Art as Fashion
Before buying a painting or sculpture, you might want to consider investing in exquisite, wearable art. Edmond artist, Marcee Claflin, of Marcee C Jewels to Treasure, designs such pieces.
With over twenty years of experience in the design centers of California and New York City, Claflin creates unique jewelry from materials found all over the world. She personally selects the materials and designs each piece.
“I have been designing jewelry since 1998 when I made my first piece to wear to a wedding I was attending. I needed a necklace to compliment an Armani suit I planned to wear. I wanted a necklace I had seen while out shopping but it was excessively expensive. I figured I was relatively creative and knew I could make it myself if I could just find the materials,” said Claflin.
“I let my fingers do the walking through the good old Yellow Pages, and found a bead store in Bethany. At that time Edmond didn’t have a bead store. I altered the design of the necklace I had seen to be more according to my taste. I also made a bead embellished handbag – all for much less than the one necklace at the store. Plus, I really had fun making them,” said Claflin. “My great-grandfather was a jeweler and optician. I must have inherited this love of gemstones and jewelry from him.”
Claflin’s jewelry designs caught the attention of others as she wore them. “People started complimenting my jewelry and when I told them I made it they would offer to buy it. Sometimes I would actually take off whatever piece I was wearing and sell it to them. I began getting orders and realized I could turn this hobby into a vocation.”
Her initial bead creations quickly led to a successful business and now, Marcee C Jewels to Treasure, has a proven track record. Her collections sell in museum stores, art galleries, specialty retail boutiques, as well as private collections in the United States and Mexico. Claflin has a passionate following of customers and plans to expand her business into Canada in the near future.
Her goal is to create designs that are both beautiful pieces of jewelry and wearable art. “I want each piece to be as unique as the women who wear them,” said Claflin, who loves to see her customers happy.
“I try very hard to get a feel for each customer when I’m designing a custom order for someone. I listen to them and want to capture their personality and style. Women are so different and what they like really varies. It’s rewarding when I create something that suits them,” she said. A recent customer expressed appreciation by telling Claflin, “You just get it.”
Redesigning pieces from heirloom jewelry is also rewarding for Claflin. “It is so special to me to be able to let these women still be able to wear a part of their mother or grandmother. I’ve taken a cameo or something that was sentimental to a customer and I’ve sort-of given it a rebirth. Maybe it was jewelry that had just been lying in the drawer and not being worn.”
She added, “When I started getting serious about my business, I knew I had to design in a way that set my jewelry apart from what was already on the market. That’s when I took my love for Venetian glass beads with rich hues and began incorporating them into single as well as multistrand woven necklaces.”
The Venetian Couture Collection is Claflin’s specialty. The jewelry pieces are inspired by the colors that abound in every corner and piazza of Venice, Italy. She works with the finest glassblowers in Murano and Venice to create many of the featured glass pieces in her work. She travels the globe searching for the best gem and stone markets, which include jade and pearls from Asia, sapphires and rubies from India, along with turquoise from Arizona or China. Tribal works from the far corners of Tibet, Mongolia or Africa all become part of her inspirations.
Claflin is active in the community, serving as former president of the Edmond Fine Arts Institute president-elect of the Oklahoma State Medical Association Alliance.
Claflin can be contacted at 405-820-1519 or at www.marceec.com.