Amber Jones first tapped into her creative side as a young girl.
“I’ve been making art since I was a child, taking apart old jewelry to make matching sets for my tiny 7-year-old body,” said Jones, who revisited this process later as an adult, reconfiguring pieces she didn’t wear anymore to make jewelry that she would.
“People started buying my jewelry off of me, so I made more,” said Jones, who brought her work to a gallery in 2001 and was encouraged by the owner to “go bigger” with her work.
So, she did.
Now, Jones and her husband, Marty, make what they call “Jewelry for Your Home & Garden” — larger, one-of-a-kind pieces for indoor and outdoor decoration — as well as body jewelry, all under the name “Ambrz Art.”
“Mostly it’s hanging decorations, but we also make wall art, wind chimes and sun catchers, all from locally recycled copper, steel and fused glass, and sometimes vintage jewelry or treasures I find on the beach,” Jones said.
The Eureka couple — high school sweethearts who’ve been married for 31 years — also create copper wire rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, as well as wire tiaras and animal ears.
“Those are a delight for customers and us alike,” Jones said. “Watching people’s faces light up as they see themselves in the mirror with a princess tiara or unicorn ears on is priceless.”
Originally, Jones was making Ambrz Art’s various creations by herself. Nineteen years ago that changed, and Marty joined in the artistic endeavor.
“After the gallery owner told me to go big, I went home and dragged my husband into it to help me figure out how,” Jones said. “I thought he would only help me with the process, but it turned out he was just as creative as myself, so now this is what we both do full time. … I had no idea when I met him at 17 that this is what we’d be doing together, but it has been a very happy life.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Joneses traveled all over Northern California and Southern Oregon most every weekend selling their work at festivals and other events.
“This year, they’ve all been canceled due to the virus,” Jones said. “We’ve gotten creative doing almost monthly live-stream events on Facebook, but now it’s all online selling” — mostly on the couple’s website, https://www.ambrzart.com, as well as on Etsy and via social media.
When Jones heard about this month’s Bayside Fall Makers Fair, she applied to participate.
“We are concerned about putting ourselves in danger this year,” she said, “so I did verify that all safety precautions were in place and, since this is also a local fair, we felt safe enough to participate. They went above and beyond with their precautions for which I’m very grateful. (I) will miss hugging people, but will be very glad to see our community out and about and happy again.”
The creative couple will be selling their hanging art and body jewelry at the “Fall Makers Fair.” The fair, featuring more than 45 local artists and makers, will take place Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at three venues in Bayside. Free entry tickets for the Fall Makers Fair are required and can be reserved at baysidecommunityhall.org or by calling or texting 707-599-3192.
“New to this fair will be my jellyfish pictures that I took this year while hunting for beach treasures to use in my art,” Jones said. “(I) caught them at low tide in King Salmon and shared them on Facebook and have been unexpectedly getting orders for those, too.”
Jones, who says she’s mostly self-taught when it comes to her artwork, has also been the Kinetic Grand Championship “Royal Crown Maker” for the last two years.
“I was asked by the 2018 (Rutabaga) Queen to make her a ‘Kounterfeit Krown’ because her official one kept falling off her head,” Jones said. “… Once they saw the similar, but less top heavy, crown I made for her … the queens voted to have me make them from now on. … I feel so incredibly honored to be the second female crown maker for this glorious event.”