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Patsy Croft’s work is that of an artful alchemist, mixing metals and glass in such a way as to create singular distinction and enchantment to each piece of jewelry she creates. Her meticulous and Cloisonne creations reflect her love for the exotic places where she has spent most of her life. She has spent over fifteen years studying the ancient
art of Cloisonne, influenced by such renowned masters as Renee Lalique, and more recent artists as John Paul Miller and Larissa Rosenstock. Croft loves her work, almost as much as she loves the ocean, from which she draws much of her inspiration. She spent ten years living in Hawaii, exploring the depths of the sea and recreating the spectacular aquatic scenes in her jewelry. “Living in Hawaii when I was beginning enameling
was a huge influence,” explains Croft, “The colors underwater, and the people there provided a lot of flavor.”
A graduate of Florida State University, Croft majored in fine arts, applying her love of drawing in the creation of the templates she uses for her Cloisonne pieces. She also applies the values she learned while studying ancient art in her work ethic. Croft says, “It influences my work because it makes me desire to be quality, to do the best I can possibly do with what I have to present.”
Her job requires an incredible amount of patience,
as each piece can take several weeks to create. She creates a design template from fine silver and 22k and 24k gold, then firing up to twenty-five layers of enamel for each piece.
 

The process is very tedious and painstaking, with the possibility of failure-cracks or small bubbles within the glass-increasing each time she fires a layer of finely powdered glass. “You’ve got to really love [Cloisonne] to do it, because there is a lot of failure,” says Croft. “It is very unforgiving.” While many of Croft’s pieces share a similar theme, reflections of a life primarily spent living on or near a beach, they are all unique. With the template of each piece being laid out by hand, it’s nearly impossible to create two identical pieces in Cloisonne. And that is just how Croft prefers it.
“A lot of the work is like painting. You wouldn’t paint the same thing over and over again,” she explains. “I prefer to do something different every single time.”
Another thing that Croft really enjoys with her work is that fact that by creating such different designs each time, it allows her customers to personalize a look that best suits their taste. “When you go shopping, you look for something that is like you and makes you feel good when you wear it. Enamel can adapt and be used to create something to one’s own taste.”
Croft’s exhibited in Hawaii, Grand Cayman, and Sydney, Australia. She has recently been incepted into the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, having been nominated by her peers for her meticulous craftsmanship.


-Laurie Handler with Ali Croft