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'Tidepool' is designed around a stunning encased & textured lampwork bead called 'Ocean Within.' This focal bead is created by an esteemed American artist and the 'tidepool' genre is considered her one of her signature-beads. No one quite makes sea-themed beads as well as she does and I am always thrilled to work with her creations. Like most of the curated lampworkers I use, the artist who creates these incredibly complex beads is in a league of her own. The rest of the composition of 'Tidepool' is designed around this focal bead and includes a bright sterling silver starfish (with hollow back), a luminous Baroque pearl capped in a bright sterling daisy beadcap. A beautiful organic bead done in blues under clear glass further suggests the depth of the sea. You will also find a collection of gemstones including:* Green amethyst faceted heart briolette* Quartz faceted brioletteA hand-cast sterling silver figure-eight finding completes the pendant which measures 1.75" in length as a cluster. 'Tidepool' is composed of all-sterling silver findings and components.
One delightful memory from my university years was the day I had to go to declare my major. It was a sunny, beautiful Autumn day in Berkeley, California and I was up at Strawberry Pool, just beyond the football stadium where I relaxed before heading down to campus to meet my major professor for the first time. I was a little pressed for time, having run into one Greek God too many at the pool. As such, I did not take the time to change into more proper campus attire. Instead, I dashed down to campus in cut-off shorts, a red top and my running shoes, uncertain of the protocol of my meeting. To my relief, I was warmly welcomed into Professor Renoir's office and we sat and had a relaxed chat which was at times funny, touching and always genuine. He told me to come to him with any problems I might be having both in school or in my private life or if I just needed to talk. We spoke of his 'favorite girl,' and he pointed at her large portrait on his door - CoCo, the gorilla who could communicate using sign language. When he asked me what I wanted to 'be' when I grew up, I told him that I wanted to be an actress. I felt so at ease with the professor that it was with total abandon that I spoke of my desire to pursue the stage and screen. He listened to me and only after I was done, ever so gently told me that he had many family members who had been in film and theatre and they had known frequent sorrow. I took his words to heart, but it was only some weeks after our meeting that I learned that my dear Professor Renoir was the son of the great film director of "La Grande Illusion," Jean Renoir. Professor Renoir was therefore also the grandson of the luminous French painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In this past week, as I worked with my palette of glass artisan beads in all their spring colors, blending shades of violet, blue, pink with a splash of orange - that I was reminded of Professor Renoir's grandfather and of that warm, autumn day up at Strawberry pool and afterwards, when I dashed down to campus to declare my English major to such a kind & gentle grandson of a great painter. 'Renoir Afternoon' is an all-artisan crafted, gallery-calibre, double-strand wrap bracelet made entirely of studio & sculptural lampwork glass beads, gemstones, Swarovski crystals and sterling silver. Another LUXE design, this is a complex bracelet design in the 'spirit' genre; a complex design invoking the wild moving, alive energy of a time and place gone by and all that means in terms of life and our call upwards to a God or to Gods & Goddesses to help shepherd us on this journey of life. 'Renoir Afternoon', as with others in my LUXE collection, is awash in top-flight artisan lampwork beads (by 12 different artists located both here and abroad), sterling silver beads & components including beautiful Bali & Thai Hilltribe silver beads and a hand-cast sterling daisy toggle made using the old wax technique. Central to the design, inherent in 'Renoir Afternoon,' is a sumptuous floral focal bead by a local gifted artist. The striking 3-D floral bead shares focus of the bracelet with an amazing long, rectangle lampwork bead by an esteemed German artist. It is as if she paints watercolors in molten glass as she forms her beads in the flame. The painting in this particular bead is of an Iris and Poppy garden in the late afternoon. It is the perfect bead around which to build the rest of the bracelet design both in theme and color. Other glass studio beads include bright sculptural strawberry & blackberry beads, thick violet poppies, whimsical blue encased daisy lentils, elegant disc beads in a variety of colors, a single 'bubble' blue round, looking like so much water in a pond. Among my very favorite lampwork beads in the entire design are organic encased small rounds which have a bumpy texture of rich clear glass and vibrant colors encased in the bead core. I don't know how the artist does it, but her beads always have a wet appearance and make any design just *pop*. A variety of smaller and organic lampwork rounds dangle down around the main strands along with gemstones and sterling. Other beads include glass furnace beads (little 'chubs') by David Christensen in violet & pink; elegant & luminous Baroque pearls, faceted chalcedony, quartz & cubic zirconia briolettes, blue-fire flash moonstone discs, micro-faceted blue flourite, a purple amethyst rondelle, a pink aquarmarine nugget, Sleeping Beauty turquoise chips & most elegant of all, pink sapphire faceted 'tyre' shaped beads which I have stacked together like so many standing-stones. Buried in the design is a very tiny ancient lapis bead from Asia Minor added for that mystical touch, that symbolic 'ties that bind' those of us who are so drawn to beads now and in the long-distant past.Three bright sterling daisy charms pepper 'Renoir's Afternoon' along with Swarovski sterling & clear crystal rondelles, a thick sterling ring and a vast range of Swarovski crystals in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. 'Renoir Afternoon,' measures just a tad under 7.5 inches. A 6 inch wrist ought to fit well without being too tight and with just the right amount of slack to make it comfortable and considering the density (but not a heavy weight) of the bracelet. "Renoir Afternoon" can be re-sized at no additional fee as this is a relatively straightforward task to complete. One resizing upon purchase is included in the price, however should subsequent adjustments be required, an additional fee of $50 to cover postage, time & materials will be charged.
