Helen Chantler

helen_2013 Helen Chantler has always compulsively made things. Born in England, she spent her teenage years in South East Asia. Throughout her life, she traveled over much of the world, passionate in her quest to experience and understand diverse cultures that celebrate the human journey. She's always been drawn to art-- from the tribal to the finest masters. She moved to the US in 1981, and earned her degree in South Asian Studies and Cultural Sociology from the University of Wisconsin. She landed in Santa Fe in 1986, finding a job in one of Santa Fe's finest designer jewelry studios. From the day she started to learn basic bench skills, she had to make the pieces that she sketched out, and then sell her work to make a living. During this challenging time, she became a prolific, even frenetic designer. She learned quickly: always a new idea posing greater technical challenges. While employed, she was mainly working in a contemporary Southwestern style. Wanting to create pieces that reflected her own European roots, she started designing the initial Celtic line in 1994; and in 1995, formed her own company, Reflective Images. Today she remains the Creative Director. To Helen, jewelry is one of the most potent manifestations of culture. Helen has enjoyed designing in Celtic motifs particularly because of her love of pattern and tribal art and what it represents. As a designer, she has pushed far beyond the traditional reproductions of ancient designs, creating contemporary interpretations. Helen concern for the environment and human rights has made her an activist in the jewelry sector. Her company is perhaps the first company in the jewelry sector that is producing both in the US and internationally with 100% recycled precious metal. She lives with her husband, Marc Choyt, who as a co-owner of the company, focuses on marketing, website development and ethical sourcing issues. Together, they enjoy slow food, wilderness backpacking, travel, yoga, gardening and going to the local farmer's market. To see more of Helen's work, visit our other websites: www.carouselbeads.com and www.celticjewelry.com. To learn about how her companies' activism is supporting ethical jewelry sourcing and production, visit www.fairjewelry.org.

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