By PAMELA BARKER
Community Reporter/Social Media Editor
North Palm Beach Life/ firstname.lastname@example.org
You know you have met a true artist when a person says taking a walk in their neighborhood causes them to imagine how they would redesign the exterior and landscaping of homes.
Such a person is self-taught jewelry creator, Christine Smith, of North Palm Beach, as she frequently takes a one-hour walk from her home to the Gardens Mall.
"It's a fun game. I just love to be with nature," Ms. Smith, who is originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, said.
The great outdoors of South Florida is but a small piece of the inspiration which drives her approach to designing unique, hand-made, and one-of-a-kind pieces.
"When I look at certain pieces of art, I am inspired to create something that will complement it," Ms. Smith, said during a recent interview at her home.
The intricate and truly wearable-art in her showcase reflects her vast and worldly experience. Each piece has its own story in stone, color and texture.
Her home, which is currently the only avenue to personally view her extraordinary pieces (she sells her jewelry wholesale to the public), is a reflection of her charming and artistic personality. It is bright, inviting, and filled with a warmth that is also felt in viewing her jewelry.
"I love the colors and beauty in Haitian art," she smiled, as she showed me a few examples hanging on her walls. Instantly, the connection between these beautiful pieces resting on brightly painted walls, and the elegantly colorful jewelry pieces she has crafted and continues to craft, were obvious.
Art is art, whether jewelry or on a canvas, and Ms. Smith's considerable background in the world of fashion gives her a step-up when it comes to consulting with clients, and assisting them with appropriate choices.
"I have spent hours with clients as they try pieces with various ensembles. They want to make sure a certain necklace goes with the clothing, but also the hair or eyes," Ms. Smith, explained. "It is important to feel good about your style."
No stranger to working hard, Ms. Smith not only uses her hands to make gorgeous pieces, she said, early on she pounded on doors to get her work into appropriate retail outlets. It worked, and her jewelry has been available for sale in a museum, along with exclusive shops in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida.
"But, I also have had many hobbies and just creative outlets through the years, including antiquing, floral designing, and even spent some time doing stencil designs on walls," she shared.
Focusing on her jewelry takes most of her time at this juncture, and
although not currently available in any retail shop, she does attend many shows throughout the year. So, watch her website for details.
Meeting her in person is an education as she patiently explains her jewelry, lets you try it on and helps you understand how it can work with certain fashion pieces. I know -- I met her at such a show, and she did not rush me or make me feel pressured in the least. Her distinctive jewelry stands apart from any others. So does the creator.
Christine Smith Jewelry, a true treasure in North Palm Beach.
Email, call or visit her website for additional information.
Listen to the Podcast
Listen as Christine Smith talks about her one-of-a-kind jewelry creations, which are featured in the July British edition of Vogue magazine (available here at Barnes and Noble). Ms. Smith's jewelry will also be included in the August issue of British GQ and the July issue of House of Coco.
Watch the Video
"When I look at certain pieces of art, I am inspired to create something that will complement it."
"I own several of CSJ's beautiful necklaces, and am so happy to see her beautiful work featured! Not only are her designs exquisite, but they are so well made that I NEVER have to worry about them breaking or losing beads- as opposed to so many other handmade necklaces! You can wear her work everyday, everywhere and feel like a million dollars." -- Mary B.