Friday, October 28, 2011

Memorable Jewelry by Lucia Antonelli

There are moments in life
when one sees an image and that image
lingers forever in one's memory.
One of those iconic moments
occurred several years ago when I saw a
cover of Ornament Magazine
featuring work by Lucia Antonelli.
That image stays with me to this day.

I was instantly smitten
by elegant design
and abundant detail.
All of her work is just as
 opulent and elaborate as this.
With harmonious color selections
 and detailed textures, the eye can't help but
dance around her necklaces.

In many of her pieces she allows
 color to take a supporting role as she
encourages texture to take the mainstage.

This is best seen in her necklaces that
 incorporate a labyrinthine
braid-within-a-braid effect.

On the other hand, when color does take centerstage,
this artist tends to work with warm tones -
golds, coppers, bronzes.
They add richness and depth to her work
and radiate a mellow, burnished glow.

She also adds delicious tidbits of visual intrigue
by including splashes of pearls
and dashes of gemstones.

Truly, each multi-strand piece
dramatizes energy and movement.

This broad variety of effects all come together
to create pieces with a lot of visual and
tactile appeal.

All that textural design is rather
sweeping and majestic.
And difficult to resist.

No wonder that original image
from so long ago
resides in my memory.
And always will.

You can see more of these pieces
at the artist's website.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Romance in Metal - Valerie Ostenak Jewelry

Sometimes I dream about
the gorgeous jewelry created
Her work is so beautiful
it takes my breath away and
 sets my unconscious mind
into overdrive. 
It's easy to interpret my dreams --
I want to wear this jewelry!


Fluid and flowing designs are
brought to life in metal.
Her collections celebrate
the contours and shapes suggested by all sorts
 of complex forms found in nature,
such as raging rivers, swaying branches
and delicate tendrils of flowers.
Also, one can see Art Nouveau
influences in her work.

Her Elemental Collection features
silver, argentium silver, 14k gold, freshwater pearls,
gemstones and Swarovski crystals
in myriad curvilinear designs.

Each piece overflows with movement and energy
and an enchanting play of light on metal.

Skilled as both a blacksmith
and as a metalsmith she combines techniques
from both disciplines
to create this sculptural jewelry.


In her Garland Collection she incorporates
freshwater pearls, glass and/or Swarovski crystals,
silver and/or 14k gold with mild steel.
The steel gives this collection bold
emphasis and structural design.

Her work is an ongoing dialogue between
her blacksmith forging techniques, her
silversmith craftsmanship and her
design skills in art jewelry.
Each is superb.

Much of the charm and beauty of
these pieces lie in the wonderful variations
of form, shape and feel
that this artist offers.
These variations are seen in
her bracelets and earrings also.
But most of all,
this artist infuses her work with
the essence of romance.
And you can't go wrong with Romance.

For many more images of this
lovely work you can visit her

Friday, October 21, 2011

Exhibition - Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads

Every so often something truly
groundbreaking occurs.

The Polymer Collection at the
Racine Art Museum will make its
debut this weekend.
To celebrate the establishment of
this permanent collection
 RAM is showing a group exhibition
of polymer artists who are considered
 the groundbreaking,
early adopters of this specific material.
The purpose of this exhibit is to highlight
 the history and development of polymer
 art and craft over the last 30 years.

Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads
reflects on the history of all things polymer.
Featuring a comprehensive collection of
over 200 objects made of polymer,
it includes jewelry, sculptural objects,
 and furniture.

This exhibition features exemplary pieces from
34 artists. From this large group a smaller group of
 "8 Boundary Breakers" are being showcased.
These artists are recognized for their
extraordinary contributions to the field.

The "Boundary Breakers" are Bonnie Bishoff and
J.M. Syron, Jeffrey Lloyd Dever, Kathleen Dustin,
Steven Ford and David Forlano, Tory Hughes,
Cynthia Toops, Pier Voulkos, and Elise Winters.

Each will be represented by new work as
well as historical pieces showing their
experimentation with polymer.

