Steamboat Springs artists create jewelry works of art |

Steamboat Springs artists create jewelry works of art

Frances Hohl/For Steamboat Today

Stunning jewelry leads the way for May’s First Friday Artwalk at Pine Moon Fine Art in downtown Steamboat. Four artists will feature their jewelry, much of it one-of-a-kind, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Stunning jewelry leads the way for May's First Friday Artwalk at Pine Moon Fine Art in downtown Steamboat. Four artists will feature their jewelry, much of it one-of-a-kind, just in time for Mother's Day.

— Yes, it's May. Don't panic.

Pine Moon Fine Art has Mother's Day covered as resident jeweler Tibby Speare is being joined by several of her cohorts in creating splendid pieces for the mom in your life during a special show that will open at First Friday Artwalk.

"Many of the pieces we have made are intentionally one of a kind," said Speare, who adds there's prices to fit everyone's wallet.

"This allows the person who is receiving or buying the jewelry to make a personal selection to really celebrate a mom's preciousness and uniqueness," Speare said.

Speare, the woman who helped bring Hospice to the Yampa Valley years ago, is joined by three other artists this May. Normally known for their sculptures, paintings and glass-kiln work, Speare's artist friends put their talents toward jewelry this month.

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Renowned sculptress Sandy Graves may have the most expensive pieces of jewelry on display but it may be the most inexpensive way to collect art from this much sought-after talent whose pieces go all over the world.

"The cool thing about what I do is it's so unique, you'll be hard pressed to find bronze and horse hair jewelry combined," Graves said from her home studio.

Graves created these miniature bronzed horse sculptures and paired them with braided horse hair.

"The horse hair really kind of melds with your neck and is incredibly comfortable. You don't even feel the weigh of it when it's on," Graves said. "If you wear them in the shower, they just become part of your body, and you just let 'em dry on you."

While Speare's main focus is jewelry and custom jewelry for clients, fellow artist Sandra Sherrod, a painter and sculptor, has been forced to end her jewelry making because of allergies to certain metals.

Her May jewelry show at Pine Moon could be one of the last opportunities to own one of her pieces.

"I have fine silver and sterling silver pieces that are one of a kind," Sherrod said. "I do mostly necklaces designed for semi-precious jewels."

Sherrod, a trailblazer for women in the wildcatting oil and gas business back in the ’70s, has a funny story about the semi-precious jewels seen in her collection.

"Leo Atkinson (local sculptor) was in our old gallery, and he did all of the mineral sculptures, and when he had pieces that would fall off … he'd give them to me as long as I'd make a piece of jewelry for his daughter every now and then," Sherrod laughed.

Like her fellow exhibitors, Jennifer Baker had a high-flying career in the business world before concentrating full-time on her art in Steamboat Springs. Known for her detailed kiln-fired glass pieces that often hang on walls or grace elegant tables all over the country, Baker sometimes goes back to her first love, jewelry art.

"I had this glass from a project and thought it would make an interesting necklace," Baker said.

"I'd get so many comments when I went out that it encouraged me to dabble back in it again."

Baker has put together what she calls a "small batch" of jewelry pieces specifically for the May First Friday Artwalk in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The unusual Mother's Day show at Pine Moon Fine Art on Ninth Street is also a personal experience for the artists.

"My mother wears a piece of jewelry that I've given her every day," Graves said.

"Many women really love jewelry … so much that some pieces become a part of them and they feel 'naked' without" it, Speare added.

First Friday Artwalk is from 5 to 8 p.m. May 5 in downtown Steamboat and features artists throughout galleries, shops, restaurants and churches. Here is a map of Artwalk locations.