Recycled-jewelry designer honored in Philly

Local jewelry designer gets top award at 2011 NICHE Awards

Geralyn Sheridan’s eco-friendly wedding ring placed in the top 5 at the 2011 NICHE Awards in Philadelphia

Geralyn Sheridan’s eco-friendly wedding ring placed in the top 5 at the 2011 NICHE Awards in Philadelphia

PHOTOs Courtesy of geralyn sheridan

Sheridan’s niche
Local jewelry designer Geralyn Sheridan, of AicoraGems “Jewelry Box” Gallery (1334 Mangrove Ave., 809-1034), is known for her eco-friendly pieces featuring recycled gold and silver. Recently, Sheridan’s “Two Joined as One” wedding ring, which she created for a customer from all recycled materials—gold and an heirloom diamond—was chosen to be among five finalists in the wedding-ring category at the 2011 NICHE Awards, held at the Buyer’s Market of American Craft (BMAC) show in Philadelphia on Feb. 18. Trade publication NICHE magazine started the prestigious competition in 1989 “to celebrate excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft,” as its website,, puts it.

“This ring was made with 100 percent gold from the family [I was designing the ring for], as well as the diamond being a family heirloom,” Sheridan told me before she left for Philly. “I like to say it is recycling at its finest.”

While Etienne Perret’s “Orange Diamond Ceramic Engagement Ring” ended up being the winner, Sheridan was thrilled to have made it into NICHE’s top five. “Hi, Christine,” she wrote in an e-mail over the weekend. “I am busy at the show! I did not win. But I am so happy to have been chosen as a finalist with such terrific jewelry designers. I am in awe of such talent around me at the show!”

“Perma-what?” Less hair gel, more dirt, son.

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GRUB workshops
Local food cooperative/CSA GRUB (1525 Dayton Road) is hosting a series of organic workshops. Following its recent workshop on growing grapes will be world-traveled permaculture-design consultant Cathé Fish’s Backyard Permaculture Gardening workshop, Feb. 27, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“Permaculture provides a framework for consciously designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature,” said a recent GRUB press release. “These systems yield an abundance of shelter, water, energy and food for the provision of local needs that provide diversity, stability and resilience for local populations.”

“The word permaculture is the blending of permanent agriculture, as well as permanent culture,” wrote Shannon Rooney in a 2009 CN&R piece (“Landscapes for Life,” Sept, 17, 2009). “The practice is an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies.”

Coming up March 20: Local beekeeper/honey producer/musician Mike Wofchuck’s Introduction to Beekeeping. Cost of each GRUB workshop is $12. Go to for more info.

GMO petition
As I wrote in a recent column (“GMOs gone wild,” Feb. 10), the USDA recently OK’d the unrestricted planting of genetically modified alfalfa, “in the absence of sound science to prove that contamination can be prevented or that it is safe for human health or the environment,” as the Center for Food Safety put it. If you want to make your voice heard on this subject, and let dairies know you do not want to buy milk from cows that have been fed with GM alfalfa, sign the petition at (click on link that reads “Tell U.S. Dairies You Don’t Want GE [genetically engineered] Alfalfa”).