Other participating artists include: Jamey Allen,
Kathleen Amt, Rachel Carren, Dan Cormier,
 Debra DeWolff,  Gwen Gibson, Linda Goff, Michael Grove,
Ruth Anne Grove, Lindly Haunani, Carl Hornberger,
 Donna Kato, Ronnie Kirsch, Judy Kuskin, Maggie Maggio,
Wendy Wallin Malinow, Sandra McCaw, Linda Pedersen,
Nan Roche, Sarah Shriver, Carol Simmons,
Barbara Sperling, Melanie West, and Amy Zinman.

 Additionally, this exhibition will be memorialized
by an accompanying
illustrated hardcover 140-page book,
 "Terra Nova:  Polymer at the Crossroads"
published by RAM.
It includes portfolio sections highlighting
each of the exhibition's "Boundary Breakers"
with images of their work, a brief artist statement
 and a concise exhibition history. 

The exhibition will run
October 21, 2011 through February 5, 2012.
For more information see the

All photos via Polymer Art Archive

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not Your Every Day Knots - Jewelry by Barbara Natoli Witt

Jewelry created by
color, texture, micromacramé
and lace-making techniques. 
Working methodically she
creatively combines textural elements into
elaborate designs.  An extraordinarily
time-consuming process produces work
that is imaginative and evokes
a sense of lush richness.

Working in her signature style, this artist
mixes gemstones with found objects and beads.
With an eye for intricate designs and soothing
color combinations she creates pieces that
mix traditional knotting concepts with
modern flair.
The final result is colorful and unique.

Her inspiration is derived from a life-long study
of symbolism, history, and diverse cultures.

 These exquisite pieces of jewelry
 begin with simple concepts yet
evolve into highly patterned tapestries.

As the subject of a new book,
"Adornment, the Art of Barbara Natoli Witt"
by Lois Sherr Dubin, this artist will be
participating in a lecture and signing of the book
featuring her tapestry necklaces.  It will be held
Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM
at Museo ItaloAmericano, in San Francisco.
She will elaborate on some of the stories included in
the book and plans to show some of her latest
pieces as well as some vintage necklaces.

 You can see more of her work on her website. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So Many Rings, So Little Time - Nora Rochel Jewelry

Sometimes it's all about
combining a love of vibrant texture with a
passion for botanical design.

Jewelry created by Nora Rochel
overflows with textural elements.
And it celebrates her vision of hidden gardens
 and botanical domains. 

Her exploration of these themes leads to
jewelry that, as the artist says,
"turns one‘s hands into small landscapes and gardens."

These are like country gardens where the
vegetation is allowed to grow with
wild abandon in secret corners.
Secret corners of those unkempt gardens
tend to shelter the most exquisite
specimens. Discovering those hidden gems is where
curiosity meets delight. That sense of
discovery exists in her jewelry.


The golden warmth in this ring
is almost luminous.

She uses different metals and several types
of patination to achieve
different effects.

The key to
 expressing one's inner vision
is to experiment and play.
And throw caution to the wind.
This artist definitely succeeds.

This work has a sense of playfulness
and discovery and enchantment
that's not easy to resist.
Each piece holds a tiny treasure within
its recesses
that begs to be explored.
It's jewelry that's off
the beaten path - where
being an adventurous tourist can be

You can explore more of Nora's
work at her website.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Exhibition - LOOT 2011: MAD about Jewelry

The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC will present
"LOOT 2011 Gala Event: MAD about Jewelry,"
its annual juried exhibition of contemporary
jewelry created by more than 50 international
studio jewelry artists.

Now in its 11th year, LOOT: MAD about Jewelry,
has become known as, according to the museum,
“the ultimate pop-up shop for contemporary
art and studio jewelry,” where the public can acquire
pieces from some of the world’s most innovative
jewelry artists in a social setting while contributing to
a worthy cause. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the
Museum’s exhibition and education programs.

International in scope, multi-disciplinary in technique,
and diverse in style each of the pieces offered are
characterized by excellent craftsmanship, originality of
design, and a broad range of creative
and exciting materials.

