Jewelrymaker Beth North loves silver jewelry, but not the bright, shiny kind. North is more inspired to bring out the metal’s natural side.
“I have never really liked shiny silver jewelry,” North says. “I like my pieces to look more industrial and edgy.”
Her works, which range from bracelets to necklaces and more, will be on display and for sale at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center Holiday Shop in Birmingham.
The gift extravaganza opens Dec. 3 and runs through Dec. 19.
North, a 47-year-old mother of two girls who lives in Birmingham and grew up in Bloomfield Hills, is one of three Oakland County artists who will showcase their handcrafted works at the popular show.
PTo achieve that unusual look, North oxidizes her pieces as part of the creative process.
“Oxidizing makes it more organic and earthy looking,” she says. “And it gives more depth, too.” North has sold her works at the show for the past 10 years.
“I enjoy the shop and all the unique handmade pieces and the new artists they find each year,” says the jewelry artist, who took her first jewelry class at the BBAC more than 20 years ago. Working mainly in silver, North adds gems and pearls to accent her pieces.
“I also like to use quotes and words on pieces to inspire the wearer,” she says.
Her works, in fact, have become so popular that stylists for the North American International Auto Show have chosen various pieces for the show’s models.
Other participating area artists Berkley’s Linda Buck, who creates colorful tiles, and West Bloomfield resident Martha Zausmer, whose greeting cards feature Hanukkah themes.
Buck makes clay tiles and sculpture. Each of her pieces is individually carved and/or hand built and finished with colored pencil and glaze.
“I use buildings and urban landscape imagery,” says Buck, who’s been an artist all of her life but began working with clay exclusively about 16 years ago.
At the Holiday Shop, the BBAC will transform into a veritable sleighful of artistic gift ideas. Shoppers will find everything from North’s eclectic accessories to charming miniature snowmen and colorful glass ornaments.
Shoppers who want to get a jump start on finding just the right handmade gift should consider attending the BBAC Holiday Shop’s preview party — Shop & Champagne — which runs 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Beyond shopping for goods and sipping on bubbly that evening, attendees at the annual event can enjoy foods from Birmingham’s 220 Merrill, Brooklyn Pizza and The Stand; Ferndale’s Canape Cart; Bloomfield Hills’ Café ML and more in a strolling supper.
Shop & Champagne shoppers also receive 10 percent merchandise. The BBAC retains 45 percent commission on all goods sold, to support BBAC educational and ArtAccess programs.
“The Holiday Shop has been around in one incarnation or another since the early years of the BBAC,” says BBAC publicist Diane Taylor, who adds the center was founded in 1957 and moved into its current building in the early 1960s.
“I’ve shown (and sold) work at this show for many years,” Buck says. “The quality and variety is great; there is something for everyone.”