Origins: Jayne Devencenzi

Decades of Inspiration

My love of nature and love of beauty began at an early age. Each summer our family spent three to four weeks at our rustic, high-Sierra mountain cabin. I remember spending the days hiking, swimming, fishing, reading and hanging out with friends. At night we’d sing, play cards and games like Monopoly.  My dad always brought craft projects and we’d all get involved. We’d draw, paint, do mosaics, and build things out of wood, using whatever we found in the forest.  What I remember the most was being given the freedom to create!

As I look back, I realize my mother was also influential. She gave me the love of blending colors, shapes, textures. Both my mother and grandmother sewed like there was no tomorrow! I used to sit and watch as they turned pieces of fabric into gorgeous outfits. I, too, learned to sew, and was making some of my own clothes by age 12. From a very early age, I loved turning something plain and simple into something beautiful and extraordinary.

As I grew older, I took many art and crafts classes: sewing, weaving, drawing, painting, photography, and ceramics.  I was a junior in high school when I took my first jewelry making class. I definitely was not doodling during the lectures given in that class. I knew I had found something that really spoke to me! That summer, I took boxes of beads to our cabin and created earrings all summer.  I began selling work at age 17 and have continued to create and sell things ever since.

College was something that confounded me. I wanted to major in art, but was encouraged to go in a different direction where I could “earn a living.” I graduated with a teaching credential and school counseling degree. This past June, I retired from education after enjoying 35+ years working with kindergarten through 12th grade students. I thoroughly loved every minute of it and was fortunate enough to be able to blend my love of art and nature with the students with whom I worked.

Between graduation from college and now, I have nurtured my creative side by creating quilts, making pottery, weaving, working with leather, designing costumes, gardening (yes, I design with color in my garden too), and jewelry making. Blending colors, shapes and textures is just part of my life. I started a jewelry business and website in 2007, Jayne Cairns Designs. One of my daughters moved to Beijing and I soon discovered the beautiful and unique pearls, gems, and treasures available there. Blending these items together has become a passion, and, now with more free time I can devote more creative energy to the artistic side of my life.  Check out my website at: www.jcdjewelry.com.

This will be my third Open Studios Art Tour. I’ll continue to show my unique and beautiful jewelry. I specialize in pearls and crystals, but add unusual gems and beads as I find them. In addition, I will be expanding into succulent art: succulent wreaths and potted succulents in hand-painted clay pots. I am very excited to share my love of nature and gardening this year.  I’ll be joining a fused glass artist, Dianne Draze, at her home, 752 Buchon, San Luis Obispo. I look forward to seeing you soon.

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