Each month, Caribbean Queen at the Palm Beach Plaza Mall honors one local female artist who lives and creates here. The Caribbean Queen program was launched when the store opened in late 2011, and has been running successfully ever since.
For the month of October 2015, local artist Abigail Peterson is the boutique's celebrated Caribbean Queen, showcasing her charming handcrafted jewelry line.
Born in Aruba, Abigail Peterson is a student at Colegio E.P.I., a professional intermediate school of economics. In addition to studying full-time, she has been training at Aruban glass studio Terrafuse, perfecting her flameworking techniques.
She signed up at the studio for a long weekend of glass beadmaking in April of 2013. She had to take two buses from her home in San Nicholas to the studio in Noord, then walk another mile, but it was all worth it, as she has since fallen in love with glass and is planning on taking it as far as she can.
At Terrafuse, Abigail trained in flameworking techniques, creating a lot of different glass beads; she also mastered the art of glassblowing. Teachers Ciro and Marian Abath of Terrafuse, as well as other established international glassblowers, contributed greatly to her knowledge. With support from the local art and culture fund, UNOCA, she also took classes from a German flameworker last year.
With the assistance of the Terrafuse team and UNOCA, Abigail became a trainer herself in her hometown, as she helped set up a small studio at Scol di Arte in San Nicholas, equipped with three torches and basic equipment. Together, Terrafuse and Abigail trained more than 80 local youngsters, 14 and up, in the first steps of working with hot glass. Abigail hopes to be able to run the San Nicholas studio on her own one day.
Caribbean Queen earmarks a percentage of all sales for its Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World) program. The collected funds are given quarterly to local not-for-profit organizations in an ongoing effort to serve the community. All the foundations served with donations from Caribbean Queen are dedicated to the promotion of art and artisan education on the island.
Enjoy unique glasswork by Abigail—including a menagerie of fish, ducks, frogs, owls, and turtles as well as jewelry made with unique beads—throughout the month of October, and drop in to witness a live demonstration of her craft at the boutique on the third Thursday of the month in the evening hours.