After picking shells on the beaches in Florida for 20 years, Denise Krauth of Hibbing has found a way to display her collection — by wearing them.
“I decided to try making jewelry out of the shells,” she said. “I made them for myself, but then other people expressed an interest in my jewelry and my unique designs. From there, it just went in so many directions.”
One of those directions was establishing Naturally Peaceful Jewelry, Krauth’s latest venture.
“Just recently I made my granddaughter a necklace out of an acorn she found,” she noted. “I find potential jewelry in just about anything.”
For just shy of three years now, this 66-year-old Hibbing resident has personally designed and handcrafted custom jewelry. Her creations are uniquely styled using some of nature’s commonly found items.
“Each one of my pieces is unique and my personal design,” she said. “Everything I look at gives me new ideas. It could be shells, rocks, birch bark, wood, beads.”
Self-taught, Krauth also dabbles in repurposing and recycling jewelry. She works on her fashion pieces almost daily at home.
The opportunity and challenge of being creative is what inspires her.
“It took me until I was in my 60s to figure out that I can express my talent in jewelry,” she said. “… My jewelry inspires me everyday. I am also a huge music fan, and that form of art also inspires me.”
With hundreds of items made, Krauth said she doesn’t have one particular favorite.
“Each piece I make, I make it as if it was for myself,” she explained. “There is a little piece of me in each piece. I have a hard time parting with each piece that I sell.”
She admits to keeping a lot for herself and selling some to others.
“I get such wonderful reactions from people because my pieces are so unique,” she noted.
Krauth’s work can be found on Facebook, on Etsy and at various arts and crafts shows in the area.
“It is almost an addiction,” she said. “I have several boxes sitting around my house at all times that collect my potential jewelry. The boxes are filled with marbles, driftwood, old jewelry, shells, uniquely shaped rocks, sea glass, etc. Each little thing turns into a unique piece of jewelry.”
It’s taken Krauth some time to see her own talent.
“When I started out, I didn’t consider my pieces works of art but they truly are,” she said. “I appreciate all talent that people have in all forms of art.”
She’s also venturing into other artforms as well.
“I just recently started teaching myself how to do some wire weaving,” she said. “It’s very intricate and needs a lot of patience.”
Her passion has also inspired her partner. Krauth said her husband started making wood pieces for her about a year ago.
“We have exotic wood from all over the world,” she said. “… He creates the most beautiful pieces and is now making some of my beads. Since we both have just recently retired, it’s great that we share this interest.”