The creative and imaginative mind knows, “Creation always involves building upon something else that came before.” The jewelry design of artist Carol Tenwalde is all about reusing, repurposing, and reimagining in developing her unique line of Boho necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. As the oldest child in her family, Carol grew up in a small farming community in Ohio. Her father was a builder, and her mother was a banker. It was the building talents of her father, who could fix or build anything, that captivated her imagination. Carol remembers, "Every summer, dad would convene a 'pow-wow' with the family to decide the Halloween costumes for the coming fall holiday."
Based on this experience, her favorite memory was helping create a life-sized bowling ball, dad’s costume, and three bowling pins, mom and the kids. The other half of her parents’ dynamic, creative duo was mom, who was the president of the local dance club. As a result, the family’s job was to transform the American Legion Hall into a magical wonderland six times a year for dance competitions and parties. It’s no small wonder that Carol grew up crafting and creating for herself and others in the community.
Carol’s creative talents carried into her adult life. Shortly after her husband retired as a computer executive, he underwent surgery that damaged the nerves in his leg. The result was six months of Carol and her husband being homebound while he learned to walk again. During this time, Carol kept busy fashioning jewelry from all the beads she had acquired. She remembers, “I was initially drawn to bead embroidery, which resulted in beautiful pieces but not very creative. The crafter of this form of embroidery follows a preset design during this process, plus it was very time-consuming.” Carol wanted to bust the preset design mode into a new creative reality.
"I get so much joy from my customers worldwide when they email me about people stopping them in the street inquiring how they might get a necklace like that!"
It wasn’t long before Carol developed a twisted wire technique she refers to as the “Twisted Sister.” The method creates a structural statement piece in the form of a necklace that lies flat on your neck and is virtually weightless. This wire structure technique renders each one of Carol’s jewelry creations as one-of-a-kind originals. Carol developed and refined her wire creations when a friend opened a yarn store.
Her friend introduced Carol to Sari Ribbon, a product made from recycled Indian Saris. Sari Ribbon was a game-changer in Carol's jewelry line, putting her on the area map as one of the unique jewelry designers in the state. Carol's Boho line of necklaces and earrings was an instant success. She says, "I get so much joy from my customers worldwide when they email me about people stopping them in the street inquiring how they might get a necklace like that!"
Today artist Carol Tenwalde works from her home jewelry studio in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and displays her work at the League’s gallery in Cave Creek's Stagecoach Village. Each November, she also participates in the League's Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour. The Finer Arts Gallery in Cave Creek represents Carol's work and is on display at the Holland Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.