A local woman’s jewelry came close to being featured at a national chain store.
Cecily Chaney, of Gardendale, was one of 36 semi-finalists in a contest to have her creations sold in Belk stores.
Chaney said she was not chosen in part because she has not enlisted the help of a manufacturer to produce her jewelry on a large scale.
“It was a very good experience,” said Chaney, who traveled to Charlotte, N.C., for the competition. “I don’t have full production going. ... They wanted to start in March and the jewelry needed to be made by January.”
Chaney is a retired FBI agent who has lived in Gardendale for 10 years.
Chaney, whose business is called Chainey Designer Bling, has made a name for herself in Alabama.
This summer, she operated a booth for several weeks at Pepper Place in Birmingham. She is also a member of Hoover’s Artists on the Bluff, where she rents studio space and teaches classes.
Chaney works mostly in sterling silver and copper.
“My styles are kind of unusual. You don’t see them often around here,” she said. “It’s the kind of stuff you see if you go to the Midwest.”
Chaney said her designs are varied. Some of her jewelry has a southwestern influence, others are traditional and still others are contemporary.
“Some pieces look like they might be made in Europe,” she said. “People from Germany and Spain have purchased my pieces because they said it reminds them of what they would see at home. Some pieces are modern but still feel that influence of antiquity in them.”
Chaney also uses a variety of materials and techniques in her art.
“My favorite thing is silversmithing,” she said.
Chaney uses sterling silver and gemstones to create some of her pieces, but she also uses the more-affordable copper.
She makes some jewelry with cold connections, or no soldering, but she also solders pieces or uses wire wrapping.
This summer, she purchased a kiln and started enameling on copper and silver.
“When you look at my work, there’s a lot of different things going on,” she said. “My work has different categories. But it’s always very fun, very different.”
On Oct. 10, Chaney will be featured at the Hoover Public Library’s Artisans on the Plaza, where she hopes to spark interest in enough people to start a class.
Other upcoming appearances include:
- Sept. 29: Hoover Shelby Art Association Art Show in Chelsea
- Oct. 5-6: Grand Festival of Art in Fairhope
- Oct. 20-21: Colorfest in Mentone
- Feb. 14-17: Home and Garden Show at the BJCC in Birmingham