Jewelry designer from Castle Pines featured at DIA
Castle Pines jewelry designer Tracy Graef at work in her home studio. Graef’s work is featured in Handmade Colorado at DIA through March 31.
Article and photo by Lisa Crockett
Tracy Graef, a jewelry designer who works out of her Castle Pines home, is featured in Handmade Colorado, a special exhibit at Denver International Airport (DIA), which features several Colorado-based artists.
“Handmade Colorado celebrates craft-centric mediums and highlights the significance of the artisan to the culture of Colorado,” said Erin Mulrooney, coordinator of the art and culture program at DIA. “We hope passengers will be delighted and inspired by the creativity featured in the exhibition.”
The exhibition features a vast array of items — messenger bags, pencil cases, hand-carved spatulas, wooden “peg” dolls, coiled yarn baskets, and even hand-crafted paper made from recycled materials. Graef’s exhibit showcases her clean, spare creations, which are designed and produced, solely by her, from sterling silver.
“I’m a minimalist at heart,” said Graef. “I made some jewelry for fun when I was in college and started again five years ago as a hobby. I found that most commercial jewelry was more adorned than I liked, so I made things that appealed to me. Pretty soon, I decided to try to sell some of what I was making and my business started.”
That minimalist approach, as well as her production methods, are what set Graef apart from other jewelry designers in the state and are what earned her a spot at the DIA show.
“Tracy’s work is uniquely appropriate for Handmade Colorado because her perfectly-formed, clean, modern pieces are achieved by hand with the most basic of tools – namely, the hammer,” said Mulrooney.
After opening her online Etsy shop four years ago (named Lime Green Modern for her favorite color and her design sensibility), Graef’s business immediately began to grow and quickly went international. She regularly ships about a fifth of her orders to countries outside the United States.
Fans closer to home can find Graef’s creations at the Four Seasons Marketplace (in the Safeway Shopping Center) in Castle Pines. As for the DIA show, Graef enjoys being in the company of other artists and seeing her work displayed to a larger audience.
“It was amazing to see the display at the airport,” said Graef. “It’s satisfying to create something and I loved seeing it so beautifully presented.”
Graef’s designs can be viewed and purchased at the Four Seasons Marketplace in Castle Pines or via Graef’s Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/limegreenmodern.
Handmade Colorado is at DIA in Ansbacher Hall (walkway from the Jeppesen Terminal to the A Gates/Bridge Security Checkpoint) through March 31. For more information, visit www.handmadecolorado.org.