After nearly 25 years in the corporate world, Celeste Miller decided it was time for a creative change of pace. After her husband retired, Celeste knew it was time to switch directions and pursue a new venture. Having a background in engineering, she always favored process driven work and was naturally drawn to stained and fused glass at first. “Then one day one of my students wanted to learn how to make charm bracelets so I decided to take some classes in chainmail in Philadelphia. The weaving and repetition of the pattern that make it turn into something beautiful pulled me in.”
The technical process of creating chainmail clicked with Celeste and eventually led her to Sue Ripsch, who became a great mentor. “I took several classes with her and we became friends. When I decided to teach classes, I asked Sue if I could teach from some of her patterns and she agreed… which was such an honor to me.”
Celeste has since discovered and developed her own style of chainmail, incorporating elements like gemstones into her designs.“Some of the chainmail patterns I use date back to the Renaissance. The fun part is putting your own spin on them.” Depending on the complexity of the weave, it can take anywhere from two to ten hours. “The issue with making these is you have to have a crystal or gemstone that can withstand being tumbled.” Celeste will even mix gold and silver together in her designs to offer more variety and appeal to every customer.
Through trial and error, like many of us, Celeste found her artistic calling. Being process driven, she has learned to enjoy and trust in the process as you never know where it will lead. “I have always believed that you are responsible for doing what it takes to provide yourself with options so you can make the best choices in life.”