Holiday Sparkle

Freshwater pearl sterling silver necklace and earring sets, Lisa Twombly

Original handcrafted jewelry is a great way to add some sparkle to your holiday season. Meet five talented jewelry artisans who live and create in the Finger Lakes Region, drawing their design inspirations from the people, resources and natural scenery here. Treat yourself, or others on your gift list, to striking, locally- produced wearable art. That’s beautiful from any angle.

Erica Bapst

Adorn Jewelry and Accessories, Canandaigua

This Canandaigua native, who also paints and draws, has been designing and making jewelry for 17 years, the last dozen from her own shop, Adorn Jewelry and Accessories. The stylish boutique sells Erica Bapst’s jewelry, created on premises, plus trending commercial jewelry, handbags, scarves, hair accessories and loose beads for jewelry-making. Bapst also sells her handmade original jewelry from her website and occasionally participates in art shows.

The artisan designs a wide range: from simple beaded pieces of semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, Czech glass or Swarovski crystal to more intricate sterling silver or brass creations. She gravitates toward everyday wear, though also designs for weddings and proms. 

“I would like to say that I have a specific style like most artists do,” says Bapst, “but the reality is, I am so interested in meeting the needs of my customers that my designs are often reflective of them just as much as my own design sensibilities.”

There are exceptions though, and the Gingko collection, is one. Bapst was commissioned to design a pin to commemorate 30 years of Canandaigua Athena Award recipients (she won one herself in 2013). This award honors professional excellence, community service and cultivating other women leaders. The inspiration to symbolize women of unwavering beauty and strength using the legendary Gingko tree leaf as a template (an exceptionally hardy species with striking fan-shaped leaves) sprang purely from Bapst’s own heart and imagination. 

For the holidays, Bapst is expanding the Ginkgo collection, a variety of pendant and earring sets, rings, cuff bracelets, sculptural neck wires and hair picks of sterling silver, brass and 14k gold. Every piece is hand built, not cast, so each leaf is as unique as the individual wearing it.

Adorn Jewelry and Accessories
36 South Main Street, Canandaigua

Bill Coppard

Caywood Stone Jewelry, Caywood

For the past nine years, Bill Coppard has been living his long-held ambition to design and fabricate jewelry. Prior to that, the Rochester native founded and ran an art film theatre. Now Coppard lives and creates in Caywood, a scenic hamlet in Lodi on the east shore of Seneca Lake.

Inspired by the Finger Lakes Region, which Coppard characterizes as “one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” the artisan collects natural stones from Seneca and Cayuga Lakes for his jewelry. When the weather is favorable, Coppard works outside with an incredible lake view. He spreads his stones out on a table and matches them to the designs he envisions. The spacers between the stones come from a variety of sources and materials.

“My work can be described as minimalist because I use very little in my work in addition to stones,” Coppard says. Currently, he makes necklaces and earrings, but is experimenting with bracelets.

Coppard sells his jewelry online from his website and locally at the Ithaca Farmers Market and Ithacamade, a gift shop. He participates in art shows as well. On December 10th, Coppard will be an exhibitor at the Little Red Wagon Artisan Market holiday event at The Space@GreenStar in Ithaca. 

While he doesn’t design specifically for the holidays, Coppard’s stacked stone earrings are popular gift items, and a pleasant reminder of warm shimmering lakes during those long winter months.

Pamela Nakoski

Vintage Soul, Bloomfield

For the past seven years, Pamela Nakoski has been handcrafting one-of-a-kind statement jewelry fulltime in her Bloomfield home studio using antique and vintage finds. Growing up in the Finger Lakes (in Ithaca and Interlaken) and raising her own family here has led her to appreciate the beauty of the region and its resources. 

“Recycling is very important to me and I try to do my part by not crowding our landfills with items that can be upcycled into useful and beautiful items,” says Nakoski who also repurposes “junk” into new home décor as a hobby.

She is a strong advocate for shopping locally and sources the vast majority of her materials at local shops, auctions and estate sales.

Nakoski creates earrings, rings, necklaces and pendants, bracelets, hair accessories and purses. She breathes new life into old jewelry to create fresh, exciting and contemporary designs utilizing old leather belts, collars, pen nibs, hinges, keys and vintage watches. “I find interest in almost every treasure I run across and always find a way to incorporate unusual items into my work,” Nakoski explains.

Several shops carry her jewelry: One Jane in Pittsford; Talulah’s Fancy and Friends, Honeoye Falls; Hopper’s Hills Floral & Gifts, Victor; and Serendipity Boutique in Geneva. In addition to selling her creations from her website, Nakoski also participates in art shows including this year’s Canandaigua Christkindl Market (November 11-13) and the Holiday Bazaar at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (November 18-20).

Her popular items include cuff bracelets made from leather belts designed with silver or brass shoe clips and escutcheon plates (decorative back plates from dresser pulls) riveted to them. “The patina of the brass plates along with the richness of the leather come together to create a beautiful finished product,” says Nakoski. Another bestseller is an unusual statement necklace made from antique starched collars from the 1900s embellished with vintage jewelry or trim. 

