Binding Arts

Binding Arts




There's now an ENTIRE WEBSITE dedicated to my three jewelry lines! View, shop and shmooze at

The Grande Dames of the Grand Concourse

They came through Ellis Island and settled around the Bronx’s main thoroughfare: the Grand Concourse.  If you were around back then saw my relatives, you’d swear some of them never

left the old country while others couldn’t assimilate fast enough.

This line is dedicated to these Grande Dames of the Grand Concourse: some who I only know through faded photographs and stories and the others whose pinch on my cheek or smell of their apartments in anticipation of any event I will never forget.



It was these celebrations that always joined us together and it is the rituals I remember and miss

most. My earliest recollections were watching my mother, her mother & aunts cook for days and

nights filling the kitchen, dining room & fire escapes with platters of food.   When the cooking

was done, the kitchen cleaned, the tables set... they were permitted to focus some attention

on themselves: henna rinses, curling irons, tight braids, polished nails…perhaps to make

themselves feel as beautiful as they were.










The finishing touch was always the jewelry.   I was mesmerized by the transformation when

a brooch was pinned to a dress, a necklace draped on a neck or by the “snap” of a clip-on


The wearer paused, slowly touched the piece (I thought this was the part that passed along

some magic powers although, looking back, they both shined) took a final look into the

mirror, smiled gently to the image and began to glow as she left her bedroom and headed

down the hall to greet her guests. Even the shortest woman standing 4'10 walked a little taller.











As I collected vintage pieces to create them, some pieces triggered instant memories.

For others it was completed and had to sit for awhile before she came to me. And still others

I started with the intention to create a piece specifically for one of the

The Grande Dames of the Grand Concourse.

Similar pieces can be commissioned. Please contact me.



As you wear this I hope you feel that transformative magic and when you look in the mirror

may you see your beauty shine a little brighter.



Story Book Series


Everybody has a story. I carried mine around until it could no longer be contained,

becoming an "in your face" issue. And since it's not my style to wear my heart on my

sleeve, I wrote it down, pounded on some copper (that really felt good) and hung it around

my neck.*  The results? Another popular piece of jewelry. Each one is one of a kind and

made to order.  The chain, not shown, features charms, beads and found objects to

compliment the story.


Story Books begin at $295. To start a conversation about yours, please contact me.



You can:

1)  Wear my story about baptismal by a wave while body surfing

versus baptismal by a preacher. (Using the same text, I will make

a similar book/necklace. Please remember that each piece is a

unique work incorporating found objects. Each finished Story

Book is signed and tagged--please see NOTE after Urban Totem Series.)  

2) Share your story to be made into a very personal book or

3) Work with me to find and express yours.

And yes, I can add photos.

*  I learned how to make this from artist Nina Bagely.




DFB City Street Gems

From the time New Yorkers take our firststeps, we are continually reminded to watch them. There are broken sidewalks, gaps between platforms and trains, and sewer grates that grab your heels. Our second lesson is "hurry up!" as we are pulled into the bustle of the city. But when we do, we often miss the jangles and thumps as small objects fall from our pockets and hit the pavement. 

I have long collected lost items and imagined the stories behind them.  What door did this key open? Was this heart-shaped charm a gift?  To whom and for what occasion? I've gathered these objets d'art - and even added some of my own totems and whatnots, such as the jacks I played with on the stoop in Canarsie - as the focal points, the creative sparks for my jewelry lines.

If you appreciate authenticity in adornment and believe we are bound together through each others’ stories order your own DFB City Street Gems at



Collage Pins

Now you can where your heart on your sleeve.  Each is a one of a kind, original collage. There are about 75 to chose from so we need to talk about colors, themes, preferences, etc. before I can narrow down the selection for you. Prices range from $18-22 plus shipping (USPS). Email me, if interested.


Direct inquiries and orders to Debra.


Copyright 2008
Debra Fink Bachelder
Amaze Yourself