Artists ~ Lisa O'Neill ~ Jamestown

Artist’s name: Lisa O'Neill
Shop name: Sparklegem
Pinterest: sparklegem

1. Tell us about your work
I'm a self-taught wire work artist. I love to just pick up some wire, start weaving and see where it takes me! I create one of a kind necklaces and earrings ... and the occasional bracelet. I strive to make each piece different from any other that I've created.

As a child I was a rock hound, which instilled in me a passion for gems and stones of all kinds, and now my jewelry incorporates everything from sea glass to rubies!

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
As I mentioned, I loved rocks as a child. I find stones absolutely fascinating ... that nature can create such treasures. I've also always adored jewelry. I was constantly asking to go through my relatives' jewelry boxes!

After studying music and mathematics in college,and then working for a number of years as an actuary, I decided to switch gears after the birth of my daughter. I started with making simple beaded necklaces, becoming more and more fascinated with the possibilities for creative expression in wire work. I feel that I've had the chance to combine my original childhood loves of jewelry and stones.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I am blessed to live on beautiful Conanicut Island (Jamestown) in Rhode Island. Living by the ocean is a constant source of inspiration to me, both in its colors and its moods. I'm also entranced by all the wildlife, both real and imaginary ... seahorses, mermaids, shells, and just the swirl of the ocean's waves.

I'm often inspired by vintage and antique jewelry, particularly the Art Nouveau period with it's exquisite swirling designs. Pinterest has been an invaluable resource, allowing me to look at many of the finest examples of jewelry from this period.

And, this sounds corny, but some of my ideas have actually come to me in dreams.

4. What’s your favorite item to create?
I'm always influenced by the seasons, so I enjoy creating sea glass jewelry in the summertime, working with darker colored gems in the fall, and a little more sparkle for the holidays. Currently, I'm really enjoying creating free form heart necklaces for Valentine's Day.

5. What’s your best seller?
I sell a lot of sea glass jewelry, especially in the summer. All of the sea glass I use has been found by me, right down the road from my house, at Mackerel Cove beach.

My medallion necklaces have also been good sellers.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I've been coming to Jamestown for over 30 years, but I've been lucky to call it my full time home for the past year and a half.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love that it's an island! At night , when I'm dozing off, I love thinking about that fact ... that I'm surrounded by the ocean!

8. Please include anything else you'd like to add:
I sell my jewelry here in Jamestown at Jamestown Designs on Narragansett Ave, and also in Massachusetts at NOA jewelry, fine handcrafts & gifts in Boston and Concord, Ma.


  1. Thanks so much for including me in your blog! I love the pictures of my jewelry that you chose.
    Your blog will definitely become part of my daily reading ... so many wonderful pictures and great info on Rhode Island!
    Thanks again,

    1. Thanks so much Lisa! I'm glad you like it!


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