Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Lifestyles

May 2, 2014

Memories of grandma

Pendleton artist repurposes broken jewelry

ASHLAND — One of the most striking things about Becky Fletcher’s attire is the turquoise jewelry.

“When my grandmother died a year ago, I inherited some of her jewelry,” the Catlettsburg woman said. “I wear it every day.”

Her grandmother, who owned a floral shop, also sold turquoise jewelry she purchased from Arizona and New Mexico in her store.

The exposure to jewelry inspired Fletcher, a Magoffin County native, to start designing jewelry.

Some of the pieces she inherited didn’t work for her.

“She had a lot of clip earrings and we don’t like wearing clip earrings. They hurt,” she said. “So I started breaking them apart and making new things. She would be really excited about her jewelry being used in that way.”

When she wore them in public, she got compliments. When she explained that she had made them, admirers wondered if she could repurpose some of their jewelry.

She worked at home in the space where she had had a photography studio. While she still does some photography, mostly scenic landscapes, her jewelry work has taken over most of her time. She shops antique stores, flea markets and estate sales for pieces she can recycle into her own style.

Crosses are the symbols that recur in her work and she makes use of wire practically and aesthetically.

Fletcher opened a studio in the Pendleton Art Center on April 1 and calls her business Gussied Up!

“I was taught to never go out without putting on my makeup and doing my hair,” she said. “Grandma always said you have to get gussied up to go out.”

She and her husband recently traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, so she could learn about her favorite — turquoise.

“I learned about my jewelry and when it was made and about turquoise,” she said. “It was just such a fun trip.”

Fletcher said she likes to work at home at night but also works in her studio, where she can be found from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

Pearls have been very popular and are in style, worn in formal or casual settings, she said, adding she has been on the lookout for pearls to repurpose. She said she plans to start making embellishments for things like purses and jackets, too.

Fletcher and her husband of 30 years — her high school sweetheart — moved to Catlettsburg in 2000 for his work. She continued to pursue her interests, which, in addition to photography and jewelry, include playing guitar and singing.

“I just always have to be doing something, something creative,” she said.

Also during the art walk, music will be provided percussionist Scott Milem at the Pendleton.

Elsewhere:

‰The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, at 1620 Winchester Ave., will offer free face painting and games from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission to main floor is free and Discovery Center is $3.50.

‰The Lamp Post Café, at the corner of Greenup Avenue and 15th Street, will have open mic poetry from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Music will be presented at 7 p.m. my country artist Joe Jarrell. Ashland Community and Technical College students will be the featured artists. For more information, call (606) 325-5283.

‰The Ashland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will host a Kentucky Derby Hat Contest at 5:30 p.m. at the office at 1509 WInchester Ave.

Prizes will be awarded for the Prettiest Hat, Most Original Hat and Best Use of Derby Theme Hat.

For more information, call (606) 329-1007.

‰Ashland Animal Rescue Fund will have its third annual Westminster on Winchester Dog Show on the corner of 14th and Winchester.

Registration will be at 5:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Categories are: best costume, diva dog for small breed (20 pounds or smaller) and large breed (more than 20 pounds), best trick, owner/dog lookalike, cutest mutt and best in show.

Entry fee is $10 for one category and $5 for each additional category.

AARF items also will be for sale.

For more information, call Cathy Queen at (6060 922-5157.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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