Meet Your Merchant: Fierce, feminine designs define North Tahoe jeweler |

Meet Your Merchant: Fierce, feminine designs define North Tahoe jeweler

Photos by Jenny Goldsmith Jaclyn Woznicki artistically pieces together a necklace for her jewelry design line, Bella Petunia. Woznicki has had a passion for combining soft, feminine pearls and stones with hard, more obscure pieces like washers and clock parts to create unique jewelry that reflects her personality and style.

KINGS BEACH, Calif. and#8212; Jaclyn Woznicki quietly snuck into her mother’s room to rummage through her lavish jewelry collection. Much to her mother’s chagrin, the young child used a pair of pliers and her imagination to dismantle the pieces and put them back together in a way she found more visually appealing.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and this blossoming jewelry designer remains captivated by the art of reassembling jewelry to reflect her own personal, creative style. Luckily for her mother, she’s now rummaging through antique stores, thrift shops and the pages of Google to find inspiration.

and#8220;I enjoy finding beauty in unusual places, whether hiking in the woods, shopping in hardware, music and antique stores or digging through my old collections of random things,and#8221; Woznicki said at her eclectic Kings Beach home which doubles as a jewelry design shop. and#8220;I am super inspired by fashion of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s and am always trying to put new and unexpected things together.and#8221;

Growing up in Philadelphia, Woznicki spent the latter part of her adolescence searching for her place in this world.

and#8220;I went through so many different phases of life in my late teens,and#8221; Woznicki said, her expression reminiscent. and#8220;It wasn’t until my early 20s that I started making jewelry again and I instantly fell back in love with it.and#8221;

In 2000, while still on the east coast, Woznicki launched her jewelry design company and#8212; Bella Petunia and#8212; and began incorporating recycled materials, antique pieces and other odds and ends into feminine, yet antagonistic pieces.

and#8220;Old buttons, religious pendants, washers, and dried or fabric flowers are some of my favorite things to incorporate into my designs,and#8221; she said. and#8220;Throw in some pearls, semi-precious stones and vintage crystals and you have some really unusual, wearable art.and#8221;

Gloomy skies and city life were growing old for the young, free-spirit and during a trip to Tahoe in 2005, Woznicki fell in love with the poetic landscape, as most incomers do. Without hesitation, she packed up her things and#8212; mostly jewelry boxes and#8212; hitched a ride with a stranger, and traveled 3,000 miles to her new home.

Like most artists in her field, she’s had to seek out other means to make a living, but Woznicki is determined to nurture the local art scene through her burgeoning art shows on the North Shore.

In 2010, the ambitious artist created the DeFlowered Art Show to promote and motivate local, working artists by establishing venues for them to show their work.

and#8220;Art inspires art, and at every art show, I have at least one person tell me they think the show is good for the community and that either they, or a friend of theirs, have been inspired to start painting or sewing or sculpting,and#8221; Woznicki said. and#8220;That is exactly why I do this show and#8212; to inspire people to start making something.and#8221;

With Fat Cat Cafe in Tahoe City and the Auld Dubliner in Squaw Valley setting the scene for the DeFlowered Art Shows, business boomed for Woznicki and her crew of craftsmen.

and#8220;We get to say so many things with art, and there are people out there who want to listen,and#8221; Woznicki said. and#8220;For two years now, this show has continued to bring people of all kinds and backgrounds together to enjoy an experience that can only be created by the presence of ever-changing art.and#8221;

In addition to the DeFlowered Art Show, Woznicki sets up shop in the summer at Truckee Thursday’s and is seeking like-minded retail stores in the basin to share her work. This summer, she plans to spread her creative wings to Reno, San Francisco and Los Angeles where she’ll sell her handiwork and likely find inspiration for new pieces.

and#8220;We live in a country where almost everything we buy anymore is imported and we no longer manufacture anything so it’s no wonder our economy is in such bad shape,and#8221; she said. and#8220;We have to encourage people to do things for themselves again and that includes making art and#8212; it teaches us to think outside the box and reminds us to try new things.and#8221;

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