'Much more than bling': Gulfport jewelry maker is passionate about design

Jan Lyon Bennett spends her days engraving and bezeling tokens, necklaces, bracelets – even compasses and whistles. She works with many types of jewelry, but her passion is in the designs.

"My biggest thing is design, seeing them come to life," she explained. 

The Gulfport resident is always creating new pieces in her workshop, for her company Sun Lyon Studio. She loves to share that jewelry can be "much more than bling." 

"I come from a long line of journalists and writers, and it just turned out that developed into putting images and words and messages into the jewelry," Bennett said. "I found that I really loved stamping and engraving messages or images because jewelry has a meaning. We all need reminders. We buy it for reminder, as a gift, a special occasion."

Bennett also loves to mix metal with one of the ocean’s oldest products, sea glass. She loves the old, hand-blown glass, thrown overboard from ships and then tumbled and tossed by the ocean's waves. 

"They've been washed and tumbled by the sea in the sand for years, so they just have this really cool effect to them, soft but hard and historical value to them," Bennett said. 

She thinks sea glass is more beautiful than a diamond. Whether it’s sea glass or another mixed medium piece, Bennett loves the anticipation of unveiling a new finished product. 

"I can't wait, it's like a kid at Christmas," she said. "It’s so much fun to share it. That's why I do what I do."

To learn more and see her designs, visit https://sunlyonstudio.com/.