JEWELRY DESIGNER Anne K. Mulligan of Flotsam & Whimsy is a graduate of the Paier College or art and had been an art director in a variety of industries for many years. After being downsized from a corporate job at the end of 2010, Anne decided to learn an art form that would scratch the creative itch (and use some of the scraps left over from stained glass projects) and also be a source of income, so she started wire-wrapping jewelry. She started out making pendants, earrings and rings, but found that home decor items could be transformed with wire, shell, beads and glass. Anne is especially inspired by shards of natural shell and sees them as Nature’s sculptures that just need a little embellishment to become jewelry. Everything she makes is one of a kind and she prides herself on never making exactly the same piece twice.
In regard to Anne’s pieces that incorporate glass: Some of what she uses is genuine sea glass, but a lot is stained glass scraps in colors she liked or just a pretty bottle that she broke with a hammer. These get tumbled with grit for about a month straight to create a sort of “Faux Sea Glass.” Anne and her husband have gotten some funny looks when they see a bottle broken on the street and, instead of tsk-tsking, cry out, “Blue glass!” and start picking up the pieces.