“Sparcling” jewelry: Greenpoint jewelry maker crafts exquisite handmade pieces
by Lisa A. Fraser
May 24, 2011 | 4362 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Susan Lieberman wears her Peruvian Opal earrings and seahorse pendant necklace.
Susan Lieberman has only been living in Greenpoint for two years now, but already she’s known at the Artists and Fleas market in Williamsburg, around the neighborhood and even throughout the country.

Why? Because her handcrafted jewelry - sold under the name Sparc Jewelry - made from semi-precious and precious stones, natural crystals and sterling silver, are a hit with locals and tourists.

Lieberman creates her pieces out of organic materials like Peruvian opal, aquamarine and topaz, often embedded into metals.

Her imagination and inspiration, which she finds from her surroundings have enabled her to create earrings, such as the multi grape clusters that are often ordered by customers for weddings as well as chains that have unique designs such as her signature “ladder” chains, her petal spheres chains and the crab claw and sea horse pendants, which are often set with diamonds.

According to Lieberman, Sparc combines hard-edged, cosmopolitan designs with the opulence and softer influence of the ocean, sand and mountains.

She enjoys mixing colors and textures and making her pieces unique to the individual and distinct from other designers.

“As a teenager my mother taught me how to be creative," she said. "She taught me the art of beading and soon I started making things for myself.”

It wasn’t until after she moved to Venice Beach, California that she really decided to pursue jewelry making. It was hard for her to find a job when she moved there in 2001 and almost at a breaking point, a close friend at the time suggested that she craft some pieces.

It provided her not only with comfort but with a new way to rake in some dollars. She soon set up shop at Venice Beach, where her jewelry became a hit.

In 2003, she moved back to New York and began learning silversmitting and diamond setting. This enabled her creations to become more upscale. “The response I was receiving was really great,” she said.

She receives her inspiration to create from many things and with her current day job, she tries to create as often as she can. “I design everything myself, it’s my own concept, my own process,” she said.

She never duplicates. Instead, she might take an idea and evolve it even more, giving it her touch.

“I find it almost religious that things can be found organically. I look around at everything and I get ideas from other people’s work but I use that to make my creations more unique,” she said.

Growing up, Lieberman often visited Provincetown and the beach has had a lasting impact on her and her designs, particularly her crab claw pendant line.

Lieberman loves to create designs that go beyond the current trends, enabling people to wear them for years.

She often sells her creations at the Artists and Fleas market in Williamsburg, at Giving Tree Jewelry and at her own website, sparcjewelry.com. In time, she plans to open her own store and even hire other artists to be part of Sparc. “For now, this is just the icing,” she said.

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