Interview with Carrie Biegler

1. Would you introduce yourself, your background and how Bud and Branch came to be.
 My name is Carrie Biegler. I am a full time art teacher for grades K-8 and a part time metalsmith. I also have a three year old daughter. I earned a BFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA in photography from Ohio State University, but I always admired and collected silver jewelry. I also was certified to teach art through Moore College of Art and Design and attended their post baccalaureate program.

After several years of teaching art I felt I needed to get back to actually creating things for myself so I took a class in metalsmithing at Moore and loved it right away. With the help of my husband, I put together a metal studio in our basement and began creating jewelry with the “modern organic” feel that I love.

2. What makes you different from other jewelers? And what do you feel are your strengths?

 I think that I offer jewelry with a “rustic elegance” and have tried hard to design many pieces that are unlike everything else that is out there. I strive to create necklaces, for instance, that hang in interesting ways — accentuating the collarbone – or lariats that are adjustable. I also try to pull Victorian and Art Nouveau influences in to my work. 

For my jewelry making, I feel that I am strongest at soldering. And have found that my experience with photography has helped me with my jewelry and not only because I can take successful photos of my jewelry, but studying photography has improved my vision so I better visualize what I want to create and bring into 3-D form.












3. Do you make everything yourself?

 Yes, everything I make is handcrafted. Not the chains, but I cut, solder, hammer, and finish all the pieces myself.   That is very important to me.


4. How would you categorize your work?

It all falls into one of two categories: simplified, modern takes on organic themes (leaf shapes, stones, insects and the like) or work inspired by Victorian or Art Nouveau jewelry. I like objects that look like they have a history to them and I have an admiration for antique jewelry. 

5. Tell us about your workspace? Studio

These two shots are of my work space. It is in my basement so it is not very glamorous – but I am happy that I can work in my home. If my studio was outside of my home I would not be able to work very often because I get most of my work done while my daughter is sleeping upstairs. So downstairs it’s just me and the cat and the spiders!  But it works.

In my studio I have a long table with an area for sawing, hammering, filing, and sanding. At the other end of the table is where I solder. My husband gave me a beautiful birch wood tool chest for Christmas a few years ago and so I have a nice home for all of my tools.

6. What are your plans for 2010?

I would like to attend more craft shows and meet more people who are passionate about what they do. I’d also like to refine my own line of jewelry, continually adding new pieces. 

You can see more of Carrie’s work at

This is second in my series of interviews with Handmade Philly members.  Let me know what you think.   Jan Cohen


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