Carolyn and Bill Dwyer
Known as “The Mermaid’s Walk Jewelry,” local artists Carolyn and Bill Dwyer are regular vendors at the Fernandina Beach Arts Market.
Bill is self-taught in glass after a career in architecture and 3D design.
Carolyn learned lost wax casting while working at a goldsmith shop. She studied art and metalsmithing at California College of the Arts, College of Marin, and Silvera Jewelry School.
Previously the owners of The Mermaid’s Walk retail shop, Carolyn and Bill continue to teach their popular jewelry fabrication and flamework glass workshops here in Fernandina Beach.
My jewelry is an interpretation of the natural feel of coastal Florida, where I live. It is a figurative representation which depicts the environment of the south with feathers, birds, and shells from the beaches or scrubby dune hammock.
Inspired partly by the ornamentation of indigenous people, my use of feathers is comparable to today's prevalent use of gemstones. The color, texture and size of each of the feathers is carefully considered when I create a one-of-a-kind feather neckpiece. The time-consuming process of organizing, trimming, and lastly hand-wrapping the feathers onto the neckpiece is a small part of a fulfilling endeavor. By fabricating in silver and gold, I create an "armature" upon which I add feathers. These metal forms are linked, strung and/or woven to allow movement with the body-- my goal being to create a textile-like feel.
My figurative bird imagery is also from the southern landscape---mainly coastal Florida. Each bird pin is based upon a species common to this area. Like the feather pieces, all of the birds are made in silver yet, I often add high karat gold, feathers, and even oxidization to them.
Ultimately, I want my art to convey harmony in design, grace in execution, and a sense of elegant simplicity.
Kimberly Hanna-Wallis currently lives in Amelia Island, Florida. She was honored as a 2016 Emerging Artist from the Tampa Gasparilla Festival of the Arts and has apprenticed in Portland, OR and the UK Channel Islands.
After finishing a degree in Public Relations at the University of Kentucky in 2001, and working in industries as various as agricultural advertising to mechanical engineer recruiting to offshore trust fund management, she found her calling after training and apprenticing with her aunt as a gold and silversmith in Portland Oregon and Guernsey (UK Channel Islands).
In 2016, Kim and La Soucique became a zero-waste and 100% wind powered studio and she has remained deeply in love with southern Georgia and northern Florida, where she works locally to conserve the beauty and vitality of the coastal ecosystems.