Children’s toys are not insignificant, transitory things. Many people remember a favorite doll or truck, lucky marble, board game, or set of blocks. Long after the toy has been broken, lost, grown out of or disused, its impact remains.
Jewelry artist Sharon Demaris recalls such a treasured toy — a Bride Doll that she purchased at Montgomery Wards in Walla Walla, when Demaris was five years old.
“I loved her beautiful satin and lace dress with all of the sequins and pearls,” the College Place artist remembers.
“That has really stuck with me through the years — I guess that’s the reason so many of my designs lean toward the bridal theme, with all of the whites, creams, and gold.”
And how she loves crystals and pearls, the shimmer of gold, the sparkle of gems. They catch her eye, capture her attention, create a clarion call of siren bling that she is not remotely interested in resisting.
“Throughout most of my life, anything artistic has piqued my interest,” Demaris says. She started, under her grandmother’s tutelage, with crochet and embroidery. Then came ceramics, into which she jumped, with enthusiasm, until the local ceramics outlet closed. Following upon that, bright and shining, arrived a true artistic love, one that connected with that bride doll of years gone by:
“Christmas being my favorite time of year, then came The Ornament. It involved beads, lace ribbon, trim, and sequins on Styrofoam balls, then later seed beads, crystal, and other fancy beads. I also got into bead weaving making covers for glass balls.”