This weekend as I was designing 'Of Fables & Folklore,' I was engrossed watching the BBC's series on the Tudor period of history. I looked at several of the documentaries and was particularly entranced with a documentary on the 'Tudor Christmas Feast,' in all of its pagentry, ornate detail and laborious processes. Actual Tudor historians and archeologists completed the feast as a team over the course of several days, using no modern power or gadgets of any sort, but relying only on the tools and techniques of the Tudor era. The Tudor documentaries took us to some of the famous Halls and Palaces still standing in England including the famous Hampton Court Palace. The extraordinary tapestries Henry VIII purchased included real gold fibers and were, in their day, shimmering displays of colorful gradeur, adding an almost third dimension to the walls upon which they hung. It was both the grand Christmas feast with its peacock centerpiece (flaming beak and all) and the golden tapestries of Hampton Court Palace which became my muse for 'Of Fables & Folklore.'
'Of Fables & Folklore' is an all-artisan crafted, gallery-calibre single strand wrap bracelet made entirely of studio & sculptural lampwork glass beads, gemstones, Swarovski crystals and sterling silver. Another LUXE design, this is a complex bracelet design in the 'spirit' genre; a complex design invoking the wild moving, alive energy of a time and place gone by and all that means in terms of life and our call upwards to a God or to Gods & Goddesses to help shepherd us on this journey of life.
'Of Fables & Folklore', as with others in my LUXE collection, is awash in top-flight artisan lampwork beads (by 9 different artists located both here and abroad), sterling silver beads & components including beautiful Bali & Thai Hilltribe silver beads and an ornate Victorian styled Bali sterling silver toggle clasp. Central to the design, inherent in 'Of Fables & Folklore,' is a sumptuous floral focal bead by a gifted artist from abroad. It reminds me of the embroidery in the pretty ribbons of the Tudor age and of all the ribboned ornate costumes of the day. The sculptural companion beads include bright handcrafted strawberries, detailed leaves in two shades of green, two delicate lavender blossoms; lovely large lampwork rounds done in a tartan pattern in the colors of red, orange, peach and purple. Two enchanting, smaller rounds done in clear with an encased core of orange add wonderful depth and texture with their surface gently scrolled in lavender and dots of bright red. A variety of smaller and organic lampwork rounds dangle down around the main strand. Other beads include glass furnace beads in violet; elegant & luminous Baroque pearls, chalcedony briolettes and Swarovski crystal butterflies in a lovely shade of teal. Two sterling silver Bali beads are capped in silver bead caps making them look like small nuts. A sterling silver berry-shaped bead finishes the strand at the large toggle end along with a substantial handwrought sterling ring. Large faceted nuggets of pink aquamarine work well as backdrop for the colorful ensemble of lampwork beads. Other sterling silver include two small hand-cast shields that rest under organic encased purple beads. 'Of Fables and Folklore,' measures just a tad over 9 inches. A 7.5 - 7.75 inch wrist fits this 9.25 inch bracelet ought to fit well without being too tight and with just the right amount of slack to make it comfortable. "Of Fables & Folklore" can be re-sized at no additional fees as this is a relatively straightforward task to complete. One resizing upon purchase is included in the auction price, however should subsequent adjustments be required, an additional fee of $50 to cover postage, time & materials will be charged.
'A Heart is a Heart is ... a Bicycle' is a dazzler! The feast of bright sterling silver - in the form the brilliant double-chain, and the charms, beads, spacers, the slender, edgy & rouge heart-connector, I admit that I shy away from designing holiday-themed pieces...I'm stubborn like that. So often, I'm in a Valentines Day frame-of-mind in the very early Fall while dining at Casanova's in Carmel or it is Halloween and yet I am feeling the ghostly vibe in mid-Spring when looking at YouTube videos of famous historic hauntings at the White House or feeling like snowflakes on the 4th of July, if I am sailing in the middle of a snowy fjord up in Glacier Bay National Park. So...this year, I have only one design to offer up: 'A Heart is a Heart is...a Bicycle' - a title that reminds me of a similar discordant title about a fish. Anyway, this is the perfect Valentines Day bracelet for any girl who is also a bike-diva, a gal who takes to the mountains or the hills or to hilltowns of Medieval Italy or France and does so without a second thought. This red bike charming bracelet is just the piece for that girl.
