The Cleveland Initiation

A week after moving to Cleveland in late 2014, my car window was smashed.

A car break-in was my initiation to this city. That was the attitude of my new neighbors. It was unfortunate, really sucky, but basically to be expected. We just have to deal with it, get on with life, and hope it doesn’t happen again this year. Oh. Okay.

I was too excited about moving to Cleveland to let this bring me down, and I’ve certainly lived in worse places- this wasn’t the first time my car was broken into. I moved to Cleveland to focus on my art, as cliché as that sounds. I just got this great live/work artist loft in a warehouse downtown. I had a huge list of projects and ideas, and I finally had the space to experiment.

I didn’t immediately have the idea to make jewelry. It was in experimentation and through learning about the city which brought me to the creation of Cleveland Street Glass, which I launched in Spring of 2016. As I would walk through the city, I’d see piles of glass from recent car break-ins, and I’d commiserate. But I’d also notice the way the glass shimmered in the light, and how it would break into such random pieces. I started collecting it and using what I was learning about stained glass to create jewelry. There’s something truly empowering about taking the remains of a malicious crime and turning it into something beautiful. We can reclaim what’s been taken from us. It’s like wearing an amulet.

Pieces that have found a home:

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