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Whimsical jewelry featured at Mohawk Valley Artists’ Guild show

Diana Jorgenson
Staff Writer
11/16/2011

The longest running art show in Eastern Plumas County will make its welcome appearance on Thanksgiving weekend at the Graeagle Fire Hall.

The Mohawk Valley Artists’ Guild is hosting the second of two annual art and craft fairs Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 – 26.

This year’s juried show attracted more entrants than ever before and fair coordinator Linda Cooley reported that board members found themselves having to turn away vendors for lack of space.

The bright side of this situation is that the fair will showcase a number of new artists and their creations — creations like beautiful carved gourds.

Among other things, shoppers can expect to find rustic wood furniture, aromatherapy products, designer crystals, crocheted hats, knitted scarves, exquisite jewelry, wooden bowls, pressed flowers, local photography, Christmas cards, handpainted glass and beeswax candles.

And from this bounty of artists and artisans, the guild has selected Clio artist Jennifer Lacy as the featured artist. Lacy’s bold and bright earrings and necklaces make a colorful display and they are meant to be fun.

“I have a lot of fun making this jewelry. Sometimes, I just crack myself up and have to giggle,” she said.

She calls her creative endeavor Whimsy. The name came to her early on in the process.

In a sense, Lacy’s move to Plumas County was an impulsive notion, a bit of whimsy.

Lacy, who has lived most of her life in California, barring a dozen years spent in the Rockies, bought her present home in Clio on impulse six years ago.

Before that “I took myself on a camping trip and I only went on back roads that I’d never been on before. I ended up in Lassen,” she related.

She continued driving, camping as she went, until she stumbled on Graeagle.

“I thought it was the cutest town I’d ever seen.”

It reminded her of the west shore of Lake Tahoe; more precisely, it reminded her of what she imagined the west shore was like in the ’50s.

“It was like stepping back into a quieter time,” she said. She wasn’t ready to move quite then, but when she was, she came to Graeagle, then Clio.

“I didn’t know anything about the place; I didn’t know anyone here; I never spent any time here, but I bought a place here and moved.”

She has never regretted that spontaneous decision. “It’s been fabulous, better than my wildest imaginings.”

She felt immediately at home and thinks Clio is “a gem of a town.”

Lacy made her living as a writer in Colorado and still counts creative writing among her pursuits. She also has produced a line of photographic greeting cards in her past, but today, she is immersed in bright colors and bold shapes and whimsical patterns.

The jewelry, she said, came out of “long winter nights.”

At first, a collection of agates sparked an interest in creating jewelry, but Lacy was daunted by the equipment needed for working with stones. And then she remembered “the button lady.”

Lacy, her mother and her sister were in the habit of attending a large craft show in San Francisco and enjoyed the jewelry made of buttons and beads crafted by a particular vendor, who became the inspiration for Whimsy.

“My stuff doesn’t look like her stuff, but the idea came from her.”

At first, Lacy concentrated on making earrings, her personal favorite jewelry, but soon expanded to necklaces and ankle bracelets.

For the Thanksgiving show, her second year of MVAG craft shows, she will be introducing colorful, lightweight eyeglass holders.

“Now that everyone I know has to wear reading glasses,” she laughs, “why not make it fun?”

Lacy does make matched sets of necklaces and earrings, but otherwise, no two pairs of earring or necklaces are alike.

She also takes on custom work, if customers want to match jewelry to a particular outfit.

They’re great gifts, she says, and she is including adorable gift bags with purchases, so shoppers needn’t worry about wrapping them.

Stop by Lacy’s booth at the MVAG art fair and enjoy her creations. Take the time to meet other local artists while buying handmade gifts for others and treats for oneself.

Each artist donates something to be given away during the event’s prize drawing and the proceeds from the drawing, as well as proceeds from refreshments, benefit local art and music programs.

Friday hours for the show are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

For more information, call Cooley at 832-1184.


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