About the artist:

I have been making jewelry of one type or another since I was a little girl, starting with necklaces made from paperclips and contact paper, and moving on to beads, wire, metal and buttons. In the early 90s, as a stay-at-home Mom with a toddler, I discovered polymer clay and haven't stopped playing with it since. Even after 20+ years, I still learn something new every time I sit down in my studio and pick up a lump of polymer clay.

I've always participated in Renaissance Faires and enjoyed selling my jewelry at craft fairs, and considered both interests to be hobbies. After my Mother passed away in 2006 after a brief and brutal battle with breast cancer, I decided it was time to stop waiting for things to happen to me, and start making things happen FOR me. I approached the marketplace director of the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, got my artwork approved, and bought a shop.

Shortly after that, I was given a HUGE box of dried herbs by a friend who ran a metaphysical shop. I intended to mix them into clay for color and texture, but as I started sorting through them, I noticed labels on the bags telling what each herb was used for. More as a joke than anything else, I mixed a few herbs intended for financial success, good luck, and employment success into a clay pendant, labeled it "Gainful Employment" and gave it to my daughter. She got three job offers in two weeks; two from jobs she'd applied for six months earlier and one from a job she hadn't even applied for! I started paying a great deal of attention to the uses of herbs, and very carefully formulated the herbal blends in Herbal Touchstone beads and pendants, matching the recipes with colors and semi-precious gemstones to make effective intentional jewelry.

Friends at the Renaissance Faire started buying Herbal Touchstone jewelry, probably just to help support a friend. Then, they started reporting back to me about the things that happened to them while wearing Herbal Touchstone pieces. They started talking to their friends about Herbal Touchstone jewelry and suggesting new recipes. The Herbal Touchstone line grew from twelve recipes to over fifty, and new designs were added by request.

I will continue to formulate new recipes and tailor the line to my customers' needs as best I can!

Juli McCarthy