Even if watching actors and actresses parade up the red carpet or listening to long acceptance speeches is not your idea of an enjoyable Sunday evening, there was a more local reason to tune in to the Oscars on Sunday night.Liz Stechschulte is a native of Washington D.C. with a small home studio in Chevy Chase but her father, the late Joseph Stechschulte, was originally from Glandorf and she still has many relatives living in Putnam County. She has a passion for jewelry making and it paid off recently when some of her work was included in the Luxury Gift Lounge at the Academy Awards. Stechschulte designed and created 100 luxe inspirational gemstone energy bracelets for the event. Her participation was made possible by The Artisan Group, a juried artisan promotions group specializing in handcrafted products. Their mission is to introduce Hollywood to-the-best-of-the best handcrafted products.
"I am passionate about the current movement for Americans to support their Artisans and their Made in America products," said Stechschulte.
It may seem like a long way from Glandorf to the Oscars but Stechschulte gives her family credit for her journey. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from American University and also worked at George Washington University Medical Center. But her love of jewelry led her down a different path.
"I have always loved jewelry and my passion for gemstones led me to GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, where I studied Gemology. I have been designing and handcrafting jewelry for almost ten years now," she said. She has participated in numerous craft shows in the D.C. area, and sold pieces to several boutiques, as far as the Outer Banks in North Carolina. She designs religious jewelry, eyeglass holders, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, as well as men's, children's and pampered pet jewelry.
Her father was a highly respected English teacher who taught at Woodrow Wilson High School. A tireless educator, he also taught jazz music at the University of the District of Columbia and later spent his retirement years painting with all types of media, depicting scenes of Glandorf, portraits of a jazz musician he loved, and still life paintings of flowers in their English garden in Glandorf.
"My Dad was an intellectual, a consummate reader and our house was filled with hundreds of books, a haven for anyone who loves to read. We even entertained the idea of turning the small country house into a library for the town, and with such a beautiful garden, it was an ideal place to read and meditate," Stechschulte said.
But most importantly, Stechschulte said her father was instrumental in her jewelry designing.
"He created a mini-library of jewelry books for me. These books helped to advance me in my jewelry deOVERSET FOLLOWS:signing and technique. Two books in particular by Edgar Casey served as the inspiration for the collection of the gemstone energy bracelets that went to the 2013 Oscars Gift Baskets," she said.
Stechschulte's mother is originally from the Philippines and she worked as a senior accountant at The American University and the National Academy of Sciences. She is also a knit and crochet designer, and for years her handmade products were carried by high end boutiques, department stores, and wearable art galleries from Washington, DC to Carmel, California. Stechschulte's two siblings, Katherine Ellen and Joseph Peter are also artistically inclined.
"I believe that my artistic skills, and my love of working with my hands, has been passed down from my parents and previous generations," said Stechschulte.
(Stechschulte's handmade jewelry is available at her Etsy Shop, a global handmade site. http://www.etsy.com/shop/EtherealEnergy)