Bensidoun French Market opens up its fifth yearPublished 10:53pm Thursday, May 20, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
“Oooo! That’s pretty,” a young woman says while gawking at a necklace from a jewelry vendor.
“Oooo” is an exclamation jewelry artisan Darlene Troyer loves to hear, and she heard quite a bit of it Thursday afternoon at the opening of the Bensidoun French Market in downtown Niles.
Troyer, an artist and owner of Magdalena Moon Jewelry in Jones, Mich., is a first-time vendor at the market, now in its fifth year.
“Lisa (Croteau) (Niles Downtown Development Association Director) has been after me for three years to come and this is the first year I’ve been able to,” she said.
And Troyer, who has been doing juried art shows for years, is certainly glad she got on board with the open-air market.
“I absolutely love it,” she said. “It’s totally different, because the people coming to art shows are in a hurry. They want to see everything. Whereas here it’s like a morning leisurely type of attitude.”
“I really enjoy talking to the people and hearing ‘ooooo,’” she said.
Troyer uses fine silver metal clays to create unique jewelry pieces.
“All of the silver is a pure, malleable form of silver,” she said, “so it allows me to paint it on things like pods or leaves and fire it in a kiln.”
When Troyer takes it out of the kiln, she is left with a shiny mirror image of the object.
She also sells pieces made with dichroic glass, gemstones, fused glass and other precious metals.
Troyer dabbled in many forms of art, including painting, quilting, pottery and photography, before discovering her passion for jewelry several years ago.
She now teaches classes at Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers and participates in juried art shows in the region.
More than a dozen other vendors were at the first day of the market that will run Thursdays and Saturdays through Oct. 2 at the corner of Front and Main streets.
The sunshine and warm temperatures brought quite a crowd all day Thursday, according to Lisa Croteau, director of the DDA.
For more information on Darlene Troyer and Magdalena Moon Artisan Jewelry, visit www.magdalenamoon.com. To find out more about the Bensidoun French Market, visit www.nilesmainstreet.org.