'A Heart is a Heart...' is a 3 strand wrap bracelet and includes loads of sterling silver - three pieces of hand-cast, old-wax studio silver including a fetching 'Love' rectangle tag in the style of 'A Love Story' fame; the edgy studio connector made with 5 hearts, each of them unique in a gorgeous line-up and finally, a hammered heart toggle. There are is also a fantastic real anatomical heart charm with arteries, veins and looking like a V-8 engine, more than a real human heart. But, I think it is the real heart charm that really makes the bracelet in its theme of all things heart - a small, bright silver heart dangles from mid-center of one of the three strands. The companion to the anatomical heart charm is the red & sterling red bicycle charm since there can be no love unless there is a healthy, working heart and aerobic exercise to make it so.
No Valentine theme would be complete without a beautiful deep red heart and on one strand is just that heart - rich, French red glossy heart surrounded by lots of bright sterling and a petite white lentil made by an esteemed glass artist trained in Florence, Italy. Other lampwork includes an elegant white encased bead with sterling droplets fired into the glass, an encased polka dot bead with a red core and white polka dots; a white daisy-on-red round bead and several lampwork disc beads in reds, metallic reds with flashes of iridescent fuschia, white, polka-dot encased discs, etched (like beach glass) discs. Other beads include wavy sterling discs & beadcaps, lush Keishi pearls, a handsome natural Baroque pearl, blue-fire flash faceted rondelles of a few sizes, Swarovski crystals in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, including the sterling & crystal Swarovski rondelle beads. The last elegant touch are a few delicately faceted blue topaz rondelle stones.
An original design - this is surely a Valentine meant to impress, to dazzle and to win a Bike Diva Girl's heart - whether she is a real bike-diva or... just one at heart. 'A Heart is a Heart is ... a Bicycle' measures 8.25" and can be resized at no additional charge.
The seaside town of Sechelt is a traditionally a fuel-stop enroute to Earl's Cove, the second ferrry terminal on Highway 101 North in B.C., Canada. Normally, on our trip north to 'camp' (Savary Island), it is a jam to be first off the first ferry, hitting the road, going to the max allowed speed limit, taking all the old-timer secret short-cuts just to get that much closer to Earl's Cove, an hour away, where we catch the final ferry in our race north, on the Sunshine Coast. We have been making the journey since I was five years old, most every summer, as we drove north from the S.F. Bay Area to our summer cabin in Canada. But Sechelt, aside from being an understated Sausalito, CA or Newport, OR is also a town that opens, exposed, to a wilder stretch of the inland passage (Georgia Strait) between B.C.'s mainland and the length of Vancouver Island. As such, when a southwester blows in, the seas can be especially tempestuous and wild, causing many a small vessel to toss about like a small toy, especially if boats are caught off-guard or if the weather arrives ahead of schedule. Such was the case when my newly married parents took their classic cabin-cruiser, the Graycine out for an overnight trip in the 'honeymoon' years before having children. The storm on this particular weekend was wicked, wild and the boat's engine suddenly quit, its engine engulfed with 'drink' and utterly disengaged from power. There was no fixing it, especially in the dangerous high seas. Even the radio had quit and darkness was upon them. My mother, a city-girl and land-lover, quietly wept in the galley as my strong & able father attached the dingy to the bow and started rowing his new wife and the Graycine through the pouring rain, high winds and the fierce, high waves ... until at last they reached the breakwater at the small marina in Sechelt. It is a story my mom liked to tell every other year as we passed through Sechelt, stopping to gas-up at the only gas station in town. Such, is the muse and backstory to 'Storm at Sechelt.'
'Storm at Sechelt' is a gallery-calibre 3-strand wrap bracelet made entirely of studio lampwork beads, gemstones, Swarovski crystals and sterling silver. Another LUXE design, this is a complex bracelet design in the 'spirit' genre; a complex design invoking the wild moving, alive energy of a wicked-good storm and all that means in terms of life and dancing with death when mariners are caught unprepared. Only those who know how to be one with the sea and weather can hope to ride out such a storm, much less save a damsel in distress.
