LOGANSPORT, Ind. — For Elaine Anderson-Burkett, it began with a common office supply.
"I would just start bending paper clips into little shapes and my friends were like, 'You need to make some jewelry out of that,'" she said. "And that's how it started."
That was about 24 years ago.
"It's evolved, obviously," she said with a laugh in her Logansport home, where many of her handmade earrings, necklaces and bracelets are on display. "No more paper clips."
Today her work consists of flowing pieces of metal and wire she shapes herself, brightly colored beads on shimmering chains and assortments she's combined from her vast collection of materials. Her work will be on display at Art on the Avenue in Logansport this Saturday.
Anderson-Burkett described herself as a self-taught jeweler who opts for wire over string and occasionally incorporates chains into her work.
"I love working with metals," she said.
She twists, bends, hammers and solders it into the shapes she wants.
She gets her materials from chain craft stores to estate sales and donations.
"I like to use found items and recycle things," she said.
Sometimes she said she'll see a particular bead and an idea will start to spark right away. Other times she'll peruse her collection for materials that go together.
"I never really know what I'm going to make when I sit down," she said.
Anderson-Burkett worked on a piece on Tuesday, Sept. 12 in her living room work space, which is made up of a small table near shelves packed with cases of beads. Two lamps lit her hands that moved fluidly to twist and bend a piece of metal wire. A small, dented anvil rested on the table nearby. After shaping the wire to her liking, she withdrew needle nose pliers from a box of tools and began pressing bends into place.
She called jewelry making a source of stress relief and said she enjoys making customers happy. She added she loves doing custom jobs and working with people on an idea they have before creating multiple pieces based on that premise for them to choose from.
All of her work is one of a kind, she said, adding the closest she gets to duplication is basing a piece on the style of a former one upon request.
Anderson-Burkett will be one of about 25 artists and artisans from across the region in Art on the Avenue at Little Turtle Waterway this Saturday. She said she's been participating in the annual event for about the past seven years. The show inspires visitors to realize their own artistic talents and pursue them while creating a sense of unity, she said.
"I feel like the community needs more togetherness," she said. "It's something that brings people together."
Since she's started participating in Art on the Avenue, Anderson-Burkett has encouraged family members to do so as well. Her mother, Sandy Anderson, will be back this year with her handmade cards while her brother, Ross Anderson, will have his charcoal work on display.
Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, http://bit.ly/2w8VHeT
Information from: Pharos-Tribune, http://www.pharostribune.com