Fabrication, research, wholesale orders, shipping, customer service, ordering supplies, and creating custom orders. Tasks on repeat.
In a home studio in Baltimore County, a jewelry artisan sits at a desk in front of a large window with tool spread out on top of the desk. There is an inspiration altar, an inspiration board and a little station for packing orders. There is a cat bed in there for one of her fur-kids to keep the artist company, despite the loud hammering. Christina Allen Page wouldn’t have it any other way. For the past seven years, Page has been running her own Esty shop, Sihaya Designs Jewelry.
“During a low point in my life where I was dealing with lots of upheaval, I realized that part of the reason why I seemed so out of sorts is because at that time, I had no artistic outlet,” Page said. Having gone through the breakup of a long-term relationship, I had a lot of un-filled time on my hands, and I needed a way to fill it. I took up jewelry making primarily as a way to focus my attention on something new and get in the habit of creating new things I could be proud of. Pretty soon, friends and family were asking to buy my jewelry. I opened up my Etsy shop primarily as a way to get my hobby to pay for itself, and within 2 years, I was making jewelry full-time.”
In 2007, Page began her jewelry line mastering a very simple strung necklace. Fast forward to 2014, the Sihaya Design Jewelry owner skills have progressed to making wire work and mixed media works of art. Wire is her favorite blank canvas. Coils of wire can be a a forged collar, or dainty filigree earrings or little links in a decadent chain necklace. She finds the gemstone, Labradorite, as a source of natural magic.
“I have always been deeply fascinated by myths and legends, particularly those that include magic and faerie themes,” Page said. I also tend to be inspired by the the natural world. The changing of the seasons, and the traditions and festivals– both ancient and modern– that occur within them. I want my customers to feel like they are wearing a bit of modern magic grounded in tradition when they choose my work.”
It would be a dream for the Baltimore based jewelry designer to have her earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and custom work worn by the legendary Stevie Nicks. However, she is just as ecstatic when a bride chooses her jewelry to wear on their special day.
I tend to think of my work as accessibly magical. And by that, I mean that I want my work to invoke whimsy and wonder, but not so much that you only feel comfortable wearing them at fan-oriented conventions or Renaissance Faires. Essentially, my aesthetic is one of elegant, but wearable fantasy. – Christina Allen Page of Sihaya Designs Jewelry