The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents “Painting with Beads,” an exhibition of handmade jewelry by Florence-based artist Claudia Brown, originally planned for display from March 7 to April 25 in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase (COVAS) at the Newport Visual Arts Center. Due to statewide bans in place to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Newport Visual Arts Center has closed temporarily, so OCCA displays this exhibit online here. Brown exhibits earrings, pendants and bracelets reflecting the colors of her garden, the ocean and wine country. The Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase features mid-career artists living on the Oregon coast and rotates artists from the seven coastal counties, with Brown representing coastal Lane County. View more of her exhibit in gallery form.
“My jewelry making all started around 1990 with picking up pieces of sea glass as my husband and I were walking in the sand at low tide at Marina Bay in Richmond, California,” Claudia Brown says. “From there the pieces evolved into many different styles and I began to sell at the Marina Bay and in San Francisco and Berkeley.”
While living in California, Brown started a business in staging and redesigning homes for sale, where she was able to experiment with color, design and furnishings. It wasn’t until she and her husband moved to Florence in 2005 that she was able to resume her jewelry making in earnest. Brown is currently represented by the River Gallery in Old Town Florence and the Tsunami Gallery in Gardiner.
Claudia Brown’s jewelry designs incorporate several techniques. She uses Parawire for wrapping sea glass and creating structure. Her viking knit wire bracelets always end in Simplylampwork beads by Nancy Gant in Eugene. She works exclusively with Czech glass stone or gem cabochons for her necklaces. She incorporates viking knit, kumihimo and soutache techniques, forms of Japanese and international braiding and cording.
Brown’s training has included classes in painting, fashion design, pattern making and architectural drawing at UCLA, as well as various workshops at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is an active member of the Florence Regional Arts Alliance (FRAA) and serves as the events organizer for FRAA’s Holiday Arts Festival, Winter Arts Festival and Rhody Days Arts Festival.
The COVAS Showcase is open noon to 4pm, Tuesday-Saturday.