Vintage Jewelry Reflects the Natural World
Tracey Buchwald, owner of Edgecliff Studios
Creating is a way of life for Tracey Buchwald, owner of Edgecliff Studios. Her creations range from painting, photography and especially jewelry making.
“My jewelry pieces are a reflection of the natural world,” she explains, adding that some of them – like her iridescent dragonfly button designs – even offer empowerment. “I encourage those who are ill or have survived some trauma to wear these pieces from my jewelry line,” she says. “They symbolize renewal, positive force and the power of life.”
While she’s only been selling her creations as a professional jewelry designer for the past three years, this passion began many years ago. “When I was a child, I started collecting interesting natural objects. It started with pretty rocks from local stream beds,” Buchwald explains. “As a teen and young adult, I began traveling the country to collect gems, minerals and fossils.”
Buchwald holds a B.F.A. in Painting and Photography from The Art Academy of Cincinnati. She says her influences for jewelry design include the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods. “Experimenting with the dragonfly buttons in different colors and sizes led me to coming up with my current designs,” she says. “I love providing people with something they love and my mission is to make people happy as well as help them look great.”
Currently, Buchwald has three full vintage jewelry lines which feature Swarovski Crystal, Czech Glass and Vintage Glass Fire Opals imported from countries such as Israel, Canada and across Europe. “My materials, like Czech Glass, are not unique in themselves. What is unique is the way I work the metal designs around the centerpiece,” she says. “In all my research and experience meeting jewelers at shows and seeing things online, I have never seen anything that resembles mine.” Buchwald also does custom orders like Swarovski mother’s bracelets and custom adjustments to the lengths of necklaces and bracelets.
With a goal to keep a balance between beauty and affordability, Buchwald only uses lead, nickel-free silver and brass metals. “Since many types of buttons like the Czech glass and Victorian buttons are expensive, my jewelry runs between $15 to $65 with discounts on sets,” she explains.
Buchwald’s jewelry lines are available for purchase on the Edgecliff Studios website, Etsy, and are also carried locally at Red Tree Galleries in Madisonville, Art on the Levee in Kentucky and Tantrum in Northside.
“My fullest offering is on my website and in-person shows. Last year, I did about 35 art shows around the Tri-state area,” she says. “This year, I am scheduled to do even more and have expanded my tour schedule to include all of Ohio as well as Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”
Thus far, Buchwald’s jewelry line has expanded into Swarovski crystal and vintage glass fire opals as well as the Victorian and Edwardian antique buttons, which have been one of the top sellers, since its launch. She has also started a line of Swarovski cufflinks.
“I really love when people see me at shows and tell me about how much they love something they bought last year or so, and the compliments they receive,” she says, “Of course, word of mouth is the best friend of an independent jeweler. It is also fun when people sneak back to the booth to buy a present for someone!”
Buchwald hopes to keep growing her business by adding lines, shows in other cities and stores. She also wants to eventually bring on interns or employees to help with her jewelry lines. “I want my business to continue being eco-friendly. I love sitting in my studio surrounded by raw materials, experimenting and creating,” Buchwald explains. “I am taking antique and vintage materials and up-cycling them into wearable accents to a woman’s natural beauty.”
To learn more, visit www.edgecliffstudios.com.