Personal Bio

My Bio – Such as it is today…

Warning – this is a bit snarky and not very serious.  But, some of it is actually true.

 Mug shot from 2009 – in my studio.. and now, 6 years later:

mean-nancy-hamilton A much grumpier, meaner me!  Must be my sister’s fault (see below).

the-angel Proof that I’m schizophrenic, my alter ego, the angelic Nancy. But wait, why are her hands curled into claws?

So, my name is Nancy L. T. Hamilton.  The L. T. stands for “Loose Tongue” – well, it could, even though that’s not true. It could also stand for lieutenant but, that would also be a lie.

I am a jeweler, a jewelry designer and an artist. I have also become, in the last decade, a teacher, writer and professional emailer.  Who knew?  I think, if I had been voted something in high school (which I wasn’t, BTW – thank you guys!), it would have been “most likely to end up in reform school”. Somehow,  I miraculously skipped that road trip through life.

Jewelry Anyone?

So, seriously, I do make jewelry. I love making jewelry.  I love writing about making jewelry.  I love making videos about me making jewelry.  I am one lucky woman. Wow.  How did this happen?

I’ll Briefly, since the rest of my life is so long and therefore takes up a lot of words, speak of my work:

People always ask me what type of jewelry I make.  I never know what to say.  What do they want me to say? Is there some kind of list that I, quite possibly, have yet to encounter; one with little boxes to check off?  I usually respond with, “I make jewelry that you can wear”.  Obviously, there is jewelry that you can’t wear too but, many people don’t know this.  So, then I have to elaborate:  I make it out of metal and sometimes use gemstones.  That seems to satisfy most.  The really demanding ones want to know if I sell my work, which almost always leads to: “I have this broken chain” or: “I’d love to make great grandmother’s ring into something more modern”.  That’s when I say (hackles raised): “I don’t know how to do that but, I know a good jeweler.”  It works and they don’t really need to know that I can repair their chain and make their ring but, hate, hate, hate doing repairs and custom work.  I also don’t have to explain to them that they aren’t getting a “deal” because we met at Safeway.  I spare them my wrath. What an Angel!

My favorite techniques (is this going to be used for my Playboy Centerfold interview?) are Chasing and Repouseé, enameling, forging and sawing.  My favorite color is purple (really?). My hair is brown and one of my (green) eyes has a fake lens in it – one coming soon to my left eye (which is also green). My measurements are…(sudden power outage – more later).

If you’ve seen my videos, visited my gallery or read anything I’ve written, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what I do.  So, let’s leave it at that.  I don’t have an artsy message or internal conflict that must be presented in my work.  I just love to make jewelry and experiment and research and buy tools.

THE (dark) PAST

My father Bob, me and my mother BabsMy sister Susan and I

Mommy-dearest and Daddy-dearest and poor, little Nancy – forced to be dressed up like a doll and entered into beauty pageants (really!), which I never won (persecution complex formed at this age).   Here’s Susan (the sister I tried to kill by poking her eyes out when she decided to leave my mother’s womb) and me. Notice how I am trying to control my hands.  I am probably plotting what to do to Susan after the photography session.  Eventually, around the time my sister turned 20, I decided to let her live.  Laura came along when I was 8 and I couldn’t care less as  I already held the esteemed position of “Oldest Child” and knew, that no one could knock me off of my throne (God complex formed at this age).

Mother had (she’s over it now) a serious addiction to tinsel.  I don’t know why we bothered buying trees.  We could have just slapped some tinsel on an umbrella and stuck some gifts under it. Please take note of our hair.  The bangs, we so perkily sport, were inexpertly hacked by my darling mother. These bangs were all the rage in the 50’s – or so my mother still says. No one has ever believed her.

Junior High and High School

Let’s just skip this part. Sorry I can’t.  They were my formative years – the years that made me who I am today (thank God that’s not true!).  The years of crushing shyness, social ineptitude and a crippling lack of confidence.  Yet, I did learn to kiss and had fun getting into a lot of trouble with Libby, Merry, Suzanne and Kim, among others – you know who you are!  Let’s just leave it at this:  the Principal knew my sister and I quite well.  I have never admitted responsibility for his early retirement.  I never will as my sister,  Susan is responsible! (Another falsehood – we didn’t force his retirement – it just seemed that way).

College

Some go to school to avoid making decisions.  That would be me.  I also liked the hat – the mortar board – that we got to wear.  Three areas of study while avoiding reality:  Fine art (emphasis in etching – which I knew, was absolutely sure, would lead to a great, high paying job), Interior Design and Archaeology (I said, I couldn’t decide, didn’t I?)  I still use (and can remember some of) the fine arts info and the interior design stuff but, I’ve yet to rediscover King Tut’s tomb.

