Jacquie Murley-Schaffer's basement studio is her sanctuary. It's the one room in the house where girly pinks and reds reign. The 32-year-old mother of three boisterous young boys has to take her femininity wherever she can get it, and her jewelry reflects those opposing influences.
"I love working with metal," she says. "I love the texturing, the hammering and mixing it all together. So often, jewelry, it's pretty, and it's classic, but I kind of like things maybe looking a little rougher."
Murley-Schaffer is the artistic force behind JLynn Creations (Lynn is her middle name), making necklaces, bracelets, earrings and even antique garden spoons that she sells primarily on Etsy. But the designer has really found her niche creating hand-stamped charm necklaces. The pieces are simple yet stunningly personal tributes to family and friends. Murley-Schaffer's favorite design is a necklace stacked with circles of sterling silver, copper and brass, each containing the name of a child. She calls them mothers necklaces.
"It all started out with the family," she explains. "My family is absolutely my inspiration." An art-history major at Kent State University, Murley-Schaffer worked at a library and a bank before realizing that in order to focus on her kids, she needed more flexibility than a typical job could provide.
A friend had introduced her to jewelry-making, and Murley-Schaffer ran with the techniques she picked up. She read up, researched, learned more and found herself most attracted to metalworking. She's never taken a formal jewelry class, and her pieces are infused with a homemade familiarity that quickly caught on with customers when she opened her Etsy shop two years ago.
"Most of the time, they kind of throw all the information at me, and it's really nice when they say, 'have at it,' " she says of her clients. "I can play around with different sizes, different shapes, and go from there. So really, it's [customers] who inspire me."