Hi! My name is Chelsey. I’m a graduate of the University of North Texas, where I earned my B.F.A. in Metalsmithing and Jewelry. Before studying metals, I was already in love with jewelry and beads. My mother helped me start a jewelry business when I was 12. I was able to sell my handmade jewelry in small town shows, and even had my work for sale in a few local businesses. After fast-paced high school years had distracted me from jewelry, I decided that I didn’t want to trade in my God-given love and talent for jewelry to pursue anything else. During my first few semesters in metals classes, I was quite unsure of the direction I wanted to take with my work. I primarily spent my time learning new techniques and feeling overwhelmed. By the last two semesters though, my style had evolved into what I’m most passionate about now – combining old and new elements to create deeply symbolic jewelry. For instance, most of my newer work consists of antique, inherited jewelry pieces that are re-framed or joined together by new metal and modern designs. In all of my work, my aim is to point others to the beautiful work that God can do in the hearts of humankind. Just as Christ’s work is to reclaim and heal selfish human hearts, I aim to re-purpose decaying jewelry into beautiful new pieces. When I work on these types of projects, I’m encouraged to remember all the ways God has taken unlovely pieces of my life and made them beautiful in ways only He can.
Now that I am preparing for this trip to Thailand, I’ve taken a break from my own designs to work on lesson plans for the metals classes I’ll be teaching. Still, while sharing the training I have received with women suffering from the effects of sexual exploitation, I hope that the same idea of reclamation and newness shines through in every aspect of my communication.