Terry Strickland has been setting up his booth on the Boothbay Common with the Arts & Crafts Show for the better part of two decades. He is well known for his well-priced silver bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Silversmithing, and being a Mainer, are Strickland’s second act.
He hails from the leatherstocking region of upstate New York where he raised his family just outside Cooperstown. He had a successful career in pathology at the award-winning Bassett Hospital when a divorce left him ready to reinvent himself. Strickland discovered silversmithing through a class at a nearby arts center and started making and selling his silver jewelry.
This was about 25 years ago, and the internet was just coming into everyday life. Strickland explained that he went online looking for a pen pal and received responses from “some crazy women in Texas looking to leave their husbands, a practicing witch in Salem, Massachusetts and a lady in Maine who said she’d write to me if I was nice.” He started writing to that lady in Maine.
For the next six years, Strickland found himself travelling back and forth to Old Town nearly every weekend. Finally, he proposed and asked his new love what sort of ring she would like. According to Strickland, “like every true Mainer she said she really preferred a new snowblower. It turns out that really was a gift for me since after getting married and moving to Old Town permanently I’m the one using the snowblower!”
Strickland’s Karrottop Jewelry is named for his two red-headed daughters. Each piece is crafted by hand using a variety of hammering and weaving techniques. Although he attends about a dozen other shows around Maine, Boothbay is among his favorites. “When I come to Boothbay, I get to meet people from all over the world.”
Although shoppers will find bracelets, earrings and other pieces in his booth, he enjoys crafting rings the most. Recently, he was asked to design both a mountain ring and a wave ring. “Wouldn’t you know it, the people who wanted the wave ring were from the mountains of North Carolina and the ones wanting the mountain ring were from the coast of Maine.”
You can meet Strickland at the last 2019 Arts & Crafts Show on the Boothbay Common on Sept. 21 and 22 or find him online at karrottop.com