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Burlingame celebrates on the Avenue: Jewelry maker Wendy Shray among artists at renamed event
August 15, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Wendy Shray will be displaying her handcrafted jewelry at Burlingame on the Avenue this weekend.

Wendy Shray

Simple, affordable and high-quality jewelry will be on display at the Burlingame on the Avenue annual festival that celebrates the near completion of the $16 million streetscape project.

The jewelry is created by San Carlos artist Wendy Shray, who runs her own company called Wendy Shray Designs on the online marketplace Etsy. She describes her work as everyday wear that’s inspired by the Southwestern styles shown in Sundance Catalog. These items will be featured on the first day of the two-day event on Burlingame Avenue.

“What I love about it is there’s so much beauty in the materials themselves, so when I’m buying materials I fall in love with the materials,” she said. “There’s a lot of satisfaction to create something someone wears.”

Shray, a mom of two and 23-year resident of San Carlos, left her work in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry 10 years ago to take care of her children and took up jewelry making at that time. As a teen, she had done sewing and has always been crafty.

Other handcrafted fashions offered by Shray include yoga jewelry, such as her om or lotus charms, minimalist jewelry, bat mitzvah jewelry necklaces and bridesmaid wear. A typical item from Shray is sterling silver or 14 karat gold-filled material wire wrapped with gemstones for bracelets, anklets and necklaces with matching earrings. She also uses freshwater pearls, crystals, glass beads, feathers, stone, bone and leather.

“I started with making stuff for myself and gifts for teachers,” she said. “Just having a passion for collecting the materials, so I realized I needed to create something from everything I collected.”

Shray, who is from New Mexico herself, likes to include Southwest themes in her art like silver and turquoise gemstones. She has made more than 500 items in the last few years and enjoys using Etsy to sell her $30-$100 items.

“They’re fairly low priced, but made with good materials,” she said. “You’re a salesperson running your own website through Etsy. … It gives me so much flexibility for being an individual business owner.”

Etsy became her online venue to sell since the site started becoming more popular and is in the realm of people’s awareness.

“So I tried it and found it was easy to use and it’s such a great community because they have a lot of educational materials and they have community forums,” she said. “It’s very well set up for the individual craftsperson to have an online presence.”

Shray also sells at craft fairs along the Peninsula. This is her first time at the annual Burlingame festival.

“I jumped at the chance because it’s such a great location,” she said. “I love jewelry. I love to wear jewelry all the time. Luckily, I don’t have to buy any jewelry now.”

The free event, formerly named Burlingame ArtzFest, runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17 and includes musical entertainment, with more than 150 artists, a home, garden and green venue spread throughout the event, gourmet food and a children’s area. The festival is produced by the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with California Artists. For more information, go to burlingamechamber.org/burlingame-events/burlingame-on-the-avenue.

For more information on Wendy Shray Designs, go to etsy.com/shop /WendyShrayDesigns/about.

angela@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105

 

 

Tags: jewelry, shray, burlingame, materials, online, items,


Other stories from today:

Reporters’ notebook
Government Watch
San Mateo County police reports
 

 
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