My work focuses on bringing attention to the often overlooked. I strive to add value, voice, and sometimes function. I am intrigued by the stories and history of recycled materials or once loved jewelry.
Hi, I’m Janise, a curious entrepreneur, artist, collector of small curiosities, recycler, and jewelry designer in State College, Pennsylvania also known as Happy Valley or home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. My studio is in my home which we fondly call the Crows Nest, you can read more about that here. It has been said that the home is where the heart is, and for me, that's true. I like to be surrounded by things that are not only useful but they mean something to me, a connection to a person, place, faith, or inspiration. It's more than just a lovely object, or a cool thing I've upcycled, it's the history of what it was, the process of the transformation, and story it holds that resonates with me.
I began making jewelry as Sentimental Jewelry Designs in 2010 under the umbrella of The Hair Lady, wig boutique a home-based business where I served women and men struggling with hair loss due to chemo treatments, alopecia, and other hair loss issues. What began as a creative outlet making wire wrapped gemstone jewelry sparked my desire to give voice to the women and men, I worked with who suffered in silence with the emotional angst of negative self-esteem, social separation, and the loss of health and body parts. Daily I saw how an object like a wig paired with skilled styling, and positive words of encouragement had such power to transform the negative self-image into a happy more confident person. I wanted expand on that sense of comfort, confidence, and individuality in something women could wear that was beautiful and spoke her unique personal story.
It was my earnest desire to give voice through visual objects paired with my love of old things, and serendipitous curiosity that has since turned into a life style of creative expression that started in jewelry and has expanded into sculptural art with recycled and found materials.
For me, every sculpture or jewelry piece begins with a story, a treasure hunt, and a walk either down memory lane or in nature for inspiration. While offering a heartfelt appreciation to my roots with a contemporary bohemian expression that is all my own. My work is a collaboration of traditional jewelry making, metalsmith, assemblage, refurbishing, and wood working techniques. I pay close attention to the materials I choose to ensure the most unique design features and highest quality whether organic, once loved tokens, or unwanted materials. I take great care to ensure every detail of each component is crafted, refurbished, and utilized to represent a specific purpose or message within the composition of the visual story. I like working with once loved and found objects; they are the serendipitous gifts of nature, the memory of time or space, and every element is a unique character with its own history. Their beauty is often overlooked and sometimes hidden. By responding to my inner voice to create or refurbish each element and arranging them in an aesthetic manner the story begins to comes to life in one-of-a-kind assemblage jewelry and sculptures.
It's my sincerest desire that my jewelry collections speak to you to bring you strength, joy, and comfort when worn or displayed. I see my work as beautiful positive affirmations for you when the world seems uncertain and complicated, art and accessories that make you feel secure and strong.
I took a couple year break from making art jewelry art to focus on personal art work for my home, family, and community. I am excited to say I am now back to focusing my attentions art jewelry, custom jewelry, and working with our community members through teaching and collaborative projects.
I welcome the opportunity to personally work with you to create a unique piece of jewelry or sculpture.