Esther B. Blackburn, jewelry designer, teacher

Esther B. Blackburn, 84, who taught silver jewelry design in the Washington area for more than five decades, died Jan. 24 at a hospital in Baltimore.

She had a stroke, said her husband, Charles A. “Al” Blackburn.

For most of her career, Mrs. Blackburn worked from a studio at her home in Columbia. In the early 1950s, she taught jewelry design at a YWCA in the District. She moved to Catonsville, Md., upon her retirement about a decade ago.

In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Blackburn exhibited her work at venues including the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and numerous festivals in the Columbia area.

Esther Miriam Breckenridge was a native of Grinnell, Iowa, and a 1951 home economics graduate of Iowa State University.

She did volunteer work through the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a women’s organization, and sang in the choir for many years at Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church in Columbia. Her memberships included the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths and the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women.

Besides her husband of 60 years, of Catonsville, survivors include two sons, Bruce F. Blackburn of Trumansburg, N.Y., and Dr. Robert L. Blackburn of Wexford, Pa.; a twin sister; a brother; and two grandchildren.

— Emily Langer