The artisan gets a lot of commissions around the holidays, repurposing family heirloom jewelry into new, one-of-a-kind pieces for her customers to wear or give as gifts to be appreciated anew.

Tamara Stopinski

Talulah’s Fancy and Friends, Honeoye Falls

Tamara Stopinski has been creating and selling jewelry since she was 12 years old. Born in Binghamton and raised in Rochester and Honeoye, the artisan and her husband now live in a Honeoye Falls cottage nestled on 15 scenic wooded acres. She creates jewelry at home in this inspired setting as well as on-site at her gift boutique, Talulah’s Fancy and Friends, located in the historic refurbished Lower Mill building in Honeoye Falls.

Having been whimsically nicknamed “Talulah” by a close friend led to the first part of Stopinski’s shop’s name: “Talulah’s Fancy.” She also sells other local artists’ designs, hence the reference “and Friends.” Stopinski’s own work is sold through her shop and website and at True Lily in Canandaigua and SJ’s Village Boutique in Pittsford.

In addition to designing her original line of women’s jewelry, handbags and other accessories, Stopinski also enjoys painting and mixed media assemblage. For her jewelry, she works with a variety of mediums from base metals to fine and sterling silver, incorporating an array of elements from semi-precious stones to vintage finds and mixed media. 

“Growing up within the nature setting that is the Finger Lakes Region has often been an inspiration to me,” says Stopinski. “Many of my designs are a direct result and nature is mimicked often or in some cases, physically incorporated into the process. For example, real leaves, flowers, twigs and etcetera have been utilized in my work.”

When creating for holidays, the artist often integrates a bit more “fancy” into her designs.

“I tend to add a little of the sparkle factor but as always, each and every piece is one-of-a-kind,” she says. 

Talulah’s Fancy and Friends
Lower Mill, Second Floor, 61 North Main Street, Honeoye Falls

Lisa Twombly

Estancia Designs, Marcellus

Born in Rochester, raised in Brockport and now living in Marcellus near Otisco Lake, Lisa Twombly has been creating jewelry for about 15 years. Twombly characterizes the last nine as “selling seriously” and working fulltime as in, “every minute of the day that I can.”

“Jewelry is my passion,” she says.

Twombly’s home studio is in her finished basement with a beautiful, serene backyard view. Her designs are a mix of one-of-a-kind statement pieces, limited edition and some quantity items. She uses a variety of techniques including metalsmithing, stone setting, wire wrapping, stringing and precious metal clay techniques.

The artisan sells her work from her website, on Etsy, wholesale through, at local shops (Craft Company No. 6 in Rochester, Imagine in Skaneateles, Bradley’s Jewelers in Liverpool, The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens gift shop in Buffalo, and Dansville ArtWorks) and at art shows including this year’s Holiday Bazaar at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (November 18-20).

“I have also literally sold pieces of my work right off of my body. The ultimate compliment!” says Twombly.  

Twombly’s designs are inspired both by her travels and the Finger Lakes region. One of her latest lines is a beach collection incorporating shells, pearls, Larimar and Iolite (a violet-blue stone known as “water sapphire”) influenced by vacations in the Outer Banks, Miami and Florida Keys. Grape-related pieces that reflect the bountiful wineries here include a fine silver grape cluster pendant and drop earrings with amethysts clustered to mimic grape bunches. 

“I find that people buying jewelry for gifts during the holidays like to have a full gift, a set of earrings plus necklace, so I tend to make more pieces that match,” says Twombly. She also creates a few sparkly items for festive holiday wear. Last year’s statement piece was a pendant with a large white druzy (tiny crystals over a mineral) resembling a glittering snowball. That’s cool!

Handcrafted Jewelry for the Holidays Hot New Info on the Artisans, Shops and Shows

(in order of article appearance)

Erica Bapst

Adorn Jewelry and Accessories
36 South Main Street, Canandaigua


Bill Coppard

Ithaca Farmers Market
Winter Location: The Space@GreenStar
701 West Buffalo Street, Ithaca

Dewitt Mall,
215 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca

Little Red Wagon Artisan Market


Pamela Nakoski

One Jane
28 South Main Street, Pittsford

Hopper’s Hills Floral & Gifts
3 East Main Street, Victor

Serendipity Boutique
446 Exchange Street, Geneva

Canandaigua Christkindl Market

Holiday Bazaar, Rochester Museum and Science Center, click “Programs & Events”


Tamara Stopinski

Talulah’s Fancy and Friends
Lower Mill, Second Floor, 61 North Main Street, Honeoye Falls

True Lily
83 South Main Street, Canandaigua

SJ’s Village Boutique
25 South Main Street, Pittsford


Lisa Twombly

Craft Company No. 6
785 University Avenue, Rochester 

38 East Genesee Street, Skaneateles

Bradley’s Jewelers 
309 Vine Street, Liverpool

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens gift shop
2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo

Dansville ArtWorks
178 Main Street, Dansville

Holiday Bazaar, Rochester Museum and Science Center, click “Programs & Events”


by Nancy E. McCarthy

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