“Rock-hounding” Becomes an Art for this Illinois Native

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Claudia Walsh is a fourth generation crafter who creates beautiful jewelry using found stones and processes like hard solder fabrication, forging and fusing, and “lost wax casting”, to name a few.  If you live in the Chicago area, you may have seen some of her work at the St. Charles Fine Art Show this Memorial Day weekend.

Elginite crafts new art with inspiration, materials from pastelign

May 18, 2009
By ROMI HERRON For The Courier-News

ST. CHARLES — Claudia Walsh of Elgin considers herself a Renaissance artist. She also happens to be a fourth-generation metal smith whose jewelry studio, Dry Creek Trappings, holds a collection of stones she and her husband Hugh have “rock-hounded” from various regions of the United States.

Walsh’s jewelry has been selected for the 11th Annual St. Charles Fine Art Show, set for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday in downtown St. Charles. Nearly 100 artists from the greater Chicago area and throughout the country will present their work for exhibit and sale in the juried show.

Last year, the event — which is hosted by the Downtown St. Charles Partnership — drew close to 8,000 visitors.

stone“I’ve always been interested in art … photography, sewing, drawing, etching,” said Walsh, who creates rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pins and money clips from natural metals and stones.

Her process includes “lost wax casting,” hard solder fabrication, forging and fusing. None of her pieces is plated metal; and stones include sapphires from North Carolina, and opals from New Mexico. Her pieces carry price tags ranging from $50 to $2,000.

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