By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Pendants come in all shapes and sizes. They may be made from gold, silver or platinum. They may contain precious gems or be created from cloth. Some are a combination of many different mediums.
Catherine Tetrault has gone a step further and makes her pendants from spiderwebs.
While a spiderweb appears to be of flimsy construction, attested to by many who just sweep them away, they have tested to be 10 times stronger than a steel strand of the same weight.
Tetrault, who lives in Pierz, takes spiderwebs she finds in her backyard and places them between good-sized panes of glass. One piece of glass is colored, the other clear. She said she likes black glass best for it better shows off the spiderwebs. But she also works with red, green and blue glass.
Those panes are fired at high temperatures until the glass melts, fusing them together.
The result is a perfect spiderweb forever preserved in glass. With her professional eye capturing the best of each spiderweb, she cuts the glass in various sizes. Some pieces are long and thin, while others are completely square. Some are triangles, others more rectangle.
Tetrault began working with spiderwebs in 2009.
“I was seeing so much repetition in this type of jewelry, that I wanted to discover something new, something more creative, something wilder,” she said.
Tetrault has been creating jewelry since she was 8 years old and has been firing glass for the last 25 years. She had a stained glass shop in Little Falls for several years, but closed it when her son John was born. He has now joined the business as her website designer and marketing manager.
But spiderwebs are not the only medium that catches her eye. She also works with graffiti designs, using the same process with the fusion of glass. Tetrault’s unique designs are painted with glass enamel and platinum.
She also does metal-point designing, drawing with the point of a metal stylus to create her designs. Those are also put between two panes of glass.
All C. Tetrault bails are sterling silver.
Her jewelry may be found locally at Great River Arts Association on First Street Southeast in Little Falls.