This piece, as with others of my LUXE collection, is awash in top-flight artisan lampwork beads (by 8 different artists both here and abroad) and components. Starting with the magnificent tidepool-under-tempestuous-waves bead as the focal point around which all the other beads unify to make a piece of living sculptural jewelry. The German artist responsible for the tidepool focal is especially gifted at creating beads as microcosms of a greater whole - whether it is a pond, a meadow, a forest or a tidepool. She is able to capture the spirit of being alive in her work with molten glass and we are all the better for it. Companion beads include the work of another gifted glass artist and her interpretation of stormy seas under a skeleton sun overhead of the storm. Other lampwork of note is a textured round bead with glass portals popping out as pods which is done in a light mint green, cream, light bronze and clear, like an abstract anemone of a tidepool. You will also find several textured, small organic encased rounds, other rounds etched like beach glass and sand-colored beads with dimples and lines of sterling silver. Among my favorite second-string lampwork are the round, smooth white beads with tiny drops of bright sterling silver embedded deep within the still, cold glass. These beautifully created lampwork beads are so elegant that using them in any design automatically sets the whole piece in a league of its own. "Storm at Sechelt" incorporates lots of lovely, sensual and edgy precious and semi-precious gemstones which include: Blue-fire flash moonstone rondelles, chips of aqua colored apatite in two shades, one more transparent and the other, a more milky shade of aqua. Creamy colored keishi pearls and Baroque pearls capped in white sterling beadcaps lend elegance and depth to 'Storm at Sechelt' along with smooth, large faceted nuggets of clear quartz. Blue-fire laboradite flashes in small coin beads, adding the perfect contrasting color to a sea under siege from the winds and storm above. Over 50 sterling silver braided, plain rings & beadcaps, wavy silver discs, daisy spacers pepper the three strands, providing that bright, silver flash in the midst of so much color - much like the silver-on-the-sea on a too sunny day at the sea when the light is almost blinding as it comes off the water. Three solid sterling charms complete 'Storm at Sechelt' and include a detailed lighthouse and its keeper's cottage, a schooner under sail and a wee sea turtle who hangs on a bright sterling chain at the junction of the three strands. 'Storm at Sechelt' is finished with a sterling silver lobster clasp and receptacle set and measures just under 9 inches in length. Because of the dynamics of the 3-strand wrap design, with three strands parallel to each other in close proximity, the measurement must take into account certain bulk of the beads (though not weight, thankfully). My 7 inch wrist fits this 8.75 inch bracelet perfectly without being too tight and with just the right amount of slack to make it comfortable.
But it all began with the deep red lampwork set and the warm feeling at thought of a heavy wool blanket on an ice cold forest night.In any case, 'Tuolumne Afternoon' is a blessed piece, a piece de' resistance, a tour de force of colors of forest, blanket, sky and meadow and most especially the extraordinary lampwork beads which were created by 8 different gifted glass artists both here and abroad.The focal lampwork round beads are by an especially gifted American artist who has quickly become one of my favorites. Not only is the red round set her work, but also the whimsical turquoise and red beads which share her signature design point in what I term, 'mystic portals,' or thick, encased glass over a core of color and detailed on the surface surface with scrolls and chunky 'portals' of glass. They are beautiful and curious to look at and feel so good to explore and touch. Other lampwork beads by more cherished, gifted artists are as follows:* Organic rounds in blues & green * Organic rounds in red *Glossy fern green hollow round orbs, like meadow orbs * Transparent encased turquoise lampwork discs,* Turquoise, polka dot discs * Petaled lampwork poppies in shades of a rich shade of red with a black glass center * Watery red organic cubes* Blistered red transparent donut beads, *Small red/orange stout poppy beads *Lampwork green leaves.Aside from this magnificent blend of artisan glass, you will also find faceted clear quartz briolettes * Sleeping Beauty turquoise beads entwined with Hilltribe sterling droplet beads * Elegant baroque pearls * One large faceted Sleeping Beauty turquoise briolette * Freshwater button pearls * Swarovski in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes * Bali silver beads, bead caps and a handsome Hilltribe sterling round toggle along with small droplet beads in pure sterling. An artisan sterling tag with the word 'Be' on it * a cabin and snowsled charm completes 'Tuolumne Afternoon' which measures 7.5" in length and can be resized to any length without sacrificing design.'Tuolumne Afternoon' is an elegant, lyrical & beautiful piece in colors at once vibrant and alive reminding us all how wondrous our world is and how fantastic it is to be a part of the magical 'blue planet,' and most especially when in the mountain-fresh air and in the deep majesty & mystery of our High Sierra forests.
I am happy to announce that I have been working on a more spare bracelet design using a double strand, similar to a wrap. It won't ever threaten to overtake my signature style, but is a wonderful addition to my collection. And, although I have the most wonderful loyal group of repeat clients for my lush, chaotic, luxe lampwork dangle bracelets...it has occurred to me that perhaps not everyone wants that much detail. Sometimes, for some folks, less is truly more. So, I am working with a design of two standed lampwork bracelets without copious dangles. The quality and the high-end beads/findings are the same, but the design is more spare and to-the-point. And, with luck, the price tag will be more manageable.