Creating a piece of jewelry often starts from an inspiring colored stone. I chose my materials carefully and appreciate quality in everything. Color has always been a well of joy and energy for me and I have found that painting with pastel is a more direct approach that is fulfilling my desire to create and work with color. I very much paint with my fingers as I like to blend my pastels. I find inspiration through reflecting on my inner thoughts and my dreams that have always been vivid and present. I like recalling those images in my journey to become more intuitive and aware of my creative world. I continue being very active in creating jewelry, specializing in custom wedding rings and very intricate and personalized pieces that are directly inspired by my customers. I get a feel for discovering what would fit the personality of the person and have made many unique pieces for the last 28 years in my studio in Mount Vernon. I also teach private advanced jewelry making classes and to my fellow club members at the Skagit Rock and Gem Club in Mount Vernon, WA. I am a native of the French part of Switzerland and graduated from L’Ecole d’art appliqué of La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland as a professional goldsmith in 1979. I have lived in Mount Vernon, WA since 1985.
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Hesitation and hope mixed with excitement, curiosity and fun. That is how I got into painting with Pastel. Just looking at a box of pastel full of incredibly beautiful colors is enough to enchant my spirit. I discovered this Medium as I studied with Teresa Saia, Janet Hamilton, Karla Matzke and Trish Harding.
In the past and all through Art School, back in Switzerland, I have studied jewelry design and all major kind of drawing and art composition, 3D clay classes, enameling, jewelry fabrication and diamond and stone setting, within the 4 and a half years / 50 hour per week rigorous training to become a professional jeweler / goldsmith.
To be a jeweler was my dream since I was 5 years old! - I am not exactly sure why- however, I have now realized that creating is the need that has to be met. If I paint, write a poem, play the piano or create a one of a kind piece of jewelry, I experience the same joy.
As a native to the French part of Switzerland, at age 16, I entered the ECOLE D'ART APPLIQUE of La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland. Four and a half years later, with my diploma in hand, I was quickly hired by Patek Philippe in Geneva Switzerland, a prestigious world famous watch and jewelry manufacturer since 1851. It was a challenging job as I also was the first woman jeweler ever hired by Patek Philippe. During the two years I worked there, I developed an appreciation for classic and hand manufactured fine jewelry and for the precision, patience and artistic sense that is required to create a unique piece of jewelry.
Later on, I broadened my knowledge in jewelry designing, merchandising and sales, working for Bucherer in Geneva as a “warrenchef”.
In 1985, I moved from Geneva to Mount Vernon, WA with my wonderful American husband. After settling in, I opened my home based custom jewelry business in 1988.
I have shown my jewelry and paintings in many juried art shows in The Puget Sound Area.
My love for creating is equally met by my love for people. I welcome Jewelry Commission work as well as repairs and transformation of old pieces.
My clients are my direct source of inspiration as I create pieces unique to them, their style, their needs, the symbols and meanings that will become their own and no one else. I find magic in achieving this in all my custom pieces. I expect the quality of my workmanship to be legendary and to delight the most discriminating jewelry lovers for years to come with their Marie-Claire pieces.
Marie-Claire jewelry pieces are now owned by people in USA, Canada, Switzerland, France and Japan.
“I believe in jewelry with simple lines that suggest feelings of Beauty & timeless enjoyment.”
Marie-Claire Dole joined Fine Art America on September 12th, 2011.