Holly Gage of Bowmansville created the Creative Hope Jewelry Project Challenge and Virtual Exhibit in April to express her love of art as more than just a creative medium, but a matter of historical record. Her company Gage Designs sponsored the challenge which brought international artisans in the jewelry industry together with no limitations as far as crafting materials are concerned.

“I teach 50 students a week online, and so I get a broad perspective of the temperature of how people are feeling during this time,” Gage says. “It was pretty mutual that everyone was losing their mojo and just feeling down, depressed and anxious. I wanted to change the perspective a little bit.”

Gage's teaching career in online metal clay classes began seven years ago. Her artwork is featured in magazines across the globe, and she was awarded the Saul Bell Design Award in 2015. 

“Art talks about what was going on during that time as well as what people were thinking and feeling,” she says. “When you pick up a piece of jewelry, usually it has a story behind it of what the artist was trying to say.”

Loretta Hackman of Loretta Hackman Designs responded to the challenge invite positively, saying that it's both an effort for hope as well as a creative endeavor.

“She tried to get people to start thinking about doing something creative again, but to do it from a perspective that would have a worldwide impact and bring others a sense of hope,” Hackman says.


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Hackman had submitted a piece called "Eagles and Archangels" to the challenge. She had previously taken 14 classes with Gage as well. The design of her piece features an eagle-shaped pendant with two sides. The symbolism is that of protection between heaven and earth itself, while Hackman also added some turquoise stones that reinforce the protective nature of her pendant.

“It’s like giving a gift of strength and spiritual hope to people though they may not even realize it, but I feel as if the joy and compassion and thoughtfulness that goes into the piece is also given as a gift to the person,” Hackman says.

Information originally sourced from LancasterOnline.

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