I wanted to share this letter of gratitude with all of you that I wrote to a very special woman in 2008. This woman, Lucille, had been in the jewelry business for many years. Later in life, when she became too old to do jewelry, she very generously donated a tub of tools to me and gave me the jewelry commissioning account at the Pacific Asia Museum to do their award jewelry every year. She was very sweet woman, and I thought you as a reader might enjoy hearing more about my career in the jewelry business.

September 11, 2008

Dear Lucille Lee Roberts,

I thought I’d write you a note to let you know how jewelry and the art of metalworking have been such a significant part of my life.

My interest started in 1974 when my friend and I started making hair ornaments with feathers and sterling silver. I continued my creative outlet at PCC and received honors for Superior Achievement in Jewelry and an AA degree with an emphasis in Jewelry Making. I sold my pieces at art shows from Santa Barbara to San Diego and had a consistent following of clients who continually encouraged my artistic capabilities. In 1981, I graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. From 1982 to 1984, I attended the Gemological Institute of America at Santa Monica (Graduate Gemologist Resident Program, Jewelry Arts and Gem Identification and Diamond Grading) where I absorbed the knowledge to attain the degree of Graduate Gemologist.

In 1985, I began working for a very special woman named Joyce Mitchell. She and her husband Sam, had a jewelry store named “MePohaly Jewelers” (meaning “We Push” in Polish) located in Covina. Joyce and I still work together on many projects even though her retail store closed in 1990.

In 2005, I decided to find a job that gave me a steady paycheck. Boxx Jewelers in Monrovia was just the place. We have a very established customer base since the business has been there for 86 years! Throughout the whole time I have kept my own business, which includes working for several other artists, doing casting, fabrication, piecework, setting, custom jewelry, and repairs.

At the end of this month, I will be teaching a beginning jewelry class at the Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre, where I can share my knowledge of jewelry making and hopefully inspire others to find the joy and the excitement of the creative process.

Thank you for your generous donation of your precious tools to the Creative Arts Group.

With sincerity,
Kimberly Munson Nicholson
P.S. I use your bone handled burnisher every day…
Using Lucille’s tools to teach jewelry at the Creative Arts Group

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