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Artists in the Spotlight – Shera

Shera is next on our list full of amazing artists! She is 31 years old and is based in California where she makes the most beautiful jewellery. We asked her a couple of questions about her Tudor bracelet collection.

Bracelet with Anne Boleyn's motto

When did you start making bracelets?
"I've dabbled in different jewelry-making mediums since I was a teenager when I would make pieces just for myself. In 2012, I opened my Etsy shop where I mostly sold novelty jewelry, however I hadn't stayed active with it for a number of years. At the beginning of 2020, I was asked to make a few custom pieces to be sold at a local landmark, Forestiere Underground Gardens. This request, along with the strike of the pandemic, inspired me to get back into jewelry making. I wanted to get into metal stamping because it allowed me to make pendants and bracelets with phrases and quotes that I wanted but was not finding available to purchase."

Where does your interest in the Tudors come from? When did that start?
"My interest in the Tudors started when I was about 11 years old. At that time, my love for history, especially women's history, really began to develop. My favorite series of books were The Royal Diaries. These were fictitious journals written from the perspective of future female monarchs when they were young girls, usually around 13 to 15 years old. These books always included a "Historical Note" in the back which would give the reader historically accurate information about the people, places and events that were mentioned in the fictitious journal. One of my favorites in this series was about Elizabeth I. I was captivated by her life and the uncertainty of her position in the royal family. I remember being especially intrigued by the brief mentions of Anne Boleyn in the book. As an adult, I began delving into more historical fiction for enjoyment, but since my first introduction to that genre always included that factual section, I found myself being more and more drawn to doing research and reading non-fiction about the Tudors. After all, their lives were so fascinating, little embellishment is really needed."

Bracelet with Catherine Parr's motto

What inspired you to make jewelry related to the Tudors?
"The first metal stamped cuff I made was with the names of all the wives of Henry VIII. One thing I've learned with metal stamping is that it requires a lot of practice, so most of the pieces I worked on when I was first starting out were things I knew I would want to keep for myself, even if they didn't come out perfectly. After making that first cuff, I began researching the mottoes of each of Henry's wives. I had long been familiar with Anne Boleyn's "The Most Happy" and began to wonder what words the other wives had selected to represent them. As I researched them, I became inspired to do a series of cuffs featuring each of their respective mottoes. I think each one gives a fascinating insight into the personality and desired image of the respective queens."

Do you have a favorite Tudor monarch? Who and why?
"Since my interest in the Tudors began, I have always been most fascinated by Anne Boleyn. I think she was a strong and clever woman that was able to establish herself in the English court like few ever had before her. However, she also sometimes let her emotions overrule her better judgement. This trait both humanizes her in my eyes and ultimately became her downfall in my opinion."

What is your favorite piece you have made?
"I think my favorite piece would have to be my Anne Boleyn "The Most Happy" Cuff. I find her motto to be a poignant one as it was selected when she truly felt that she had accomplished everything she had wanted, and yet we now know that her time of happiness would be short-lived."

Bracelet with Jane Seymour's motto

How long does it take you to make your bracelets?
"I would estimate each bracelet takes around 45 minutes to complete, depending on the length of the phrase being stamped." 

How do you make the bracelets?  What is the process?
"Each of my bracelets is stamped one letter at a time by hand. I start out with a flat strip of brass, copper, or aluminum. After measuring out the phrase or quote that will be going on the bracelet, I begin stamping from the middle and working my way out. After the metal has been stamped, I begin the shaping process which usually includes hammering the metal back to being flat and straight (as it can get misshapen during the stamping process) and then curving it to the desired shape for a wrist. After that I add ink to the indentations from the stamping so the phrase stands out. The final step is shining the bracelet to give it a beautiful finished look. Everything is done by hand, so no two bracelets turn out exactly alike."

Are you currently working on anything related to the Tudors?
"After finishing my motto series for the wives of Henry VIII, I decided to move onto the next generation of Tudor women. I now have cuffs featuring the mottoes of Elizabeth I, Mary I, and Mary, Queen of Scots. I've also done the motto of Richard III and other requested custom cuffs. I would like to do more research on the mottoes of other female monarchs and see if there is another series I am inspired to start."

Want to see more of Shera's gorgeous bracelets? You can follow her on Instagram: @shera.chic

More artists in the spotlight

 

Click here to read about and see Siouxsie's gorgeous Anne Boleyn painting!

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Artists in the Spotlight – Shera

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