Shore Debris About the artist
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Vicky Brown, the artist behind Shore Debris
I am Vicky Brown, the youngest of a family of artisans and crafters. I am a 2003 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served in the Marine Corps from 2003 until 2009. Now this probably doesn't sound like the precursor to an artist's life, but I learned a valuable lesson - do what you love because you never know how long you can do anything at all. I have settled in Sanford, North Carolina with my husband and Libby, the American-All-Breed dog, and I opened my artisan business in 2009.
My passion is jewelry. Or maybe I should say my passion is the beach and I make things that are inspired by the beach (most of which is jewelry). Don't worry, my husband thinks I can be distracted by any pretty stone for any length of time... and that means some stuff leaves my studio that is not exactly beach-themed.
Shell collecting has been a big thing in my family - beginning with my grandmother who had a knack for finding large whelks in Buxton, NC from 1970-1995. Since then, my entire family has migrated South - to Florida - and still does shell-themed decorating. My personal shell obsession didn't begin until my wedding. I got married at the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in Buxton, NC and although I had family living on the island year round and I'd visited almost every year of my life, we'd never shopped at "The Old Grey House." Behind this house in sheds, carports, and small lean-tos were shells and shells and more shells...
Wire Woven Copper and Nutmeg Seashell Artisan Pendant Wire Woven Copper and Glass Pearl Handcrafted Pendant
My shell and sea glass collection is organized by beach and trip. Although most of my shore debris is found by either me or another family member, I do occasionally buy pretty shells just because I do not have chances of finding Pacific shells. Iím still waiting for someone I know to move to Tahiti so I can come and visit.
As for my access to authentic sea glass, I have been extremely fortunate. My parents just moved back to the United States after living in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for seven years. Sea glass still washes up on Guantanamo Bay's beaches with abundance because the currents are right and enough countries in that area have not been as turned onto recycling as long as the U.S. has.
I am a self-taught jewelry artist. I tend to learn better through books than through listening to someone tell me how, although I can say both the engineering background and the fact that my aunt was a trained silversmith in college have helped tremendously. In recent years, I have taken a few one-day technique classes at Ornamentea (a jewelry-making and fine-crafting store) in Raleigh, NC. Last year, I began teaching beginning wirework classes at BD Unique, a Sanford area bead and jewelry store.