Betsy Carr

Artist Bio

In Betsy's words, "I can't be sure how it all started. Maybe it was the summers spent rifling through my grandmother's attic, or the piles of floral bedsheets in my mother's linen closet, begging to be cut apart and made into something new. That, or my father's habit of finding clever uses for things otherwise meant for the trash. Something from my past stirred up a fondness for rescuing old things and prompted an avocation.

I'm in love with the idea that these bits of paper and scraps of fabric had stories of their own before reaching my hands. And it tickles me to imagine that people who wear my work are reminded of events from their own storied pasts.

I began using these materials in my artwork as a studio arts student at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Several years after finishing my degree I began studying silversmithing at Arrowmont School of Craft in Gatlinburg, TN. The jewelry I make now draws from both of these experiences.

My jewelry line, foundling, incorporates pages from old books, vintage patterned fabrics, timeworn beads, illustrations and recycled silver. Silver mining takes a sad toll on the environment. I'm happy to have a source for silver recycled from the world's existing supply and I use it as much as possible.

In addition to limited edition work, I produce a wholesale line of vintage papers and fabrics set in oxidized silver bezels. The graphic text, softly colored maps and sweet vintage florals combine vintage goodness with modern sensibility in necklaces, earrings and bracelets that are wearable conversation pieces."

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