Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Votre Vray Creative Women Featured

Hello, and good day, creative folks. (With an extra prayer and blessing to all those in Ike's path.)

I'm happy to present more Votre Vray Creative Women today.

Colleen Bronstein
When a woman is told she will probably never have children, sometimes she feels a void, a creative space has been taken from her, and she must develop something personal to fill that place. This is how Colleen Bronstein came to the world of a metal smith.
Little did she know, she would be blessed with a daughter, Juliet, who is now a grown woman. Just when all seemed right in her creative world, Colleen was given a new hurdle. She was diagnosed with melanoma. It may not be a surprise to readers to know that she has a pool and has gone twice a year to the islands for years. Her love of the sun and disregard for sun safety nearly cost her no only her livelihood and recreational activities, but her life as well. Thankfully, she has been cancer free for some time now, and is checked twice a year for recurrence. “There is no reason anyone should get skin cancer,” she says. Her newer company Sunsafe Designs helps others remain skin cancer free.
Back in 2005, after her diagnosis and recovery, Colleen reevaluated the way she did her metal working. “I changed the entire process. I now carve the piece, send it to a caster, have it cast, and have the caster do the finishing.” Her reasoning? “I looked back at (my metal working) and thought there could be a connection to all the chemicals I use for my art and the processes that were used in school. Some used heated tar, and that was extremely toxic.”
So, what keeps her going? “As a parent, I wanted to spend as much time with my daughter as I could. I wanted to give her a parent, a mother at home, to be there for her.” As an artist, she was spurred on by her own determination to make it. “I’m a competitor. If I saw and opportunity to put myself out there, I did it.”
How does she interweave the world of a Sunsafe Clothing and sun safety advocate with her art? “My art has a new focus. The sun, sea and sand. It is connected to my passion. My new work is around those images including crabs, Irish moss, seaweed.”
As a creative woman, how does she recharge and have energy to move ahead? “My ideal, complete and total relaxation, is a beach chair, the beach, the ocean and a book.” In the end, her truest peace comes from knowing who she is, what she loves and what matters most to her. That’s all anyone could ever hope to achieve in a lifetime.

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