Barbara S. Fernald                                                                                                                                                                                           P.O. Box 57                                                                                                                                                                                              Islesford, Maine 04646                                                                                                                                                              Telephone: 207 244-5283                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail: fernald244@gmail.com

Artist’s Statement

I notice the edges and angles of my surroundings as often as I notice light and color. The lines of an incidental placement of tools can inspire my next piece of work. My designs are influenced by the random simplicity of life on a small island, as well as my sense humor and the latest techniques I have learned.

I make jewelry because it is the most fun way I know to employ myself. I love working with my hands and having a wearable outlet for my art. Beads play a large part in my designs.  I like to create my own beads and components, or use pieces that are handmade by others, before I add any commercial findings to my work.

Much of my work is of fine silver that starts out as Precious Metal Clay (PMC). This is metal made pliable by suspending microscopic particles of fine silver in a water-based organic binder. When fired in a kiln at 1650°f, the binder burns away allowing the silver particles to sinter. The result is a solid piece of pure silver with all the shape and surface texture of the original clay design. With PMC, and now with copper and bronze clays I am able to create my own unique beads and components with a maximum amount of texture and a minimum amount soldering.

The recent rise in the price of precious metals compels me to broaden my knowledge of other materials such as  base metals and polymer clay.

Jewelry education:

1965 to 1970 – Ruining more than one pair of my mother’s good eyebrow tweezers to make necklaces of beaded wire links, mussel shells and macramé. Rochester, New York.
1975 – Silver class, Earl Pardon, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York.
1979 to 1981 – Bench worker for Caswell Samuel, Islesford, Maine.
1982 – Silver granulation and reticulation course, John Cogswell, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts,Deer Isle, Maine.
1983 to 2005 – Self taught, Islesford.
1985 – Silver Wire workshop, Mary Lee Hu, Haystack.
1986 – Silver Casting class, J. Fred Woell, Deer Isle, Maine.
1988 – Forging workshop, Ronald Pearson, Haystack.
1989 – Stamping, Chasing, Tool Making, Tim McCreight, Haystack
1993 – Polymer Clay workshop, Steven Ford and David Forlano, Haystack.
1998 – Precious Metal Clay class, J. Fred Woell, Deer Isle.
2003 – Precious Metal Clay, Rio Grande certification class, J. Fred Woell, Deer Isle.
2004 – Keum-boo workshop, Jayne Redman, Haystack.
2005 – Precious Metal Clay bead workshop, J. Fred Woell, Deer Isle.                                                                               2010 – PMC Pendant with New Polymer Inlay Techniques, Celie Fago, Bethel,Vermont                                           2011 – New Tricks to Bead Making Without Cores, Fred Woell, Deer Isle                                                                          2011 – Beginning Beadmaking/Flameworking Class, Ed and Virginia Slawson, Rockland, Maine                                           2011 – Mokume Polymer Clay Bracelets with PMC Adornments, Celie Fago, Bethel Vermont

Work on display and for sale:                                                                                                                                                    Archipelago Gallery, Rockland, Maine                                                                                                                                            Alone Moose Gallery, Bar Harbor, Maine                                                                                                                                     Center for Maine Craft, Gardiner, Maine                                                                                                                                          Red Dot Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine                                                                                                                                                             Winters Work, Islesford, Maine                                                                                                                                                                          Whale’s Rib, Great Cranberry Island, Maine

Publications:                                                                                                                                                                                                  PMC Guild Annual #3 Exceptional Work in Metal Clay: 2009                                                                                                 PMC Guild Annual #4 Exceptional Work in Metal Clay: 2010                                                                                                PMC Guild Annual #5 Exceptional Work in Metal Clay:2011                                                                                                             The Working Waterfront, monthly newspaper published by the Island Institute, “Cranberry Report,” 2002 to present

Awards:                                                                                                                                                                                                             Saul Bell Design Award 2006. Second place, PMC category.                                                                                                     Saul Bell Design Award 2009. Finalist, PMC category.

Shows:                                                                                                                                                                                                                       15 Maine Jewelers at Shaw Gallery, Northeast Harbor, ME. 2006.                                                                                       Maine Public Broadcast Network, 2009 Annual T.V. Auction, Juried Art Show

Memberships:                                                                                                                                                                                            Maine Crafts Association                                                                                                                                                                  Precious Metal Clay Guild

11 responses to “About

  1. Jonathan Appleyard

    Dear Barbara,
    I like your work and want to see it in person.
    I was wondering if you will be at the Craft fair tomorrow at Atlantic Oaks or nearby in the weeks ahead.
    I would like to look at your earrings. When is Alone Moose Gallery open?
    Thanks, Jonathan


    • fernald244

      Hi Jonathan,
      Thanks for checking out my work. Yes I will be at the fair tomorrow and Saturday at Atlantic Oaks. I will have lots of earrings there. Hope you stop by! Alone Moose Gallery is only open from June through October. The only place I have work at this time of year is at Archipelago gallery in Rockland. But keep checking this site this winter. I plan to have an Etsy shop up and running and you will be able to link to it from this site.


  2. spmort

    Neat stuff!!!! I especially like the necklaces with Island stones and white or silver pearls. I made a few lost wax gold things in dental school and it was fun. I will be in touch old friend. Eric


    • fernald244

      Hey Spmort!
      I just sent you an e-mail, telling you about the blog, but you already found it! Cool. Some family pics coming up soon I hope.
      Are your kids all grown up? Mine are!


  3. WOW. was just checking your profile. i went to Colby College so am familiar with Haystack. Congrats on your Saul Bell awards. I will be honored to have something made by you.

    It also means I’ll be using PVC items in my jewelry


  4. Just checked out your etsy shop and love your jewelry! The textures really speak to me. I’m going to treat myself, since I’m gearing up for reconstruction surgery after a long summer battling breast cancer; just have to decide which piece I love the most! Congrats on Freshly Pressed; I’m brand new to the blogging world and love seeing the variety of blogs out there.


    • Barb Fernald

      So, I just delayed my work of adding some new pieces to my Etsy shop, thanks to your honest and hilarious blog. I’ve been reading it for the last half hour. I believe you would be a survivor of anything with a sense of humor like that. Though, what you have been going through is no laughing matter. I’m so glad you left a reply on my blog, so I could find my way to yours. Thank you!
      xo Barb


  5. Stell

    Hi there
    I recently discovered precious metal clay. I have also always wanted to work with silver. Do you give classes? If not, do you know who does? (besides in Connecticut?)
    Many thanks


    • Barb Fernald

      Hi Stell,
      Sorry it took me so long to respond to your comment. I don’t teach any classes myself, but I have taken quite a few and they always help in gaining technical knowledge and seeing how someone else works with PMC. If you can afford it, you could look into taking one of the Rio Rewards certification classes. The certificate class is a good way to learn some basics from Rio- approved teachers who have been working for a long time with PMC. You also get a discount on PMC and related supplies. Here’s more info about it and a schedule of classes, from their web site: http://www.riorewards.com/schedule.asp If you live in Maine there’s a good chance to take a class from Tim McCreight in Scarboro. I hope this gives you an idea.
      Good luck. I love working with PMC. (I don’t love what the price of silver is doing.)
      xoxo Barb


  6. Ann Houghton Parchman

    I am trying to locate Barbara Fernald who graduated from Lee Academy June 1952. Possible 65th class reunion if enough classmates are located and are interested.


    • Hi Ann. Barbara Fernald Davis is my husband’s aunt. I have not seen her for quite a few years, but we still live on the island where she grew up. I’ll see if I can find her contact information and e-mail it to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s