My Jewelry History

Jewelry has been a lifetime love for me.  As a kid I loved my arm full of Jelly bracelets and had an absolute ton of plastic charms for my charm necklaces, bracelets and belt.  I made lots of threaded friendship bracelets for my friends and myself.  I also loaded my friends up with what I called buddy beads for our shoes, a safety pin with beads.  As I became a little older I began making beaded jewelry.  I did my first craft show with a friend as a teenager with some of my beaded creations and basically gave everything away and had a great time.

While in high school I began making money by selling jewelry to my friends.  And you were always guaranteed an original creation from me for Christmas or a birthday.  In college I made good money making and “swinging” hemp necklaces.  I got most of my designs from Macramé books and they were pretty cool.  I loved the detail with creating a piece of jewelry with knots.

Majoring in Metal in Jewelry Design at Savannah College of Art and Design helped me to refine my jewelry techniques and introduced me to metal which has been a great love.  While studying jewelry at SCAD I became sick from exposure to the metals.  Upon leaving school I came home, cleansed and my path veered away from jewelry for a while.  I did keep my hand in it a bit with pieces for myself and gifts for loved ones but nothing major that could not be created on the kitchen table.

About 3 years ago I came back to jewelry full force!  I had gone to a salon to get my hair colored some rock and roll red, it was a new dye that I had not used before and I experienced a reaction.  I was wired for days and could not relax enough to sleep.  Through this wired up insomnia I got out my jewelry making supplies and went to work.  I created one of my favorite necklaces which you will often see me wearing; it features a handle from my grandmother’s silver along with chased silver wire.

From this I was back in the jewelry making business.  Over the next year I began making jewelry on a regular basis.  I began researching how to make this love into a business.  I also started carrying my creations in a shoe box to show and sell to anyone interested.  September, 2009 my love for jewelry and many hours of creation paid off when Burkes Mountain Design, now known as Mountain Light Jewelry became a business and I began selling at shows and markets in the area.  Today I am in my studio making jewelry “full time” and this year I have been selling jewelry every weekend beginning the first weekend of March and running up to Christmas.   I am finally realizing my potential.  🙂

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About Mountain Light Jewelry

My name is Carly Burke and I am a jewelry artist living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. I turned my hobby into a business September 2009 and have enjoyed using mostly copper and argentium silver wire and semi precious stones to create unique wearable art. I have also appreciated the challenge of jewelry photography, marketing, selling and learning to be a salesman.
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