About Suzanne Storms

Suzanne Storms, VHJ

Your Horses Hair Made Into Fine Jewelry

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November 2005 marks the end of the forth year that Suzanne Storms has been exhibiting her exquisite line of horsehair jewelry. During this very brief period she has designed and produced the most elegant art collection of horsehair jewelry in the world. Her weaving is accomplished with the traditional methods used by Victorian women in the 19th century. The art form was forgotten and to this day there are no comprehensive instructions for weaving hair.

Suzanne attends about 12 equine events each year where she displays her entire collection consisting of bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces and pins. This collection has created a great deal of excitement with equine enthusiast since nothing like this has been created for more than 100 years. At the events you have the opportunity to see and purchase horsehair jewelry and relish the prospect to have a treasured piece of art made from the hair of a devoted friend. Of course not many people bring their horse's hair to events but they can mail it to Suzanne with an order form that is available through this website or from her brochure.

Suzanne was actively engaged in reenacting the American Civil War for about nine years and stopped in 2001 because of her very busy schedule designing and producing her beautiful collection. She portrays a woman of this period (1861-1865) and dressed in authentic period clothing that she has either made using patterns or has modified from purchased items. At the Civil War events Suzanne gave hairwork demonstrations to spectators. She has also demonstrated hairwork for schools, historical societies and in museums. She was featured by a local TV cable network and has also been photographed several times by regional newspapers. Articles were written about her which appeared in several equine publications including one in Italy. In August 2000 Suzanne submitted three pieces of her hair jewelry and was awarded first place in the "Adult Home Economics Show" in the "Miscellaneous Category" at the New Jersey State Fair. She was also selected out of 4000 applicants to display her art form for a six-month period at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison, New Jersey.

Soon after becoming a reenactor Suzanne became interested in hair jewelry to wear with her apparel at events. She began to acquire some beautiful items that provided insight into table weaving and assembled them into a modest collection. She became intrigued with this art form and was curious as to how such intricate patterns were achieved. Suzanne joined an organization called The Victorian Hairwork Society whose members are primarily interested in collecting and/or selling hairwork than weaving. Surprisingly, there are no current publications available to teach someone the art of hairwork. Existing historical literature have instructions where much of the technical descriptions are either missing or difficult to understand. By trial and error, Suzanne was able to produce many of the patterns typical of the period and she even developed several new patterns. Each article requires considerable set-up time and takes many hours to weave. Only a few society members are creating items in different forms such as platte-worked and table-worked. Suzanne concentrates almost exclusively on table-worked jewelry since it offers unlimited creativity.

Suzanne made her own hairwork table, which is necessary in order to weave, and it is identical to the type used by the old masters. Most of her weaves are made using horsehair because it is very strong and more resistant to abuse. American manufacturers and master jewelers follow Suzanne's specifications to make the findings and models for her elegant jewelry.

Suzanne current collection consists of over 80 beautiful pieces and is growing. The design of this superb collection was a monumental task and took only one year to accomplish. She is also constantly upgrading existing items and has produced many custom pieces made with precious stones or heirlooms. Most jewelry is made with 18k yellow gold, white gold or platinum set with diamonds, pearls, and/or gemstones.

Please call or send an email if you have any questions