Painted Clasp: Jewelry for Cancer Patients & Survivors

Two sisters make bracelets to help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Painted Clasp will be at Clay Coyote Pottery in Hutchinson as a featured artist for the annual show October 11-13.

The thought of cancer is enough to shut some people down, but Emily Hedberg, of Carver, found a way to use what she learned through her experience with cancer to help others on the same journey. For two years, as Hedberg, battled cancer through chemotherapy treatments, she found herself with hours of unstructured time to fill. Her sister, Katy Smith, was Hedberg’s chemo buddy, keeping her company during the long hours. The two women had made jewelry together as young girls, so one day Smith brought supplies for making jewelry, and the women had something to occupy themselves while they waited. Hedberg also worked with a music therapist during treatments, and the therapist encouraged her to think of an image that would help her heal. Hedberg started visualizing a nest, and as an artist and art educator, she painted the nest to help her visualize it. Eventually Hedberg got the idea of painting the nest on a 1.5 cm square of paper and mounted it on a bracelet. But Hedberg and Smith didn’t stop there. By working with the therapist, they learned of other patients’ special images. Hedberg would paint them and the women would mount them into bracelets and give the bracelets anonymously with the help of the therapist.Several months ago, the sisters turned their good deed into a business called the Painted Clasp. They sell the bracelets ($75 for a pre-made bracelet; $95 for a custom bracelet), and for each bracelet they sell, they donate a bracelet to a cancer patient undergoing treatment at a local hospital.