Hi! My name is Michelle Black, owner/artist of ConFusion Jewelry. I grew up in Westminster, Maryland and received my BS in Marketing from Towson State University. In 1997 I came to Charleston, SC for vacation and never left! I fell in love with the scenery and the warmer weather. I enjoyed several jobs, including the Sales Manager at a local clam farm and started working at the Charleston City Market on the weekends, selling other artist's work.
I have always had an affinity for glass. In 2004, I took a fused glass class and started making and selling my own jewelry, establishing my own business at the Charleston City Market and my own website. Several years later, I attended an enameling class and fell in love with the process. Enameling is melting powdered glass onto copper using a high heat. It is a bit of a lost art, so I really enjoy sharing the technique with others. And so enjoyed teaching enameling classes at John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. I developed my own technique which allows the copper base to be seen through bubbles in the top colors. My Bubble pieces are one of my most popular items as each piece is truly one of a kind. I recently started creating collectible Christmas ornaments using my proprietary technique.
My biggest seller is my Lucky Penny charm. After a lot of experimenting and research, I found that I could enamel on a copper penny, hence the creation of my Charleston Lucky Penny charm. With the help of my Dad, I began to collect every year of the copper penny, dating back to the 1800's. Mid-1982, the government stopped creating pennies of solid copper and started using zinc, a lesser expensive metal. These newer pennies will melt in my kiln. I hand drill and dome each penny to preserve the date. I then apply different colors of powdered glass and fire them in my kiln, repeating the process several times. After about 25 different steps, the shiny Lucky Penny charm comes as a necklace, bracelet or a key-chain charm. I found that people really connect with the date of the penny. Choosing their own birth year or perhaps the year of someone special who has passed, my customers love the uniqueness of my Lucky Penny charm!
My creative skills have connected me with so many amazing people! I am so grateful that I have so much support from customers and collectors of my pieces. Without their support I would not be able to be a full time artist. I have a website and my own booth at the Charleston City Market. Come visit my booth on the weekends at the top of Market, closest to Meeting Street. I hope to see you there!