Debbie Kashdan’s Lapidary And Silver Metal Creations Showcase A Lifetime Of Creativity Bringing Her Medical Background To Wearable Art. Announcing Valentine’s Day Special Plus Cabochon Clasps For Jewelry Makers

When you see Debbie Kashdan‘s one-of-a-kind silversmith or lapidary wearable-art pieces, you instinctively know that years of creative commitment are shining through!  Her fingers went from childhood designs to caring for people as a surgical Physician’s Assistant both in the US and abroad. Her jewelry seen at EarthlyTreasuresbyDK are a composite of her medical and lapidary training!  The Rickie Report shares an inspiring conversation with Debbie and some sneak peeks of her jewelry pieces.  Debbie is offering a Special for Valentine’s Day which is around the corner!  Debbie also sells cabochons and unique box clasps with stones for jewelry artists.  Custom orders are welcome!












One-of-A-Kind Necklaces by Debbie Kashdan using Lapidary and Silversmith techniques



TRR: Please tell us the intriguing story of childhood creativity. 



I have always liked to work with my hands to make things. I can recall as a small child, collecting acorns in the fall and making dolls with acorns and toothpicks. I learned from friends and relatives to knit and crochet and sew, and instead of playing with my dolls, I knit sweaters for them. I have always enjoyed being a doer rather than an observer. I began studying the flute in elementary school and, later on, I took up the cello also. Even now, though I greatly admire and enjoy musical performances, l prefer playing music to listening to it, (though generally frustrated by my inability to emulate the musicians I so admire.) And when the case cover of my cello became tattered, I became probably the only cellist in Florida with a cello case matching my kitchen upholstery!


One-of-A-Kind Handmade necklaces by Debbie Kashdan



TRR:  How did your medical career dovetail with this creative ingenuity?


I followed in the footsteps of my father, a physician, into the medical field and for more than 30 years worked as a physician assistant. My first position after PA School was as a surgical PA. I found that I enjoyed both the technical and intellectual skills of surgery. I subsequently got more into the internal medicine side of things, but, throughout various positions, my physician-employer almost always delegated any technical or surgical or wound care procedures to me. 



In 1994 I spent a year in Kenya as medical director at a rural outpatient clinic, with few facilities and myriad challenges. This experience, among  many other things, stretched my ability to find creative solutions to problems with only limited available resources.  





One-of-A-Kind Earrings by Debbie Kashdan

TRR:  How did you shift your interests once you retired?



After returning to the US in 1995, I resumed working as a PA in Florida, retiring in 2012. Needing to find creative outlets and keep my hands busy, I joined a local orchestra and I also took an introductory course in beading. The beading, again utilized some of the technical skills I learned in surgery.  Then I decided to try silversmithing and enrolled in the Boca Raton Museum Art School. Encouraged by my first teacher, the unforgettable Don Dietz, I learned not only the basic skills of a silversmith, but also learned to cut stone cabochons.  At this point I was hooked.  Since that time I have been working in my home studio and have taken additional instruction at the Armory Art School, William Holland School of Lapidary Science and Jewelry Arts in Georgia, and of course, online.  


One-of-A-Kind handmade Bracelets by Debbie Kashdan




TRR:  How do you envision ordinary objects into wearable art pieces which may come from family heirlooms?



 I am always working on improving my skills to come up with creative solutions.  Several years ago, looking for a cost effective source of metals, and  also to repurpose outdated materials, I created many pieces of jewelry using metal up-cycled from vintage silver plated brass or copper trays. Presently, I am working mostly with sterling silver and semiprecious stone cabochons which I cut and polish in my shop. I am trying to incorporated some precious stones and a little gold into my work now, which has necessitated my learning to fabricate the delicate settings which such work entails.  As everything, it is a work in progress! 



Although I enjoy the technical challenges in crafting jewelry, I am also fascinated by the multitudes of ways jewelry making has increased my appreciation of the beauty of the  metals and stones I have learned about and worked with. My joy is enhanced by providing people with wearable art which they feel adds a measure of beauty to their lives. Best of all is when I work collaboratively with customers to create unique one-of-a-kind pieces.  Creating wearable art has been a labor of love.




One-of-A-Kind Cabochon Clasps and Polished Cabochons



TRR:  How do you collaborate with other jewelers



My children joke that I have come a long way from stringing soybeans to creating unique wearable art!  In addition to fabrication of metal jewelry, I cut and polish designer cabochons for use by other jewelry artists in their work, and also make unique 3-strand  box clasps utilizing some of the stone cabochons.  



TRR:  How do you network with other creatives?  Do you offer classes?


I am a member of the Gem and Mineral Society of the Palm Beaches, and have taught some introductory silver-smithing courses both at their shop in Lake Worth, and also at Betty Wilson’s Craft Gallery.  Pre-Covid, I offered one-on-one teaching in my studio.  I currently belong to several FB Jewelry and Lapidary Groups, including  Aspiring Metalsmiths, Sisterhood of Metalsmiths. 

One-of-A-Kind Rings by Debbie Kashdan



TRR:   Where can we find your one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art?  


The Craft Gallery in West Palm Beach has some of my pieces. Contact Betty Wilson for gallery information: 561.762.8162.  I also sell out of my studio and take payment by credit card or PayPal.  I am more than happy to take commissions and welcome custom orders.


For more information about Deborah’s jewelry:




For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986