Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Maureen Kelly '91

Maureen is the owner of Pumpkin Hill Beads Maureen

writes, “I am a glass bead artist. Glass beads are my main thing, and if that's what you want, I got 'em.”

She offers a wide range of colors, patterns, shapes etc. and says, “Let me know what you like or want, and I will do my best to accommodate you.” She also has an array of bracelets, necklaces, and other finished jewelry. Custom pieces can be made as well.

Maureen says, “My love of beads, jewelry, anything that has to do with adornment, came from being able to rummage around in my grandmother's jewelry boxes. I would pick up her chunky beaded necklaces, big round bangle bracelets, and shiny brooches, dangling earrings, and precious stone rings, and play with them all day. They held such an amazement for me, I was in awe. As I got older, and started collecting pieces of my own (mostly big gaudy rhinestone jewelry, it was the ' 80s!), I knew I had found a passion. But where to take it, what to do...I didn't know until..... I went to a Grateful Dead concert, (believe it or not) and bought a beaded anklet, and earrings. I went home, took a good look at 'em, and said I can do this!, and proceeded to take them apart, writing down every stitch, every placement of a bead. well....I still went to concerts, but the earrings, necklaces, and anklets? I wasn't buying, I was making them, and selling them.
It wasn't till later on that I was at a small craft show, that I saw beads that I had never seen before. Beautiful, intricate, amazing beads. I asked the woman selling them where she had gotten them, and she said 'I made them', and I said 'get out of town!', and she proceeded to tell me about how glass beads are made, and where I could find out more. I went home, and ordered everything that you needed, set it up in my garage, and said to myself, oh my god, what did you just do. A week passed, and I finally got up the nerve to turn the torch on, and I guess you can say....the rest is history.”

Maureen lives in New Milford, CT. with her husband Joe, a gifted cabinet maker.