Today we stand underneath the towering, glistening Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. The monument stands yards away from the Mississippi River.
The stainless steel, self-supporting structure stands 630 feet high, and was the brainchild of American-Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. Missouri is also the current hometown of featured jewelry designer Camille Peace.
Originally from San Diego, California, Peace began designing and creating jewelry in 2008 after some jewelry pieces she owned broke.
"In order to fix them I bought some basic tools, fixed my things, added new components," she says.
From there she established her company Peace Images, LLC. The twentysomething sociology student, and photographer is incredibly gifted and designs through pure intuition instead of sketching.
Her handmade jewelry designs are bold, imbued with cultural pride while also reflecting Peace's love of nature, color; and the personal styles of singers India Arie, Erykah Badu, and Jill Scott. "I often times purchase accessories from discount stores, break them apart to make new, original pieces."
Peace's jewelry designs each speak to the impact her surroundings have on her, "I feel everything and put it all into what I make," she says.
She incorporates a variety of materials, such as brass, 22-karat gold, sterling silver, cowhide, chunks of turquoise, freshwater pearls, and jasper to create stunning, original pieces.
Her range of items includes: a three-inch long, two-finger brass prowling cougar ring; brass Coffey Necklace and Earrings pay homage to screen siren Pam Grier who portrayed the title character in the 1973 feature film of the same name; eye-catching leaf earrings made with actual leaves; and a playful pendant necklace of Nefertiti wearing headphones.
There are also The Di's Elephant Earrings, inspired by a close friend's fascination with pachyderms that come in sterling silver or brass. There are Peacock Earrings made with real peacock feathers; Cowrie Shell Earrings hand painted in red , brown and cream; and The Marisas Earrings made with a hand painted Capiz shell overlaid with a hammered, brass disc.
Peace donates a portion of her sales to Thai Freedom House in Thailand, a non-profit organization that assists displaced families in Thailand, refugees from Burma, and Hill Tribe families.
Photo 1 (top right): Brass and Copper Selah Necklace
Photo 2 (center): Sunset Earrings with Brass, Baltic Amber and Comrie Shells
Photo 3 (bottom left): Brass Gold Coast Necklace