What: Community Christmas Bazaar

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10

Where: Azalea Middle School gym, 505 Pacific Ave., and Brookings-Harbor High School cafeteria, 625 Pioneer Road

Admission: Free

Website: www.brookingsharborbazaar.com

Charmaine Pesnell seems to have been born working on some craft or another.

She got her start painting and quickly graduated to making little wooden beads on a lathe — at the age of 8.

By her teens, she was adept at seed-beadworking, making intricate designs with beads that can be the size of a grain of quinoa.

And as an adult, she’s branched out into beach glass, dichroic glass and silversmithing.

The Florence woman has three different lines of jewelry, because she learned from the demise of a Canadian business icon: Sorel boots.

Everyone in snow country wore Kaufman Footwear’s Sorels. They’re tough, waterproof, iconic. But years ago, Columbia Sportswear came out with a similar boot — with snow pants and jackets to match. It then expanded its reach into summer wear: sandals and windbreakers. In 2000, Kaufman went bankrupt, and Columbia bought the Sorel trademark.

“Sorel went bankrupt,” Pesnell said, “because they had one product only.”

That’s why she has three lines of jewelry. And all her life, she’s dabbled in one craft or another — or four, as she was last week.

“I have an early childhood of painting, silversmithing, fabricating glass — I’m always fascinated with glass,” she said. “It was my obsession when we lived in Hawaii. But my background has always been art. From Day 1.”

She makes jewelry from the teeny seed beads, beach glass she’s found on the beaches of Kauai, Hawaii — and hoarded for her anticipated move to Oregon — and dichroic glass.

“I had to figure that out on my own,” she said of the multi-faceted and colored dichroic glasswork she first saw in Europe in the 1980s. “It took me a year to figure it out because there were no classes, no internet. So went about cutting glass — going about it very badly, putting it in the kiln, having it melt, having it crack … But I’ve always loved figuring things out.”

She finds her beadwork to be the most relaxing work — so relaxing, she doesn’t even work from a pattern.

Instead, she uses a piece of felt onto which has been traced a graph of horizontal and vertical lines and sets to work. The pattern, she says, just emerges; her only goal is to make sure both sides are equally weighted.

“With silversmithing and glass, you have to really pay attention,” Pesnell said. “You’re using torches and saws and files — there’s a big safety issue there. With beadwork, there’s no safety issue.”

If the piece is to be an armband, she cuts it out of the felt, places it on top of a band of steel, traces it onto the metal and saws it out. She then hammers out a form and places the beadwork over it.

In 1999, Pesnell was named one of the 100 Most Watchable Artists in the United States by Southwest Art Magazine. A beaded vase she crafted was shown in the magazines Beadwork, Bead and Button and seven international publications.

That’s when she entered the Toho International Competition.

“I didn’t do the competition for the competition; I didn’t think I’d get in it,” she said of her submission for consideration. “I did it for the deadline, to make me focus on my piece that I’d been thinking about for two years.”

Pesnell ended up winning — the first person to qualify in Western half of the U.S. to do so.

“With all the people in the world — incredible artists all over the world — I had no expectations of even making it in,” she said. “And I didn’t even do the competition to win.”

The dichroic glass pendants are made by melting three to five layers of different textured and colored glass in a kiln, taking the blob from the oven and cutting it into the desired shape. Another visit to the kiln further tempers it and smoothes the edges.

The results are similar to that of a shimmering hummingbird, in an array of colors and textures.

Her beach glass jewelry involves selecting one of the many pieces of glass she’s found on the beach — perfectly worn, or “ripe,” with interesting edges and shapes. The borders of the jewelry pieces are made from delicate silver wire she twists around a tiny rod. She snips them into pieces — many only a quarter-inch in length — and weaves them into other chains, giving the piece more depth and accenting the glass. The glass itself — dated from the 1890 to 1920 — is set into a silver bezel.

That’s also the one she’s having the most fun with today.

“Silverwork is the easy (art craft),” Pesnell said. “It only takes a day.”

The seaglass is polished by the grinding action of waves against beach sand; her silver work involves hours of files and polishing.

Her top sellers depend on the craft fair she’s attending; right now, it’s seaglass because it has that coastal flair people like — and because the glass is becoming increasingly rare.

“There’s very, very, very little of it; it’s few and far between,” she said, noting that cities don’t dump their trash over cliffs into the ocean anymore. And in Oregon, few beaches have glass. “You do find it, but it’s very hard. When I knew I was moving here, I collected a lot of glass.”

Pesnell and her husband made their move to Florence 10 years ago — and she was struck by the number of people she found around town wearing her jewelry. When asked where they bought it, they told her Hawaii.

It was popular here, too, and her workload kept growing, so she decided to cut back.

“I was working seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to midnight,” she said, adding that many galleries she showcased her work in were shuttered during the Great Recession. “I got to the point I was just doing production work.”

Cutting back has made her feel like work isn’t work anymore. She now dedicates her time to two fairs: one in Yachats and the Brookings Holiday Bazaar.

“With cutting back, my creativity is back, too” Pesnell said. “So I love going to Brookings. I really like it there. I like being around other artists; we’re all kind of the same like mind. I have quite a bit of fun in Brookings.”

But she’s not one to stop. Pesnell looks forward to returning to painting — and she was just introduced to “chasing repousse,” the art of hammering malleable metal from the reverse side to create a design in low relief.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I’m going to be working on that. And painting.”

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