Friday artist – Mimi Netherby |

Friday artist – Mimi Netherby

The Union staff
Mimi Netherby
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

What is your career and your current job title? I’m a jeweler, working in stone and sterling silver in a folk art style. I design and make my own pieces, many of which resemble milagro-style charms.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. I design charms that people can choose and arrange themselves in a storybook fashion on necklaces and bracelets. These might describe aspects or memorable events of their lives.

How long have you been working in this discipline? I’ve been working 15 long, hard years, many hours a day, every day. except those when I’m at art festivals.

Why do you do it? It’s the only thing I feel driven to do. Plus, I have three kids to support, a home to maintain and costly raw materials for my jewelry business.

What do you hope to accomplish? I like to feel that I enable people to put together a piece of jewelry that has personal meaning to them or to the person receiving my jewelry as a gift.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive, and, if yes, what is that message? I like the message to be up to my customer. My work allows infinite combinations with a multitude of themes.

Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? I would love to work part time instead of the intense work schedule I have now. I love selling my work at small art festivals and farmers’ markets where the atmosphere is relaxed and people are happy.

What kind of special training did you take? If none, how did you learn the art techniques or processes? I have taken many metal-working classes, beginning in high school in Venice in 1969. The last class I took was on alternative methods of metal casting through Sierra College Extension.

What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? Lapidary work! Cutting, shaping and polishing. It’s like treasure hunting as the stone reveals its beauty and intricacy.

What is your least favorite part of your endeavor? Soldering! I don’t have to think about that answer for a nano-second. Yuck!

How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? Way too many. For the most part, every waking moment I’m doing something involving my business – design, production, bookwork, display design, traveling to shows, selling, packing, unpacking. When I’m not doing that, I’m doing laundry.

Do you consider it hard work, and could anyone do it? I consider it insanity. If you’re crazy enough, you can do it. My hands hurt all the time.

Any other comments you’d like to include? I’ll be showing this Sunday and Monday at the Sierra Festival of the Arts in downtown Grass Valley. It’s a small, high-quality art festival in my own back yard, just the kind of show I love.


“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

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