Sheila Finn is an actress who sculpts, or a sculptor who acts. Either way, she also makes jewelry. Her silver-wave and shell-inspired designs, some of which she originally made as crystal sculpture for Daum in Paris, have one thing in common, she says. They're graceful.
"I like simple clothes and bold jewelry with very natural lines," Finn says. She found the word to describe her style when she showed her work to the popular New York jeweler Robert Lee Morris. "He complained that mine are too feminine," she says. "But I didn't change what I do. I think women should look feminine. I don't like androgyny."
Finn never goes out without her necklace. She made her first one between takes in her earliest acting days. "There's a lot of waiting time in movie making," she says. You might not recognize the names of her biggest hits. They are short films in museum collections, a '60s cult classic "Hallelujah the Hills" by Adolfas Mekas and some French, feature-length TV movies. (She lived alternately in Paris and the United States for years.)
She keeps all of her jewelry designs in her current collection, but she's added big, silver, cabbage-rose earrings and horn-shape seashells and bracelets like spiraling snail shells this season. She says some women like glitz better. But she likes plain metal because it ages naturally and it's meant to last.
"Jewelry should be beautifully designed, kept and handed down through families," she says. "You never get tired of beauty."
She is presenting her silver designs at Saks in Beverly Hills today and Saturday.