An Accidental Artist’s Inspiration

Alana Folen
Wednesday - November 17, 2010
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Jeanne Bernauer, pictured here with husband Ed, creates one-of-a-kind jewelry designs from her Kaneohe home

Having never considered herself an artist per se, Jeanne Bernauer, owner of her self-titled jewelry business, showcases her natural talents in each individually tailored creation. Utilizing semi-precious stones, pearls, crystals, woods, shells, corals, bone, ceramics and porcelain, to name a few, Bernauer, who works out of her Kaneohe home, says that no two pieces are identical.

“I’ve always loved jewelry,” she says. “I want to create pieces that make a statement, are beautiful, enhance and complement the wearer, that are unusual and unique.”

Bernauer began her jewelry-making business in 2005, after her stepdaughter Karen gave her a book on the craft. It piqued her curiosity, and it wasn’t long before Bernauer realized that she was quite comfortable with the process and concept of jewelry design.

“When I am working on a piece, I am thinking of the piece as art alone - unless it is a commission - then the individual comes into focus with the work,” Bernauer explains. “My business philosophy is to make beautiful pieces that people will enjoy. I love the freedom to work at my own pace, and the colors of nature in the early morning greatly inspire me.”

In addition to her jewelry line, Bernauer devotes a portion of her time as a registrar at the Institute for Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Chinese Cultural Plaza in Honolulu. She was employed at University of California at Davis for 37 years, and retired as an assistant dean of Academic and Staff Personnel for the College of Letters and Science.

These days, it’s her art that keeps her busy, as well as spending precious time with husband Ed, mother Lucinda and lovable black Lab Cookie.

“I wish I could get to every show or gallery to show my work,” Bernauer says. “The reward is when people compliment me on

my combinations of materials or contrast of colors. I have many of the same customers coming back to me to commission a piece. However, the most challenging aspect at the moment is responding to the current demand of economic boundaries - but sales are improving.

“Each event or fundraiser has been increasingly successful,” she adds. “I am so grateful to the many people who have opened doors for me and introduced me to individuals who have been instrumental in furthering my career opportunities.”

For more information on Bernauer’s jewelry designs, call 284-0726.

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