Graduation

Graduation day – I’m liking my hat.

The Real World:  Work, Marriage and Family.  AKA: My “Blue Period”

Say goodbye to part time jobs and summers at the beach – it was time to go to work (note:  I didn’t say, “grow up”).  Fell into accounting and got stuck in that ditch for 20+ years.  As an auditor, I was able to hone my research skills. I was lucky enough to be able to hunt down and then bust, small time,  white collar criminals!  Hey, it got me a trip to Europe.  Crawled out of the abyss in the 90’s.

Had a lovely, large son who was a wee bit late.  He was due at the end of November and I gave birth in the beginning of January.  Missed writing Dana off on our taxes for 1985.

Nancy-Pregnant-with-Dana  This photo demonstrates my (constant) ascertations that I was “overly -pregnant”.  I still had 2 1/2 weeks left before the doctors, in their infinite wisdom, finally agreed with me that, yes, it was time to get him out of there. I lost 57 lbs in three days. Had a bit of pre-eclampsia and water retention.  Would you like me to show you my scar too?  TMI perhaps?

My pregnancy was hideous and I was the most pregnant woman that I have ever seen (except for those expecting quintuplets).  People often asked if I was having triplets and sitting in booths was out of the question – unless I sat sideways.  We were living on a boat while I was pregnant. Watching a 6,000lb pregnant woman scale a ladder and climb into a boat kept the neighbors entertained for months.  I was proof that, a diet of Haagen Dazs and Snickers is, pretty much, guaranteed to help you put on weight.

The Art Car and the Mid-life Crisis Center Era

We had so much fun – good thing I was disguised.

Art car in actionThe Street Leopard

The Street Leopard was a 1979 Chevy Malibu which,  unwillingly, spent her last 9 years as an art car.   The Street Leopard started out with a couple of sharks glued to the trunk, in a useless attempt to make it look like a 1959 cadillac.

1959-cadillac-fins  Instead of this (left), I had this (bottom).  Although, my car was way more beaten up, an unknown shade of brown and much less clean.73-Chevy-Malibu

Here is the Mid-Life Crisis Center after winning first place at the Santa Rosa Rose Parade.

The Mid-Life Crisis center dancers

The People I Currently Work For

lou-shoes Weewee Louloo – a hater of her brother (she comes by it honestly).  Lou is 17.  Hobbies:  sleeping in a basket, singing, shoes.

Ralph Ralph, also 17 (the brother) exhibiting his “come hither” skills.  He’s just too tired to come to me so, I go, I go, I go…Hobbies:  stalking his sister and Little B, napping, spraying the entire yard twice a day.

how-to-photograph-a-sleeping-cat Petey, Mrs. Peach – Mother of Ralph and Lou.  Here I demonstrate the proper (and somewhat safe) method for propping up an 18 year old cat for photographing. Hobbies:  napping, treat eating, men.

Our newest addition (not an intentional one either) is Little B.  B has yet to fully integrate into the family.  Fortunately for her, my other three are slow, a little deaf and not great at sneak attacks.  Occasionally, food is an equalizer though as demonstrated by our Easter dinner party (see below).

easter-dinner  That’s lou on the left and B on the right. Note Easter basket (the Easter part of Easter dinner) and the use of my very expensive dining room table as a cat serving tray.

My Fifties-Style Life at Home

Here’s me with my favorite oven mitt.  I think I am kicking a cat in this drawing.  Can’t recall.

nancy-hamilton-and-her-oven-mitt Note my ability to bend my knee in a manner contrary to human anatomy.  I learned this technique in high school. My oven mitt arm has always been shorter than my non-oven mitt arm.

I am married.  He denies it. We get along fine. So far, it’s been 35 unbelievable years.  We both keep trying to figure out what went wrong.  How did this happen?  Why did it happen?  Soon, we will forget we were ever married and all will be well again.

my-husband My husband bringing me flowers on my birthday.  He’s soooo buff from the back side!

Here’s a picture of my son at no particular age:

my-son-Dana

Remain Calm and Walk Towards the Exits

Boy, I’m bored.  Aren’t you?  We should probably leave now and find something else to do. Shhh!  Quiet.  We don’t want to get caught.  Follow me. Shhh… Hurry…Oh my God, she sees us – RUN!

Glad you could make it.  Hope I haven’t frightened your children or any of your small, cowardly animals.  I do try to be nice.  It just doesn’t always work out as planned.  I am from New Jersey, you know.

To Help Further My Education

If you would like to help me further my career as a professional emailer, please do so by contacting me at:  Nancy.lt.hamilton@gmail.com.

P.s.s.s.s.s.t – Thank you!