Me and Bobbi McKay

I hummed Janis Joplin’s sound-alike song during my drive home after an afternoon spent visiting Bobbi this week.  She graciously agreed to be my very first interview!

imageHer home is outside of Marble Falls, not too far from where I live. Bobbi designed it herself, and oversaw all of the construction, an impressive feat!  It is open and worldly, while still being extremely comfortable! She gave me free rein to snoop, open drawers, and take photos…and tempting as that was, I stuck to her studio!  I saw that she brings the same attention to detail, and sense of high-style that’s evident in her home, to her custom jewelry.

DO – How did you get started making jewelry?

imageBMc – Designing the house was so much fun, but then it was done and I needed a creative outlet that wouldn’t cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars…I bought a bracelet in Oregon and thought, “Wow, I can do this! I’m gonna give it a try!”

DO – Do you have an art background? What makes you able to do this so well?

BMc – I’ve always sewn, and done embroidery…and I have really good eyesight, close-up, without my glasses on. I ordered a bracelet and it didn’t look like it would hold up, so I sought out suppliers for the very best leather, the best thread, and learned how to do the stitching for durability.  I love Chan Luu’s work, it’s in the Sundance catalog. It’s so nice to have a role model.

imageDO – You jokingly called yourself a ‘good copy artist.’

BMc – Yes, I see myself as more of an “interpreter.”  Lately I’ve been doing pieces with necklaces and earrings because people wanted them, so I started monkeying around with that. I have so many beads…and I am intimately involved with all of them! I began making men’s bracelets, too, and I can also redesign jewelry using someone’s own beads and stones.

DO – Tell me about getting into the “flow.”

BMc – When I go into the studio and start playing with the stones and crystals, I envision what I want. And since I live so far from everything and have no distractions, I can just sit for hours.

imageWe talked about her husband – “He loves to shop for stone and crystals, and he’s very knowledgable.  We choose only high-quality stones.”  She brings me a stunning slab of polished stone the size of a dinner plate, “It’s a piece of petrified dinosaur poop that he brought home! Isn’t it beautiful?” (It is, so I photographed this flourite bracelet on it.)

Did I tell you that she’s also funny?

Bobbi’s detailed work, her attention to placement, the braiding and macrame are all stellar. She personalizes each piece with a charm that’s hand-stamped with the client’s initial.

She “hates to have her photo taken,” in spite of her gorgeous complexion and and hair….alas, so after a few attempts, I gave up.  But, she did let me photograph her hands wearing her bead & imageleather bracelets with some sterling cuffs. You can reach her at if you’d like to get more information about her beautiful jewelry.

Thank you for reading,

XO Donna

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