What: Semi-precious stones, Czech glass, African trade beads, leather, chain and vintage jewelry, often including accents of charms, CZ pave beads and more. Prices range from $40 to $150.
Who: Linda Skinner has always had an attraction to art. With a mother and great-aunt who were painters, Skinner sought further training to enhance her creative know-how in college. With a degree in art education, Skinner taught for 28 years in Charlotte. Many students from both public and private schools will recognize her, as will her students from the Art Studio, a business she ran for 18 years, teaching students in kindergarten through eighth grade. “I truly loved what I did and the many students that came through my door,” she says. “I was starting to teach children of students I had at CCDS (Charlotte Country Day School). It was a privilege to work with so many creative children.” Six years ago, she stopped by a local bead shop and learned to string and knot beads ... and she hasn’t looked back yet. After retiring last May, her new love has taken off in the form of her newest venture, Gale Jewelry.
How: Most of Skinner’s creations are made with strung beads that are knotted. She also cuts and makes her own tassels with materials such as leather, feathers, chain and yarn.
The apple doesn’t fall far ... Skinner’s eye for design was passed on to her daughter, who is also a jewelry designer. “She has her own style that is quite different than mine,” Skinner says. “We are a team when it comes to supporting each other. You can find us at the local bead shop together, checking out what’s new or in each other’s studio, borrowing supplies and tools.” (Look for more on her daughter’s creations in a future CLT_Made!)
Current favorite piece: “When I unexpectedly come across someone that has on a piece of my jewelry, that piece becomes my favorite. Each piece I create has a small part of me entwined in it. To know that it has become a part of someone else’s personal style is an honor.”