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Profile: Watch-inspired artist at Beaver Creek

BEAVER CREEK — "Living in the moment and not by your wristwatch" is artist Annmarie Siegel's mantra, a daily way of life she shares with those she meets.

However, watches are an integral part of her creative existence. She re-purposes old watch parts into unique works of wearable art. Her designs include earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, cuff links and belts. Siegel's artistic inclination became apparent at a very young age.

She was an extremely inquisitive child, taking apart just about everything she could get her hands on — old tape recorders, appliances and even cameras. However, her mother's old jewelry quickly became her passion. She would disassemble her mother's brooches, pins and earrings to make up new designs.

"I thought mine looked better," she would tell the adults.

ORIGINAL DESIGNS

Her creative journey turned a corner the day she took apart one of her father's favorite pocket watches. She realized the possibilities were endless as she discovered the many treasured pieces inside that she could use to create new designs with. Siegel was inspired by the shapes and saw that they were much more than just watch parts. She began to create recognizable things such as fish, owls and birds with the pieces. Since then, her obsession and constant drive to re-purpose old watch parts into new and unique designs has become her livelihood and a line of one-of-a-kind handcrafted items titled Details in Time.

Her original designs can be seen at juried art festivals throughout the country. This August, she will be participating in the Beaver Creek Art Festival alongside her husband, mixed media artist Michael Vistia, where she will feature a new addition to her line, Timeless Mirrors. Siegel collaborates with Vistia, whom she met at an art festival more than a decade ago, on these pieces. Each mirror is built by hand beginning with an oak wood frame, specially designed to accommodate the timepieces that will be inlaid throughout the actual frame. It is further customized with a faux finish painting technique to add additional dimension via rich color selections. Finally, each frame is sealed with a high gloss clear coat for a lifetime of protection.

Siegel admits it is a challenge to find old timepieces in this digital age, but it doesn't keep her from her mantra. She says she chooses to "live in the moment", with time on her side.

Visit Siegel's website at http://www.watchpartjewelry.com to learn more about her and explore her work. The 28th annual Beaver Creek Art Festival runs today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at Beaver Creek Village. For more information, visit http://www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.