Wendy Toman Oestreicher is one of those folks who likes to be intrigued by something they’ve seen or thought of, then just dive right into trying it themselves. She has an engineering background and a second career as a psychotherapist who employed a variety of art therapies—she just loves the opportunity to combine her analytic side with her artistic side to solve design challenges.
Exposed to both beading and polymer clay in her work as a psychotherapist, Wendy took up each of these in turn and gradually—between taking classes and trying things on her own—learned to make a variety of jewelry. Voilá!—career #3 was born. Over the past several years, Wendy has been focused on metalsmithing, practicing and studying with Linda Edwards at the Guilford Art Center in Guilford, Connecticut.
At a recent Bead&Button Show, she met metalsmith, teacher and PMC artist Chris Darway and Rio’s own Yvonne Padilla. When she heard about the Rio In Motion event, she knew she had to come, reconnect with Yvonne and learn some new things. She says, “I love what I’ve learned, but I mostly love being here! Getting to know the people, being in the environment, I just feel energized, like I am going to get home and just GO!”
See a few of Wendy’s pieces below. An impressive, inspiring variety of work, don’t you think? They make me want to reach out and touch the textures, feel the weight of each piece—nevermind the lustful wish to wear them.
Whether it starts as a hobby or is a lifelong passion, there is nothing that quite compares to bending metal to meet the design in your mind’s eye. Trying new techniques, stretching the boundaries as you find them each day, pushing them just a little further than seemed possible yesterday.
Drop us a line and share your favorite boundary-pushing excursion into new possibilities; we can’t wait to hear . . .