Vail: ‘Common old world textures’ |

Vail: ‘Common old world textures’

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado –Learning how to make jewelry wasn’t a hobby-turned-serious for Jamie Santellano, who will be in Vail Saturday – rather it was a “necessity.” But she loves it nonetheless.

“Three years ago I was working part-time as a hairdresser, part-time as a metal sculptor, and life was changing fast, as I was going through a divorce,” she said. “On becoming a single parent, and fighting to keep my home, I needed to find another way to support my daughter and myself, so I decided to go into the creation of wire-wrapped earrings made with sterling silver and Swarovski Crystals, which I sold to my clients at my chair.”

Six months later Santellano was on a plane to Ireland, where she took a silversmithing workshop and learned a jewelry technique called anticlastic riasing. She describes her style Saturday as “contemporary with an old world flare.”

“I use a lot of hammered surfaces, chain mail, leather, and some scroll work in my designs, which are common old world textures,” she said.

Santellano will be at Artful Sol in Vail from 4 to 8 p.m. this afternoon for an artist reception.

“Jamie is very talented and she is my best-selling jewelry designer because her pieces are so timeless and yet very, very cool,” said Cheryl Ann Peter, owner of Artful Sol.

During Santellano’s travels in Ireland, she fell in love with Celtic art and armor of Medieval warriors, two things which inspire her work, she said.

Since Santellano was a child, she’s been drawn to sterling silver jewelry. While she was in Ireland her workshop teacher had a warning for her:

“He said to me, ‘Once you start working in sterling you won’t want to go back,’ and yes, he was right – I am addicted!”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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