Press ~

Our Fine Feath­ered Friend”

pub­lished in The Cecil Guardian, Octo­ber 27, 2011
pho­tos and story by Bill Hughes
It would be amaz­ing to find out just how many Cecil Coun­tians own a piece of art made by mas­ter black­smith Alphon­sus Moolen­schot of Ris­ing Sun, MD. Wait, back up. It would be amaz­ing to find out how many Amer­i­cans own Moolen­schot hand forged designs includ­ing he and his daugh­ter Regina’s col­lab­o­ra­tive jew­elry. The efforts of his work are like no other and now his daugh­ter has spe­cial­ized in a craft all her own.
Keep­ing in the organic orna­men­tal realm, Regina Moolen­schot of Elk­ton, MD, col­lects her mate­r­ial nat­u­rally and after a tedious process, designs her find­ings into feath­ered ear­rings. “In cur­rent fash­ion, trends are a hot topic,” said Regina on Mon­day morning. “In my trav­els out West I whit­nessed how big feather fash­ion is and I too love it.  It gives the wearer a greater sense of sex appeal hav­ing this hint of feather float­ing around thier neck line.”
The style for what she wants to cre­ate is gen­uine while being con­scious of the price tag. “The con­cept I wanted was all nat­ural. I didn’t want dyed (feath­ers). I want peo­ple to rec­og­nize qual­ity and I want peo­ple to look at them with an art­ful eye. Qual­ity and art for a fair value. I’m proud to say, that it’s made in the USA.”
Her most com­mon sub­jects are pheas­ant, pea­cock, roost­ers and exotic chick­ens that she finds usu­ally after a bird loses feath­ers from a molt­ing process in which it loses the old ones. Her com­fort­able Elk­ton stu­dio is equipped with ster­ling sil­ver, gold-filled and nat­ural stones to accent her desir­able feather ear­rings.  By her side keep­ing her com­pany while she cre­ates, is her Aus­tralian cat­tle dog named Roo. “He’s my vel­cro, he clings to me.”
Two recent appear­ances locally paved the way for a new career path for her.  “I par­tic­i­pated in a cou­ple of local shows recently, The Palette & The Page in Elk­ton, MD and Paradocx Vine­yard in Lan­den­berg, PA where my unique feather ear­rings were a hit.  It clicked in me that I have some­thing here. Cur­rently, the major­ity of Jew­elry by Moolen­schots’ clien­tele are women 30 and above, now hav­ing the trendy feather ear­rings line we are mar­ket­ing to the younger generation.”
While out in pub­lic, she proudly wears her jew­elry cre­ations made together with her father. “It’s a great con­ver­sa­tion piece. I’m always telling peo­ple about the our jew­elry because they ask.
Regina doesn’t claim to be a birder, she is aware of thier song and pres­ence and has yet to see the new bird watch­ing movie “The Big Year” star­ring Steve Mar­tin, Jack Black and Owen Wil­son, but now she views them another way. “Like a painter who looks more intently at color, light and shape, that’s how I look at a bird. When I look at a bird, I look at them dif­fer­ently, I want its feathers!”
To learn more about the art of both Regina and her father Alphon­sus Moolen­schot, go to www.jewelrybymoolenschot.com.  The feather ear­ring line is cur­rently avail­able locally at Kathy’s Cor­ner Shop on 100 South Main St. in North East, MD and The Palette And The Page on 120 East Main St. in Elk­ton, MD. Jew­elry by Moolenschot’s next show where you can meet the artists is on Noven­ber 5th from 9am-5pm at the Har­ford Day School Art Fes­ti­val in Bel Air, MD.