Jewelry inspired by nature, created for you.

Welcome to Blue Heron Jewelers. All of the items in this shop are one of a kind, and hand-made with love.

Living on Douglas Lake in Northern Michigan, with its very distinct season changes, has given me the opportunity to enjoy nature in all of its aspects. I express my fascination through the use of gemstones, leather, pearls, fine metals, wood and other naturally occurring materials. I hope that you are drawn, as I am, to the colors, textures and tactile richness created by nature.

My artistic journey began in earnest with my BFA studies at the University of Michigan School of Art. My passion as a youth was ceramics and all things clay. Ceramics remains dear to my heart, although I have little opportunity to exercise the craft now.

I spent the inevitable time in corporate America in marketing and graphic design. Thank goodness I managed to break my own personal glass ceiling fairly early, and was then able to go out on my own as a freelance graphic designer, which I still enjoy. 

When I was a child, I used to scour the beach for snail shells, paint them with nail polish and string them on elastic to wear as bracelets or necklaces. My poor mother used to have the wear the things too, bless her. I suppose this was the beginning of my love for jewelry. 

As a teen, my father bought us a complete lapidary set-up, with rock saws, polishers, tumblers - the works. My rock addiction was born. I have spent much of life looking down, searching for beautiful stones. My family had a particular fascination with Petoskey stones, which used to be much easier to find than they are now. We spent many afternoons climbing the cliffs and walking the beaches of Lakes Michigan and Huron in pursuit of them. At one time, my brother and I found a huge deposit of large Petoskey stones in an old railway turntable. After months of work with our lapidary equipment, we amassed a respectable collection. Unfortunately, our collection was lost when our house burned down years ago.

Years later, my love of rocks has evolved into a love of gemstones. I love their colors, their shapes and their texture. I confess, the highlight of my day is getting in an order of new stones. I can just look at and play with them for hours. I love that they are not all the same. A strand of amethyst will have beads that vary in lightness, transparency and inclusions (flaws within the stone). This is why they are so perfect. It is their individuality that draws me. I find a strand of perfect pearls to be much less interesting than those whose shape or color vary. 

Mixing gemstones, shell and pearls with glass, leather and metal, to me, creates perfect "disharmony." Combining, for example, leather lacing with pearls and pewter may not be a conventional combination, but to me those materials represent aspects of the world as a whole - earth, water, and animal in this case. So if some of my combinations seem a bit odd from time to time, that's what it is about.
I sincerely hope that you love this jewelry as much as I loved making it. Unless specifically requested by a customer, I never make the same piece twice, and I am happy to accept custom orders.

While I have been making jewelry for, well forever, I am new to selling on line. Your feedback is very important to me, and it would be much appreciated if you could send a photo of you wearing any item that you purchase, along with a review of your experience with Blue Heron Jewelers. If anything goes wrong with your purchase or your jewelry, please contact me right away and I will do whatever I can to make it right. 

Nancy Rabitoy
Blue Heron Jewelers

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