Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Amy Kanka-Valadarsky

I can pinpoint, exactly, when the seed was sewn.

I was 47 years at the time, an executive in a hi-tech firm, living a very intensive life centered on work - when i was not sleeping or on the plane - I was never really far from the email...with 2 grown up sons and a hi-tech working husband - there was nothing really to distract me from work.  And one day I decided, that I should consciously introduce something that will force me to stay away from work, make me do something else. Yes, I was practicing Yoga - but the Yoga lesson was too easy to ditch - 'I have a document to read quietly in the morning', and I do love gardening - but this I just crammed on weekends.

So, I went to the Internet to look for something I could learn, something creative. I always loved art, took a few drawing lesson once, even started a long distance interior design course. After some research, found a distance learning course in jewelry design and with a slightly trembling hand (the tuition was not negligible, I am committing here ....) I enrolled.

During the next 8 month, I learned to work with wire, bead, string pearls. Learned what is forging, and how you design a collection, and at the end of the class, even had to open an ETSY store!! Looking back at it now, I know how bad this initial store was, but at the time displaying something I did for the whole world to see was really scary.

So a little bud was formed, but now - I wanted more. So I enrolled to a thorough silversmith year long course in a studio - every Sunday from 1600 to 2200. Needless to say this was in addition to my 'around the clock job', and more than once I returned from the studio, took the briefcase and zoomed to the airport to catch the plane to yet another meeting. Once I amazed my teacher by arriving to the studio with the suitcase, directly from the airport, to an extra lecture!!  This was about a year ago. Since then I started to build my home studio, continued to a 2nd year of studies in the studio, and worked on my jewelry on weekends ( when I was not cooking - as even grown up sons and husband eat !!, or working in the garden.). 

You can see many more pieces at my Etsy store:

About 3 months ago I was told my hi-tech position will disappear and I should look for another position in the company, or after 23 years - to part goodbye.  Was I shocked and depressed? Not really. Looking at this as an incentive to change my life, started to seriously think about living a creative and useful life, doing beautiful pieces of wearable art and starting to finally volunteer (another thing I never had the time for). 
My Facebook fan page (would love to get more likes there :-)


  1. Your jewellery is beautiful, love the unique should be very proud and do very well.

  2. Hi Everyone - I'm posting a little article about Amy and her wonderful work on my blog soon -- give it a few days and then check it out, at

    She indeed does beautiful work, and has a great and inspiring life story as well!