Barbara Simmons

Sea Grape Gallery Artist Member since 2011
Fine Art Medium:  Silver Jewelry

Originally from Boston, I was raised in a very artistic family.  My father met my mother in art school and was still painting and showing his work when he was in his nineties.  My sister had a very successful art career that included working for Disney and Mattel.  With a degree from the University at Albany in New York, I took a different direction and pursued a career as a high school library media teacher.  For several years I also owned and operated a Stretch & Sew Fabric store in the Albany area.

When I retired from teaching, knowing I had creative genes, I was very anxious to explore the art world to find my niche.  The first class I took was a silver jewelry class and I was so hooked I looked no further!  I continued with a few more local classes and then attended the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Young Harris, Georgia.  I also studied under Tim Lazure from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and Beverly Fox, a very accomplished local goldsmith.

The simple and natural designs in my creations are inspired by unique stones and interesting shapes.  Even though I use a variety of minerals and gems in my settings, I tend to specialize in larimar, a rare mineral found only in the Dominican Republic.  In addition to natural stones, I also use sea glass, much of which was collected from the beach when I lived in Southern California.

I hope you enjoy wearing my jewelry as much as I enjoy creating it!