Havre de Grace resident Amanda Close began designing and creating jewelry when she was a teenager.
Since then, her craft has evolved over time. Close's passion is contagious, and now her husband Mike also designs and creates jewelry, and the husband-wife team sell their work locally.
As Amanda Close became more interested in the arts, she took up painting and creates custom designs.
Patch caught up with Amanda Close for an artist Q&A.
Q: What is your preferred form of art? How did you develop the interest?
A: Well, I love making jewelry. I really like to see someone wearing something I made and have them enjoy it. It’s like taking art around with you wherever you go. I also love to paint, but since I have three kids, I don't have much time to do a lot of painting. I have always been interested in art. When I was a kid, all I did was draw. Then when I got older I started making my own jewelry, then when I got my own place and could make a mess in my own house, I started buying paint and experimenting and it all just grew from there.
Q: Why did you begin making jewelry?
A: What made me want to make jewelry was I could never find anything I liked, not the right colors or style and when I did, it was always expensive. So I figured I would try and make it myself. I really liked the creativeness and how relaxing it was. Ever since then, I have been making jewelry for friends, family and recently started taking jewelry to shops in town for other people to have and hopefully love.
Q: What kinds of things inspire you?
A: Colors inspire me the most. I like bright, bold colors with a little attitude. I have always like rocks and minerals since I was a kid and now pretty much all my jewelry is made of different gemstones. It's amazing all the colors that naturally come from the earth.
Q: What are your ties to Havre de Grace?
A: I did most of my growing up in Bel Air. My family and I have lived in Havre de Grace for the past five years. We moved here when my oldest daughter started kindergarten, she’s going into the fifth grade this year.
Q: How have you and your husband collaborated in your art?
A: My husband makes jewelry also, we have stayed up many nights making jewelry together and swapping ideas. He makes what I have been calling "man stuff". We were shopping one day and we were looking for a gemstone bracelet for him, but we couldn't find anything anywhere, so he decided to start making "man stuff" and so far it's been a hit. He's a cook at MacGregors and so far, half the kitchen has bought a gemstone bracelet.
Q: Where can people purchase your art locally?
A: I have some jewelry for sale in Doodads here in town and in the Rampant Lion artisan gallery. My husband's jewelry is also for sale there. He made the owner [Scott Wallace] a necklace that he is wearing every time I see him. I also have an Etsy.com shop.
Q: Does your art support you?
A: No, not yet. It would be awesome if this grew into a full-time job for me. It's getting better and better. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last six years. I will be going to beauty school in October of this year to become a stylist.
Q: What types of materials do you use for your art?
A: For jewelry, it's mostly gemstones with some silver wire here and there. When I paint, I like to use acrylics, and I'll paint on anything that I can, from scrap wood to skate boards and helmets. The last few paintings I have done have been commissions for friends and family. My most recent one was for my neighbor. She skates in a roller derby and wanted her helmet custom painted. It turned out pretty cool.
Q: Describe what you love most about your art.
A: I just love being able to be creative, its therapeutic. if I’m in a (bad) mood, or stressed, I make something or paint something and then I feel so much better. It’s also very addicting, especially when you see how happy it makes someone else.