"The only validation you should seek is from yourself." Linda Suarez Grandstaff
I create jewelry that I hope inspires a person to embrace and celebrate their individuality, reflects their unique sense of style and allows them to show the creative side of their personality.
A lot of people have suggested that I should redesign this page to conform to the standards for an artist bio page. Well at this point in my life I throw conformity to the wind and encourage you to do the same. I no longer feel the need to justify who or what I am. If you like me, great, if you don't we're still good. Age, experience and health challenges have gotten me to this point in my life and I've worked darn hard to be here.
It tickles the hell out of me when someone looks at one of my designs, smiles or shakes their head and then asks me where I got it or how I came up with the concept. Creating and designing always makes my day brighter and makes me feel a little lighter, which motivates me to try and create pieces that have those same affects on others.
I think you may find my work appealing if you:
enjoy the metaphysical properties & beauty of wearing natural crystal and mineral jewelry
love to own and wear hand fabricated one of a kind designs to express your individuality
value the art of making things by hand over mass production in a factory
enjoy gifting others with handmade creations
like to set trends instead of following them
own your sense of style
The videos show the tenacious, strong, determined and playful (and colorfully verbal) side of my personality. These traits helped get me to this juncture in my life. Creating jewelry was my anchor during a challenging time in my life. I'm aware how very fortunate I am to have the gift of creativity and to develop the skill set that brings it to life.
In case you are curious about the teddy bear (in video) that is strapped to my harness. The operation that I did my skydive with, Skydive Galveston, asked me to jump with the bear (without knowing that my jump was to celebrate my overcoming cancer) so they could donate the stuffed animal to the local Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston. I was so touched and honored by the request that it inspired me to start a toy drive shortly after my jump, called "Jump for Joy" with Skydive Galveston. Donations were made to Shriners Hospital for Children Galveston. My experiences dealing with cancer and living life after cancer have been the impetus to donate to causes that help others. Throughout the year I change up the charity that I contribute to. I am donating 10% of every purchase from this site to The Children's Assessment Center in Houston, Texas.
Now on to the nuts & bolts of this site, I've been making jewelry for myself since 2005. What started as a hobby years ago turned into a lifeline in 2014 when at the age of 54, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. The realization that I could lose function of my hands from treatment, such as chemotherapy-induced peripheral Neuropathy (nerve disease) led me to pursue jewelry design full time. Being able to focus on designing jewelry during treatment & dealing with the after effects of treatment is my anchor. In 2016 I was given a clean bill of health and launched Suarez Silver Jewelry.
All of my work is OAK (one of a kind). I hammer, etch, stamp, roll and do all the fabrication work on every piece myself.
My work includes necklaces, bracelets, pendants, earrings, rings and leather accessories. The main metals I work with are Sterling Silver, Copper, Brass and Gold-filled. I use crystals, natural stones & semi-precious gemstones for their beauty & metaphysical properties. I've recently begun to explore working with leather and pairing my leather work with my metal work in some of my designs.
I was born in Manhattan and grew up on the lower east side of New York in a neighborhood known as Two Bridges. You would never know I left New York and have been living in Texas for over 30 years by listening to and seeing the way I speak, sound and move. I relocated to Houston, Texas in 1988 when I got married. I live in Bellaire, Texas, a city within Houston's city limits and I work from my home studio.
2005 - I was introduced to making jewelry through a bead & wire wrap class. I began creating jewelry for my personal enjoyment.
2007 - I got certified in Precious Metal Clay, a material that allowed me to make fine silver jewelry without having soldering skills.
2007 -2009 - I studied Jewelry Fabrication - Houston Gem & Mineral Society in Houston, Texas
2009/Present - Advanced Jewelry Fabrication studies - The Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas