jewelry! Thank you to Matt at The Make Space in State College for all of your knowledge and advice, and Paul for your help in diagnosing my x-axis issue! I continue to explore upgrades and modifications to optimize the cutter for making jewelry. When all is ready to go I use two different software programs to translate my designs into a language that the laser cutter understands, throw on protective eyewear, and the cutter does the rest!

Matching stones to dangle earring, stud earring, and necklace designs is one of my favorite parts of the jewelry making process. I love learning about and experimenting with different stones and materials. There are several stones that I consistently have available, but I always have new, odd, and unusual stones that are less common which is why I offer color options instead of stone type when selecting stones to accompany your jewelry. If you have a particular stone, crystal, or glass style in mind, please contact me and I will be happy to check for its availability!

This piece about my wooden jewelry, process, and background was graciously made by the talented producers at our local PBS station, WPSU!

About Claire

I grew up near Detroit, MI, attended Michigan State University as an undergraduate and Penn State for graduate studies. I have a background in Plant Biology but always made time for art specifically pyrography (wood-burning art), chip carving, and abstract design.

I love what I do and especially enjoy meeting and getting to know visitors and fellow artists at shows and events!

Outside of work, you will often find me biking, rock climbing with my hubby, looking for rocks in the forest, motorcycling on a sunny central PA day, or on our front porch with an IPA in hand!