KEESEVILLE — At the age of 13, Tys Sweeney has taken a creative hobby and turned it into a profitable enterprise.
The Wilmington teen offered a diverse array of jewelry for sale through his business, Rubriataki Fused Glass Jewelry, at a recent holiday market in Keeseville.
He decided to start selling his creations three years ago when he had made too many pieces and needed something to do with them.
Jewelry, Sweeney said, “has a huge market.”
He built a website for himself, and then a friend offered a spot at a local craft fair, and the business took off. He now attends about five craft fairs a year.
In addition to creating the jewelry, he also invented the word Rubriataki, featured in his business name. He defines it as: “The beauty of the world expressed or reflected in miniature, often iconic form.”
The expanded version is: “The art of expressing or reflecting the world’s beauty and grandeur (either as a whole or a specific part) in miniature.”
His designs are inspired by nature and the modern world, Sweeney said.
He makes the jewelry by melting glass and fusing it together, coming up with new designs regularly, mainly through experimentation. For example, his Arctic series came about by adding hot glass to water, which creates a crackle effect.
For his business, he crafts a lot of the easier pieces, but he also makes some changes to his standbys for variety. Most of his pieces fall under a named series, and the individual offerings are also named. The name of each piece is unique and is one of the defining characteristics of the jewelry, Sweeney said.
Those names, he said, are either inspired by the piece itself or he already has a name in mind so he crafts the piece to fit it, according to his website.