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colored fusion of materials.
“I like working with etched copper,” she says. “I like putting the
enamel on and scratching through it and letting the copper show.”
With a kiln that doubles as a heater during the fall and winter
months, Manley regularly employs her enameling skills from her
garage studio to create intricate, one-of-a-kind fine art jewelry.
She spreads this knowledge to her art students at Cape Fear
Community College, where she has instructed introductory metal-making
courses for 10 years.
“Showing them the basics is the stuff I like the best,” she says.
“Getting people turned on to the basics of metalworking is really
just super fun. I love the newness of it. I like seeing them discover
for the first time the joys of some of these processes.”
In an increasingly digital age, many consumers and artisans are
cycling back toward a desire to be connected to the source of our
material items. Manley counts not only the interest in the enamel-ing
of fine jewelry to be on the rise, but also the industry of crafts-manship
as a whole.
“I think there’s an explosion of people wanting to do these
crafts themselves and I don’t think it’s limited to jewelry or metal-making,”
she says. “It’s cross-disciplinary.”
Manley regularly takes her fine enameled jewelry to the
Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market on Mondays, and the Riverfront
Farmers Market in downtown Wilmington on Saturdays. As for the
ocean copper cups that solidified her love for the craft, she can’t
bear to sell them.
Scarffish, the Scarf with the Starfish
4106 Oleander Drive, 910-796-9997
A bit of the beach, all year long.
Made by hand in Chapel Hill, NC
Gather door mat, $28
Manley’s creations include an enameled brooch, earrings and
her ocean copper cups.
PHOTO BY ROBERT DIAMANTE PHOTO BY ALLISON POTTER