Some of the participating artists include:

Sara Abramson, Eleanor Bolton,
Anastasia Azure, Lucia Corral,
Sara Basch, Elaine Cox, Lia di Gregorio, 
Jacqueline Cullen, Susan Green, Emanuela Duca,
Danielle Gori-Montanelli, Suzanne Golden,
Susanne Klemm, Nicole Landaw, Ute Kolar, Anna Ruth Henriques,
Mia Hebib, Liz Hamman, Jan Huling, Gilly Langton, Jina Lee,
Alba Polenghi Lisca, Asagi Maeda, Margherita Marchioni,
Maggie Meister, Sabrina Meyns, Laura Michaels, Carolyn Morris Bach,
Giuliana Michelotti, Iris Nieuwenberg, Simonetta Starrabba,
Rebecca Myers, Yoon Ah Paik, Olga Prieto, Kara Ross,
In Hwa Yu, Rossella Tornquist, Liz Schock, Lynne Sausele,
Andrea Williams, and Elise Winters.

Eleanor Bolton

Maggie Meister

Sara Basch

Liz Schock

Carolyn Morris Bach

Elaine Cox

This exhibition will run from
October 11 through October 14.

Proceeds benefit the Museum’s exhibition
and education programs.
For more information about this exhibition and
 items available for purchase
you can visit the MAD website.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Enamel Flowers by Linda Darty

The rich color of transparent enamels fired over
polished metal is delicate and fascinating.
One of our favorite enamelists is
Linda Darty.   This artist, author, and teacher
does it all and does it wonderfully well.

Her current collection features a broad range
of recurring floral motifs, but they're
 not just simple flowers.
Her jaw-dropping silver settings are designed as 
flowers, leaves and branches which are
then matched with delicately
enameled blossoms.
She is a master of champlevé and cloisonné
enamel techniques and it is these particular pieces in her
collection that we love the most.
But sometimes it's difficult to decide which are
more beautiful - the settings or the enamel centerpieces.

As one examines her work in the light the viewer
notices different colors
begin to appear more pronounced.
It's mesmerizing to turn it in the light and
enjoy its richness and depth.

 The enameling medium is demanding and unforgiving.
Yet when done well the effects can be spectacular.

Her painterly approach to enameling
 produces irresistible gemlike surfaces, brilliant colors,
extraordinary depth and varied textures.

Luckily, for those who love her designs
 there will be an opportunity to see some of her
work in person this month.
Linda will be participating in the annual Signs of Life
contemporary jewelry art show being exhibited
at Facèré Art Jewelry Gallery.

One of her contributions to this event will be
a multi-dimensional brooch created with 
her trademark champlevé and cloisonné
enamel techniques.
It's called Santa Maria del Fiore.

Signs of Life 2011 showcases work by only nine jewelry
artists paired with nine writers in a unique
publication that celebrates both
literature and jewelry art.

This exhibition will run from
October 5 - October 26, 2011.

For more information about the
Signs of Life exhibition you can visit
Facere Art Jewelry Gallery.

And for more info about the artist
you can visit her website.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jewelry with Personality by Laura Stamper

So when was the last time you wore
jewelry with personality?
With names like Redhead Mermaid, Sexy Siren,
Urban Goddess, Queen of the Butterflies,
and Garden Fairy you just know
every piece in this collection
has its own personality and its own story to tell.

Expressing one's vision means different things
to different people.
To Laura Stamper it means sculpting and painting 
delightful characters on porcelain
then creating equally lovely metal settings
for those paintings.

Her sculptural series features imaginative
tongue-in-cheek characters that just seem
to be infused with
charm and playfulness.

Approaching each piece of
jewelry like a painting allows the artist
to create a mood.  Most of the time
that mood is filled with pure whimsy.


Ultimately, her designs
 come to life when highlighted
with gemstones and set in
sterling silver with 22k gold.


Some of her characters are brazen and bold.
Some are innocent and demure.
Every richly imaginative piece
is filled with detail.

The real jewels in these pieces are expressed
in the intricate details and characters
representing the imagination and
ingenuity of the artist.
You're not just wearing jewelry,
you're wearing a work of art.
It's easy to see that her jewelry is like an
art gallery that can be boldly worn on one's
 fingers, wrists and neck.

You can see more of collection at her website.