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Portrait Of An Artist Atelys Adrian
Kathi Barrington

ATELYS ADRIAN, A VIBRANT, TALENTED PROVIDENCIALES jewellery designer and creator, described herself perfectly during our interview. Her emotions are in her face, her body language, and in her designs. She told me that her pieces affect her – that she is very emotionally involved with her work. “When I am sad you will see it. When I’m happy you will know it.”

It is no surprise that Atelys has a devoted following. She also has a devoted husband, two sons, aged 4 and 15, and a full time job “working for a great, very supportive boss,” in addition to her growing new career.

Born in Santo Domingo thirty-six years ago, Atelys was raised there. But she often visited her mom, who was working in Providenciales. In 2004, Atelys decided to move here. She felt there would be more opportunities for her.

Shortly after her arrival, she met Karel Rodney. The two were married in 2009 and have a beautiful son, Samuel. She misses her older son, Jeremy, who is in school in the DR, but he visits his Mom often.

Atelys did not set out to become a jeweller, or silversmith. She bought inexpensive costume jewellery and took it apart, added pieces to make it her own. Her friends bought many of her creations.

Serving at a well known Providenciales restaurant, the pieces she wore to work were seen by many. Soon patrons were buying them, literally right from her body. Her sideline business was born.

The artist said that she felt a piece of jewellery should always have some meaning to the owner. Seeking to do something for a friend who was enduring cancer treatments, Atelys made her a silver bracelet with a personal, positive message hand stamped on it. “I thought it was not very pretty, but she loved it, and then other people wanted one,” Atelys told me, explaining how her business began to expand.

Those hand stamped pieces are in great demand. But the cross section of a small conch shell, cast in silver with a polished or a rustic finish, is also in very high demand.

She uses Larimar from her home in the DR, because “I am obsessed with blue. Every piece should have blue in it, and a pearl,” she exclaimed. Her custom earrings, bracelets, and neck pieces, of beaten or hand stamped silver or 14k gold fill, are unique and recognisable from a distance. Swarovski crystals often complement the fresh water pearls and Larimar stones. Sea glass that she has gathered here in the TCI also finds its way into her creations.

She buys her Larimar from a contact, now a good friend, in Santo Domingo. He hand cuts and polishes it for her. I learned that the more intense the blue colour, and the contrast in the stone, the higher the quality. The blue is photosensitive and fades with time, if exposed to too much light and heat.

Atelys works six days a week managing a boutique in the Saltmills. On Sundays she makes her works of art in a tiny shop behind her house in Wheeland. Karel is supportive and helpful. He laughs off the dirt – working, polishing and buffing silver leaves her fingers black – and encourages her to create.

Atelys’ next big step, with both her husband and her employer’s blessing, was to hire someone to work with her. The commissions, both custom and for her signature pieces, that she gets from her Facebook page were starting to overwhelm her. She said it is a huge milestone, the realisation that her need and ability to create has given birth to a ‘going concern.’

Atelys’ jewellery is within reach of anyone who appreciates quality, handcrafted workmanship. Prices range from $25 to $500 dollars. Her jewellery can be found at Paradise Arts. View photos and contact information on her Facebook page.