Meet Simma

Simma Portrait

A life well lived inspires my art and creative path

Having lived abroad and traveled extensively over a period of many years, I was inextricably affected by the people and places I saw. The pungent smells of exotic markets, the sounds of a riotous melodic din and vibrant colors imprinted their vivid density on my traveler's soul. These sensations offered my artist's eye the possibility of expressing texture and timeless expression with beads, cords and finally metal.

In my twenties I went to Europe to explore the world and ended up staying there for 14 years. I settled in Spain and during that time I traveled far and wide to seek adventure and experience. While living in Spain I met my future husband and gave birth to our first son. I lived simply in an ancient stone house and absorbed a flavor of earthy people.

I studied tapestry weaving in this period and sold my work in galleries and privately. But my interest in ethnic personal adornment intrigued me primarily. My years spent working and trading in Spain, Tunisia and India provided the experience and exposure that lead to the opening of my store, Chester Bead, in Northern California, once I returned to the United States. It was during this time when I was nurturing my two young children and running the bead store that I honed my skills in jewelry making. I am mostly self-taught, but have taken courses in metal working techniques. I now have a full metal studio, in addition to a bead studio.  This is a wonderful and inspiring situation for which I am eternally grateful. 

Each piece of adornment or functional art that I create is unique. My work consistently grows as I explore the diversity of materials. I hope my work conveys to you the feeling of intensity and delight that I experience each time I immerse myself in the creative process using beads, cording and metals.

in the studio