On Sunday, January 28, the Brooklyn Arts Center was packed wall-to-wall with gorgeous handcrafted jewelry, sculptures, and more from the region’s top creators for the third annual Precious Metal show. More than 400 shoppers came through to support Wilmington’s local community of metalsmiths, a wonderful turnout on a rainy Sunday! With more than 30 vendors in the church, there was truly something special for everyone.
Melissa Manley, who has been a vendor at all three Precious Metal events, offered jewelry, enamel pieces, and metal creations. “It’s an honor to be in this show,” said Manley. “This is not your average show! I talked with many people who were stunned at the level of craftsmanship and quality. I heard lots of people talking about what a phenomenal show it was.” Manley has been an artist for 25 years, and her experience shows. After taking a jewelry-building class, Manley “fell in love with the solitary crafting, manipulating a hard material, bending and shaping it to my will, to manifest a beautiful object that can serve a function.”
Another metalsmith, CJ’s Sea Shop, owned by Cameron Johnson, featured coastal-inspired handcrafted jewelry made with sea glass, copper, brass, sterling silver, and glass enamel. Johnson has been making jewelry her entire life, but turned it into a business just six years ago. “I started out beading, then I took classes to learn how to work with metal and enamel,” said Johnson. “I really love bright colors, so I was very attracted to enamel. I also really love stones, and I love setting them in silver, sometimes pairing them with sea glass.” While Johnson presented plenty of one-of-a-kind pieces at the show, her favorite was a Chrysoprase and sea glass pendant, which she knows went to a good home with one of her customers. “My favorite part about vendor events is getting out and meeting the people that come to the shows,” said Johnson. “Many want to know your process, what the materials are, what the stones are…”
The silent auction, featuring donated pieces by many of the vendors, benefitted Skywatch Bird Rescue and was a super success. Skywatch’s resident rooster, Sparky, enjoyed attention and snacks from show-goers as they placed their bids. The raffle drawings running all day made for some very happy shoppers—many asking for next year’s show date on their way out the door. We promise, you’ll be the first to know when next year’s details are finalized.