In her contemporary jewelry designs, Maryland’s Tracey Beale adds meaning and tells a story.
The artist: A Baltimore native, Beale graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studied fine arts and literature.
A few years after graduating, she took a metalsmithing class at MICA and worked for a time with Stephen Page, a master goldsmith. But Beale considers herself self-taught.
Beale also has taught jewelry and art making programs for teens in New Orleans and Wiesbaden, Germany.
The company/studio: Tracey Beale Jewelry is based in Baltimore, where the artist works and lives in an industrial warehouse space.
Believing her home and studio are sacred, Beale calls her space “The Temple.”
In the beginning: She decided to make a necklace for a friend’s birthday, but had no idea where to start.
Beale made and designed a beaded necklace with a wired wrapped pendant, which her friend loved and wore often. Then others wanted to buy necklaces so she made more.
Over time, Beale fell in love with the metal she used to wrap stones and began to create designs, mostly of metal. That was more than 15 years ago.
The art & materials:
- Contemporary jewelry inspired by ancient African jewelry, particularly Egyptian designs, and talisman pieces, using sterling silver, copper, brass and gold.
- Custom copper wall art, with help from her father, who makes the wooden frames for her art.
- Zeit Bracelets ($222 to $245) in sterling silver and brass.
- Copper wall art ($1,475) featuring a patchwork design.
Other favorites: Geist Sensuality Necklace ($268) and Geist Grounding Necklace ($278). Geist is derived from the term Zeitgeit, which means “spirit of the times.”
Like the other pieces in the Geist collection, the necklaces feature shattered windshield glass (from Beale’s vandalized car) and 24k gold leaf fused in hand-poured resin. Each piece of glass is unique, creating a one-of-a-kind feel.
“Sometimes life shatters or breaks us,” said Beale. “The Geist collection is a reminder to scoop up your broken pieces and love the new shape of your spirit.”
Inspiration: Stories based on personal experiences and the experiences of others.
Special or unusual requests: Custom memorial and ancestor jewelry for clients whose loved ones have passed away. The pieces incorporate items, including ashes and glass, that hold special significance to their loved one’s life and personality.
Big break: Hired as an experiential jewelry artist for a national concert tour featuring The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest and others. For two years, she traveled the country and created custom jewelry “on the spot” during concerts and performances.
Award: Diamond Award for “Best Use of Alternative Metals” from Metal and Smith, a non-traditional wholesale event introducing independent jewelers to retailers, editors, influencers and consumers.
What’s new: A collection of jewelry and metal sculpture inspired by the theme of transformation. The jewelry and sculpture feature organic shapes found in nature.
What’s next: American Craft Made show in Baltimore, May 20-22.
Where to buy:
- Baltimore Museum of Art Shop, https://shop.artbma.org/
- Blac Wild Flowerz, https://blacwildflowerz.com
Get social at:
- Instagram and Facebook: @traceybealejewelry