By Cady Kuzmich
Round Lake — Kim Sheridan-Dugmore grew up in Brooklyn making daisy chains and painting rocks with her mother, Mue. Her father Peter was an architect in the big city. “He had lots of books on mid century modern architecture around the house all the time. He build models of homes on his drafting table,” Sheridan-Dugmore recalled. Design has been calling to her from the beginning.
When her parents decided to move upstate to a small village called Round Lake, she decided to stay in the city. Having always been “a maker,” Sheridan-Dugmore was intent on making it in the world of design. She worked as a decorator for well-known celebrity clients for a while. “My husband likes to say, “She did meet Matt Damon once but she still chose me!” Sheridan-Dugmore laughed.
“Design was just part of my life,” she said over a cup of coffee, sitting in the living room of her Round Lake home built in 1878. She made the move up north about 10 years ago when her eldest son, Eli, was five.
“We’re here and we’re not leaving,” she said. She continued commuting down to the city for awhile but eventually came to the conclusion that she couldn’t work, commute that far and raise a child all at the same time.
Now, she lives just around the corner from her parents and she’s remarried. Sheridan-Dugmore met her husband, Tim, in Saratoga nine years ago. They have four kids altogether. Tim’s eldest daughter Molly, 23, is soon to be off in the world according to Sheridan-Dugmore while his other daughter Emelia, 20, is off studying at Buffalo State. Sheridan-Dumore’s eldest son Eli, 15, would like to go to RPI one day. The couple’s youngest son, Jonah, is five.
While a lot has changed since those daisy-chain making days in Brooklyn, some things remain the same. Sheridan-Dugmore and her mom are still in the business of creating art together — but this time they’ve turned their art into a business.
The two have started their own jewelry line called The Quiet Woods. The mother-daughter duo has been turning delicate pieces of sterling silver into unique necklaces and earrings for five years now. “Mom and I, together, it’s a partnership,” said Sheridan-Dugmore. She said they’re basically self-taught, with the exception of one class they took in the beginning for some basic understanding.
Her mother worked as a dental hygienist. For years she was tasked with the intricate work of probing inside people’s mouths with fine dental instruments, so working on a very small scale with jewelry is “not dissimilar” according to Sheridan-Dugmore.
The idea for The Quiet Woods came to fruition five years ago after Sheridan-Dugmore had her second son, Jonah, and decided she needed to make time for her creative endeavors. “I didn’t want to go back to the corporate life. I wanted to do something creative,” she said. Sheridan-Dugmore now works in municipal government as a treasurer in the mornings and concentrates on The Quiet Woods later in the day. While she noted The Quiet Woods isn’t a full time gig, she admits she’s always thinking about it in some way.
While Sheridan-Dugmore is at work in the morning, her mother can likely be found working away on new pieces for the Quiet Woods at her kitchen table.
Around Sheridan-Dugmore’s neck rested one of her own necklaces which had 23 pieces of fine silver fringe. “Every piece of silver is cut, filed, sanded and brushed with steel wool,” she said.
Their work could be described as delicate yet somehow industrial — but never ordinary. She said she’s always been drawn to lines, repetition and architecture. Some of her designs might be inspired by nature while others might be rooted in a highrise apartment building.
“I draw from architecture and different naturalistic shapes. I love rust, scrapings on metal, I love it,” she said. She described her jewelry as simple and wearable with an edge. “I don’t want it to be common,” she said.
The name “The Quiet Woods” came from a nearby forested area where Sheridan-Dugmore’s brother used to take her son Eli for walks. On one of their first walks through the woods outside the village, Eli kept talking about how great the woods were and his uncle hushed him, saying, “This is the quiet woods,” turning the spot into a sort of sacred, mystical place.
The Quiet Woods jewelry is being sold at a number of local shops including the Vischer Ferry General Store, Red Wolf in Saratoga Springs, Valley Artisans in Cambridge, Deadwood Mountain Trading Co. in Warrensburg, Nest in Narrowsburg, The Albany Airport and The Artisan Gallery in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Quiet Woods can also be found on Etsy, on their website and on Instagram.
The first year was a lot of trial and error while the the four years since has been about perfecting their craft — distilling their best pieces, according to Sheridan-Dugmore.
“I’m never going to be trendy. I’m not going to look to see which colors are in style. This transcends that,” she said.