When it comes to accessorizing, Katelyn Branson can rely on her natural talent for crafting jewelry.
The Virginia Tech junior and her friend, Kristina Brown, have designed their own line of sea glass jewelry.
“If I have an outfit and I really need a pair of earrings to go with it, I’ll just make it,” Branson, a human development major, said. “It’s perfect.”
Branson and Brown began making their jewelry this past summer to sell at a bazaar where local artisans were able to showcase and sell their work. However, Brown, a student at Old Dominion University, said the concept didn’t come to them right off the bat.
The two began by making magnetic picture frames and had intended to sell them at the craft fair. But after examining pieces of sea glass they had found in the Chesapeake Bay, they decided to give jewelry-making a try as well.
According to Branson and Brown, the glass isn’t particularly hard to come by in Virginia Beach, where the two are from. With each piece of sea glass different from the next, and the multitude of beads and wire patterns the two employ, the pair have created an impressive range of designs and styles.
However, the skill took time and effort, with both Branson and Brown progressing over time.
“There were hits and misses,” Brown said. “But the great thing about it is that you can just start over.”
“We wasted a lot of wire,” Branson said. “You have to wrap it a certain way so the glass doesn’t fall out, so we had to unwrap it. But once you wrap it, you can’t really use it again because it’s kinked.”
Fortunately, the two weren’t completely alone in their training. They learned the basics from a friend of Branson’s mother. After learning the technical process of making the jewelry, Branson and Brown were free to experiment with the method and develop their own styles.