Her jeweled creations are inspired by her visits and her love for the Blue Ridge Mountains and they weave together colored stones and pendants in a variety of styles. On a visit near Gatlinburg two years ago, Beard and her family, who include her husband Dan and Daniel, her son, took off on adventure down a winding mountain road.
“She wanted to go down one of these little roads, you just go in blind, not knowing where you ant to go, and it opened up into this village,” Dan said.
One of the shops in the village sold local gemstones. As the lady made jewlery in her shop from local gemstones, Teri remembered thinking that it was something she thought she could do herself.
“It’s a self-taught trade,” Teri said.
“When she approached me about doing this, I told her that if we do it, we will just use gemstones and nothing else — no glass and no plastic,” Dan said.
After purchasing the raw materials, gemstones from the mountains, Teri expanded her hobby to the point where she takes her crafts to shows to sell them. She also began to get special orders from friends and relatives.
Dan’s favorite piece is made from black onyx and carnelian, an orange stone. Like many of her pieces, the pendant is made from pewter, but this one represents a huge Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The stones chosen are close to the colors of the Harley logo.
The pieces aren’t mass produced and take from 30 minutes to one hour to make, said Teri. Gemstones, while roughly the same size, shape and color, are rarely all alike because they are naturally occuring and come out of the ground. There are slight variations in size and color that make each piece unique. Teri also does her best to make sure that each piece has a personality of its own.
The pendants that Teri hangs from the strand of gemstones come from the mountains and the beach and are typically ordered. One pendant was taken from a mold of a sanddollar. The pewter pendant hung on the display case from a shiny strand of blue and black gemstones — black onyx and blue turquoise.
“We’ve been a lot of places in the Smoky Mountains .. .we try to go every year ... . When we go to the beach we look for stuff also — anything thats natural and organic,” Teri said.
The family takes thei show on the road to several festivals each year, mostly in North Carolina. They went to the Bluecrab Festival in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Rumba for the Lumber in Lumberton earlier this month. But they don’t do any festivals that they attended in the year before.
Over the past few years, the Beards have been exposed to a new world of stones and their uses. They even have found that they are attracted to their birthstones — a list of stones that corresponds to a person’s zodiac sign.
“Mine’s the garnet,” Teri said. “I have garnets all over. I just like that stone.
“Mine’s saphire and thats blue,” Dan said. “Before i knew it was my birthstone I’ve alway been attracted to blue.”
The Beards sell jewelry for $25 to $45. If it’s a custom piece it can cost more depending on the cost of materials. For information, call Teri Beard at (910) 987-6903.