January 23, 2018

Featured Maker: Rene Baba

It's always nice to come across an artist that is local to us. We were thrilled to find Rene Baba and her mixed media pieces. She has a pretty cool style as you will see below. These first two pairs of earrings are a favorite of ours - we love the colors and she used our Beaducation Original Sacred Heart and Symmetrical Branch Border Metal Design Stamps. Let's meet Rene Baba.

I started making jewelry as a teenager, around 14 or 15 years old. I can remember the first time my friend pulled out some seed beads and fishing wire and I made my first necklace that slipped over my head. I would say that I've always been creative, dabbling in other forms of expression like painting and photography.

I took poetry and sculpture during my first semester in college but eventually became a business major. Through the years, jewelry evolved from a faint curiosity to a fun hobby and eventually a side business. However, it has always been a passion, a form of meditation and escape from my habit of overthinking. 

My work room is a place free from self-judgment where I don't care if I make mistakes. It's a place where I have undoubtedly gained some of my self-confidence. Other jewelers know what I'm talking about, those moments where you finish a piece and you can't believe YOU did that and you know right away, it's a keeper and not for sale! In addition to selling, I have started offering basic jewelry-making classes and minor repair work. 

From that first necklace that didn't have a clasp, most of what I learned was self-taught or learned from books and videos. In the beginning it was ALL ABOUT BEADS! I'm drawn to color and beads are my first love when it comes to making jewelry. I look forward to annual bead shows and gem fairs, they make me feel like a kid in a candy store. 

Years ago, I was at the Bay Area Bead Expo in Oakland, California. I had just started working with wire and walked up to the Beaducation booth. Slightly intimidated by seeing so many things I had never used before, I purchased my first metal hole punch. A few months later I purchased my first alphabet set of metal stamps from their website and incorporated that into my bead work. 

I like metal stamping for its ability to personalize jewelry since most of what I make is one of a kind. The boombox, sugar skull, and sacred heart stamps from Beaducation are probably my favorite. 

Lately I've been working on creating different patterns but that takes practice! For the past couple of years I have been really focused on earrings. I also make necklaces and bracelets for both men and women. This year I have started taking classes on soldering from Silvera Jewelry School in Berkeley, California. I see myself offering rings and more intricate jewelry very soon. 

I currently sell on Etsy, at local events in the Bay Area and house parties where the atmosphere can be more relaxed. I recently showed my jewelry at The Oakland Museum during their Friday Night Event in November 2017. This year the museum's Days of the Dead exhibit is inspired by the Monarch butterfly and I will definitely be offering some new styles to celebrate!

We thank Rene for sharing her work and her story. Please consider visiting her Etsy store for a gift for family, friends, colleagues or yourself. 

If you would like to be considered as a Featured Maker for Beaducation, please email Angela@Beaducation.com.


Unknown said...

I really enjoyed reading Rene's bio. How she got started and the direction is going. Envious that she has Berkeley for continuing her jewelry education techniques. Metal stamping is fun, no doubt about it. Best of luck Rene.

Rebecca Warren in Sacramento

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comment Rebecca, we're glad you enjoyed it. We note you are in Sacramento - not too far from us too!