I have been working for several days on "My Story" to add to the website. It is a daunting task, let me tell you! This is my best effort to this point - still need to add pictures to make it more interesting. Let me know what you think of it so far!
From speech pathologist to jewelry designer – how in the world did that happen?
For over 35 years, I worked as a speech pathologist, first in the local public and private schools in Louisiana, then later at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. In that capacity, I was responsible for designing and providing therapy for young children with autism and other disabilities.
Above all, my job taught me patience and that wonderful things can happen if you have three things: a thorough knowledge of proven techniques, persistence in following through with a plan, and flexibility to use your own instincts/heart to change “the plan” as needed.
At some point, about 10 years ago, I realized that working as a speech pathologist, as satisfying as it was, was not without stress and anxiety. At about the same time, I rediscovered my childhood love of creating with my hands, specifically creating jewelry. I enrolled in a local class to learn how to string beads into simple necklaces, bracelets and earrings, and I was HOOKED!
So, not only was I creating what I considered to be stunning jewelry, but I had stumbled upon what was, for me, the perfect stress reliever. After years of providing therapy to others, I had found my own “therapy,” and was using the same three tools I had learned and practiced in my first career: knowledge, persistence and flexibility. What a glorious moment!
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Before much time had passed, I had created MANY pieces of jewelry. I created jewelry early in the morning before work and stayed up late after my family had gone to bed to design and create, ignoring fatigue. A few years down the road, I made a decision: my jewelry hobby needed to evolve into a business. Soon I began getting accepted into juried fine arts and crafts shows where my jewelry designs sold well.
Now -- fast-forward ten years -- I was able to “retire” from the job/career that had been my home and my comfort zone for over 30 years and devote myself completely to what was to become my second career and obsession: designing and creating artisan jewelry.
Today, I use a wide variety of traditional metalsmithing techniques, and I am continuously inspired by ancient metal designs of all sorts, by the raw materials/metals themselves and by the culture of south Louisiana, the state I have happily called home for the past 40 years. I pride myself on excellent customer service and handmade jewelry of the highest quality.
I am a member of the Louisiana Crafts Guild, the Mississippi Craftsmen’s Guild and L’Esprit du Metal of Louisiana.
I live and work in Baton Rouge with my husband, Charles Sasser and my feline mascot, Lucy, who is my “safety inspector”. I have two sons, Joey, who lives in Los Angeles and Daniel, who is in school at the University of Washington.
I would love to know what comments you have about this!
Laura lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and creates jewelry inspired by ancient and contemporary designs and motifs.