If you have not had a chance to browse the incredible work from Patricia Healey, you’re missing the opportunity to own a piece of true art! Patricia Healey designs jewelry out of copper—creating looks with a natural feel. In fact, Patricia told us that nature is what inspires her the most. She says she likes to go for long walks to soak it all in before creating her next piece. Most of her designs include leaves, flowers, and bugs. The American southwest is another big influence in her art, which could explain the warm copper coloring she decided to work with. Back when we met up with her at the bead show in Tucson, there was a sign placed on her booth to describe how she creates her beads. This explanation gives you a look into her fun personality while at the same time informs you:
Fabricated from sheet metal. First, we cut the shapes out, then put form to metal using the technique of Repousse, (beating the crap out of the metal from the reverse side, giving it form). We use a bronze solder. To get the gorgeous color we use our top secret patination formula, then fire it up with a torch. Finally, the color is sealed in with a metal lacquer.
Patricia Healey used to manufacture clothes before discovering beads. She opened up a store for her sister in Oregon, where she grew up. Every day she would ride her bike to work, through the woods where she could breathe in nature. As she approached the store, she always wanted to just pass by it and keep going. She realized she wanted to go back to a more creative life. She wanted to work for herself and no one else. That’s when she started working with metal. She started by making collapsible displays (in fact she has made 60 different designs!). It was a lot of work, but the work was on her terms. When she went to shows to sell her displays, they were so bulky and took up so much room that she would end up sleeping on them! This was when she made the transition to making beads—a smaller, more convenient outlet for her work.
The first time she attempted to make a copper bead it was a success. Patricia called her first bead “Two Lovers Alone in the Universe.” It’s still one of her most popular designs today! She used to go to the recycling center and buy old washers and scrap metal when copper was still cheap. When her crew of three (who have been with her for the last 10 years) heard the bizarre name they worried that all of her creations were going to have similar fates. Patricia still has the first three beads she ever made, kept in box at her work station so she can admire them whenever she wants. When I asked Patricia if she has a favorite creation, she told me she gets a new favorite piece each time she produces a new line of creations. It makes sense that with each new creation, a new joy, a new focus emerges. This idea of balance is apparent in the way she describes the process for creating, too.
Patricia told us that every step of the process for her beads is important. There needs to be a balance to everything, even in life. When you feel good, you look good, and you do good. She loves the coloration process for her copper because it’s a hard process that’s fun to master, and she gets to experiment with new colors. She also loves the art of forming the metal and working with tools. Her balancing practice is not just limited to beads. She still makes her displays for tools with the same care taken for her jewelry components.
You can experience the beauty of her balance with our collection of Patricia Healey copper jewelry supplies, including beads, charms and findings. We hope you appreciate the value in knowing why we only work with artists who can deliver amazing products for all designers.