Wednesday, October 24, 2012
On a hiking trip to Tucson, Ariz., Mary Clor’s husband twisted his ankle, delaying their return to their home on Lookout Mountain for two days. During her extra down time while waiting for her husband to heal, a jewelry making class caught Clor’s eye.
Five years later, she is selling her classy and wearable jewelry at In-Town Gallery on Frazier Avenue as well as at various craft fairs around Chattanooga.
“It was instantly an addiction,” said Clor. “I went from someone who loved buying jewelry to someone who loves to make jewelry.”
She brings a unique fusion of engineering and creativity to each piece she makes, having worked as a mechanical engineer for years before discovering her passion for jewelry making. She works with precious metals including sterling silver, fine silver and 14-karat gold, while using her engineering know-how to design pieces with clean lines and traditional curves.
Working with forming stakes, a torch, hammers, a drill press and countless pairs of pliers, Clor also fuses her own colorful glass in a tiny kiln to form the smooth glass stones she places in the metal settings.
“I have way more hammers than my husband would think to own,” she laughed. “It’s a nice transition into retirement; I can still keep the engineering part of my brain going while letting the creative side out.”
Her studio at her home on Lookout Mountain is powered by a 4.2-kilowatt solar energy system located on her roof, a project she and her husband designed and implemented together. Clor and her husband, also an engineer, use the energy generated from the solar-powered system to power not only her studio but their entire home.
Clor said her jewelry is known for being conservative, but that she is happy she can serve such a wide range of women with her creations.
“There’s a real dichotomy in her engineering skills and her creativity, because they shouldn’t work together but they do,” said colleague and owner of Jumpst/art Emerging Artist Services Gail Rich. “I also think Mary’s jewelry is very universal; it’s a product for any woman, who can be confident that what she’s bought of Mary’s will fit the bill.”
To find out more about Clor’s jewelry line visit www.mclorjewelry.com, or go to In-Town Gallery, 26 Frazier Ave., to see her creations in person.