Amy Jennings’ island-inspired jewelry not only comes from the time she has spent traveling Polynesia but also from a deeply personal experience.
The high school history teacher had made jewelry all her life, but it wasn’t until her grandmother fell ill in 2007 when she really started to focus on the art. Jennings would spend time with her after work, playing the ukulele, painting and making jewelry — anything to cheer up her grandmother, who was no longer able to walk. The jewelry seemed to make her most happy.
“My late grandma was so encouraging. After I’d make something, I’d show her. Watching her smile propelled me to make more,” Jennings said. “I would have never dreamed off all these jewelry designs burgeoning from this relationship.”
Now Jennings sells her simple-yet-stylish earrings, necklaces and bracelets through her etsy store, Paradise Bungalow. Some of the materials she uses include shells she has found on the beaches of islands such as Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and Tahiti. Her husband, who is from Hawaii and Samoa, helps out by drilling the shells and carving mother of pearl.
Some of my favorite pieces include the pink coral, mother of pearl and 16K gold-plated hoop earrings (pictured above); sea foam blue chalcedony bezel and freshwater biwa pearl flake necklace; and the real red coral branch necklace.
All photos by Amy Jennings.