Stella Thalassa Jewelry

My Etsy store

My name is Amanda. I was born and raised in the Ocean State, in what is known as “The City-by-the-Sea” of Newport, Rhode Island. The longest I ever lived away from the coast was the semester I studied abroad in Rome, Italy during college. I chose the name Stella Thalassa because “stella” means “star” in Latin, and “thalassa” means “of the sea” in Greek. I am part Greek genealogically and have adored studying ancient Greek culture and mythology since childhood.

My father’s mother, the one who gave me my Greek blood, has always had a love for Ancient Egyptian art and history, which I also find fascinating. My mother’s mother was a beautiful “torch singer” who possessed a great passion and talent for fashion and design, which she also passed on to her two daughters. Stella Thalassa is my medium for combining all of these different elements in my life and ancestry: the ocean, design, ancient cultures, and more.

“Beading,” as I call it, is more than just a hobby for me: it’s a form of color therapy, as well as a puzzle. I have fun seeking out new components that speak to me. Sometimes, it can take me a very long time to find just the right placements and combinations for the various beads I use, and there is a great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when a necklace “comes together.” Often, it is an emotional process as much as it is a creative one. Different necklaces become the offspring of different moods that I find craving expression within myself.

I believe that true art, design, and creativity are all born from this place of tension and confrontation within the self: the space that exists between the vision and the tangible creation of that vision, whether it be through paint, charcoal, words, notes, ingredients, stone, metal, plants, or any other medium. I dislike the extent to which creativity has been coopted by industry in our modern day and age: where a unique design is cheaply replicated en masse by grossly underpaid laborers working in often horrific conditions, all so that the ones in control can turn a profit–most of which the original artist will never see. I see many people currently working to shift this trend through their own ethical and sustainable business practices, and it is my goal to contribute to this movement as much as I possibly can. I absolutely feel that the content and context going into the creation of an object imbue that object with the energy of that intention. HOW something is created, as well as WHY, makes a bigger difference than we may realize.

The beach in Matunuck, Rhode Island. February 2016
The beach in Matunuck, Rhode Island. February 2016

My goal is to avoid “selling out” and to keep as much artistic integrity and joy in my jewelrymaking process as possible. Each piece I make will automatically be imbued with my own personal aesthetic and creative vision, and I’m hopeful that these beads and colors and patterns will speak to people in the same language that they speak to me as I carefully decide which elements go in which place.

“Star of the Sea” is an ephithet belonging to both the Biblical Mary, Mother of Jesus as well as the mother goddess Isis of Egyptian mythology, whose name has, in recent times, received a very unfortunate association with forces that are just about antithetical to the deeper attributes of the archetypal feminine nature that these two figures represent. As a longtime lover of mysticism and the esoteric in all faiths, part of my objective is to help restore the feminine aspect to its rightful place in the world. Thank you for your time and your support.