The Work We Do: Susan Pridham, Orenda

I’m Susan Pridham and I am 50 percent owner of Orenda and 100 percent owner of Blue Ruth Jewelry, which we sell here at Orenda.

I try to schedule some bench time to make sure that I’m making jewelry and trying to keep up with my stock but then there’s also just the daily routine of the store, customer service, getting orders in, pricing them, cleaning up and merchandising. Whatever you see people doing in a store, that’s what we do here.

As far as my metal work is concerned, what I do is cold forming, which means that I don’t use a torch.

So it’s basically going to be hammers and clippers and files and things like that.

One thing that I really like to make that people really enjoy are these handmade hair forks.

I’ve been doing jewelry now for probably almost 30 years and I got into it because originally I made printed circuit boards.

I saw something in a magazine that I really liked and I thought, ‘I can make that with the skills that I have.’ I went to a bead store, picked up some beads and I thought, there could be a future here.

It did take me a little while to really try to do it. I did it as a hobby for a while.

I did some shows with the tents outside and that was a lot of fun and then I was working with another gallery and it just came time for me to do my own thing. I opened Blue Ruth here eight years ago, and I was the entity at Blue Ruth. I knew a young lady in town that I really respected and really enjoyed working with. Her situation changed, and my situation changed, so we came together. Now we run Orenda together.

I also am kind of a puzzle solver and a color junkie, so I like to put colors together and a piece will just come out of it and the fact that it makes somebody happy — that’s terrific. So, that’s the best part of it.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing in Greenport. See photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.