Denise Etchison was raised on a farm in central Indiana, where she always felt an urge to make art. She spent many hours walking the corn rows searching for what some might call ordinary rocks, but she would call her "treasures". With a little care and polish she knew their beauty could be brought out. Early attempts at artwork were created from old fence wire and barn roofing found on the farm. Until 1996, she spent most of her professional life working in retail and merchandising while raising her daughter Calee. Then by chance she drove past the Indianapolis Art Center and saw a sign that said "register now for classes." Over the next few years she embarked on an artistic exploration of ceramics, steel sculpture, and then found the course of her true passion - jewelry design. She was fortunate enough to find encouraging teachers to mentor her in wire wrapping, glass fusing, metalsmithing, and stone inlay, forming the foundation of her training in jewelry fabrication. Lapidary work (the cutting and shaping of stones) and the creation of silver settings (called bezels) to place stones in has become her favorite form of design. It allows her to return to the earlier joy she found in collecting rocks and fossils, letting their naturally occurring patterns and geometry inspire her creations. In 2000, Denise began to give back to the community that encouraged her skills by becoming a jewelry instructor at the Indianapolis Art Center. She began to sell her artwork through retail venues and at art fairs. Through teaching and participation in art fairs she has been able to add the element of human interaction so important to inspiring a creative life. Denise loves seeing her students' eyes light up when they master a new skill, or speaking to someone who has found inspiration and joy in wearing her jewelry designs.