Another vacant storefront on Cazenovia’s Albany Street has found a new inhabitant. Friday April 1 marked the grand-opening for Dragonfly Beads, a haven for all crafters and do-it-yourself jewelers seeking a large selection of beads and commemorative charms.
Owner and Cazenovia High School alumnus, Erin Meharg first started the business in Manlius, where she enjoyed two successful years before deciding to move the store to 53 Albany St. in Cazenovia, the former space of the Chameleon Gallery.
With the recent closing of the art gallery, many were happy to see a new business quickly occupy the storefront. Equally as happy to now have her shop located in the same town in which she resides, Meharg is anxious to bring her distinct merchandise to Cazenovia consumers.
“You’re the expert on what you like. Anyone who is interested in uniquely creative one-of-a-kind jewelry that can’t be bought at the mall, are the customers I’d like to attract,” she said. “People have been walking by, looking in the window and giving me a thumbs-up. I’ve felt welcomed and really encouraged since moving in.”
While the store offers a wide array of charms from countries and cultures across the globe, the signature medium that Meharg’s passion lies with is “Precious Metal Clay.” Pure silver or gold, an organic binder and water combine to form a malleable material with the consistency of clay. Developed in 1990 by Maski Morikawa in Japan, the material was quickly adopted by the craft world and has grown to include such metals as bronze, copper, platinum and steel.
“You can achieve these really complex pieces with less effort and fewer tools than you would need when working with sheet metal,” Meharg said. “This is all so new; they’re still coming out with new formulations. It’s really exciting to be on the ground floor of this movement.”
Meharg’s work with the medium has gained not only the attention of area shoppers, but international recognition as well. She has won design contests in two publications: Metal Clay Artist Magazine and Metal Clay Today. In addition to placing alongside fine jewelry-makers in Europe, Meharg’s pieces have been featured in juried shows at metal clay conventions.
To get a first-hand look at precious metal clay and browse some of Meharg’s latest creations, visit the Dragonfly Beads’ location on Albany Street. The store is open 10:30 am to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Meharg hosts a number of jewelry-making classes, all of which are detailed on the business’s website, dragonflybead.com. Her work with commemorative jewelry pieces can be viewed at commemorativejewelry.com.
To contact Meharg, call Dragonfly Beads at 655-1050, or email email@example.com.