<i>Featured artist Shari Both at Lakeshore Gallery</i>: Organic jewelry designs, inspired by nature

For Kenmore artist Shari Both (short o as in Bothell), it all began with a monthly magazine subscription.

"Every month the magazine would come across my desk at Boeing, featuring different jewelry designers with lots of photos. I would study the pictures and my mind would overflow with ideas." Those ideas sat resident for years while Both worked as a graphic designer.

It was with the birth of her second child that Shari decided it was time to stay home with the kids. Raising kids is rewarding work, but her creative outlet wasn't being fulfilled in the same way it had been as an artist.

Feeling the urge to create and work with color once again, Both found herself outside in the garden. Touching the plants, feeling their texture, listening to the leaves made Both content, for a while. Soon it wasn't enough, she was itching to create more, and the artist knew it was time to let those long-held ideas about jewelry out into the light.


"I guess I started making jewelry after I bought a piece I really liked. I studied it. I took it apart. And then I knew, I can do this!" Both began making beaded jewelry but soon progressed to wire work, incorporating semi-precious stones. "My pieces aren't perfect. They are organic. They are inspired by nature, which itself isn't perfect." But her pieces are alive with color and dimension.

Utilizing silver wire, pearls, and stones of complementary colors, combined with a variety of interesting silver settings, Both's jewelry outshines her competitors. She is sending pieces around the country and garnering her self some devoted followers.

"I am as busy as I want to be right now. I am at home working and am able to be with my kids and family. I admit that sometimes I long for a studio space and someone to do the paperwork - but those are for the future. Right now I am really happy with where I am."

The Pacific Northwest is home and inspiration for Both. Being able to enjoy time outside during the day, Both doesn't just go for walks around town, she is listening, she is gathering magical ideas. "The way [jewelry] looks, the way it feels on my skin, the subtle sound it makes as I move, all work together to create a magical experience every time I wear it. And every piece of jewelry I make is designed to offer the wearer the same kind of experience."


Each of her hand-made pieces is an original design, intended to look, feel and sound beautiful. She is driven by color and her use of color in each piece is not shy. Both's collections range from warm ambers and reds to cool blues.

Shari Both's jewelry will be at Lakeshore Gallery from May 10 through the end of the month. 107 Park Lane, 827-0606. [[In-content Ad]]