Tuesday, October 23, 2007

O Fabulous

Recently made trendy by Oprah and Tiffany's designer, Elsa Peretti the "O" shape also represents infinity. 

In वेदिक (Vedic-ancient Indian) terms the O in Om represents boundlessness (transcendence) within boundaries. 

It also just happens to give a dual functionality to the second piece of this set. 

Two fabulous female icons, a mantra that has taken on global significance and a shape shifter; anyone wonder why I call it the, "O Fabulous?"   

Coral Fringe

This photo is a bit dramatic but it does the trick. 

The Coral Fringe illustrates one of my favorite design principles, put your money up front! All the expensive high quality beads are in the front four inches of the necklace. 

Louise and I sat down together and picked the very best pieces to be showcased in the fringe. I set them apart with bittersweet Fresh Water Pearls. (If you don't already know; I love brown and am an avid catalog reader; intense colors and delicious descriptives!) With the best pieces right up front we kept the overall piece light-weight using a nice-n-sturdy gold-filled chain to complete the desired length. 

The Coral Photo Challenge

The photographing of this set posed a much larger challenge than the design concept or the making.

The quality of the photo you see here leaves much to be desired. I show it only so that you can see the "Challenge" as well as the three-in-one necklace all put together. 

The "Coral Fringe" sits at nape of the neck and just above the "Toggled Coral Tassel" which can be worn without the tassel as the oh so trendy "O Fabulous" necklace. 

Of course Miss sophistication, Louise, grasped the versatility of the set right away and can't wait to have them back to wear.  Wasn't that the point of this exercise? Ah, yes. 

Coral Gift

These lavish coral beads were given to my friend Louise by her dear friends; Francois & Christopher. They were a part of a vintage necklace that had been passed down to Francois. They came with an interesting clasp & a challenge for a new more modern form to suite Louise. As you can see above there were plenty of pieces to work with. 

I immediately took pen (or pencil as it were) to paper and came up with a design. I decided to incorporate the coral and the unique gold clasp into a few works of wearable art. "Layers of Luxury," to borrow a term from my past life as Class Director at The Bead Shop in Palo Alto. Yes, the one and only (when it opened there was no other to speak of).

I decided to use large chunks of golden Citrine and bittersweet Fresh Water Pearls to bring out the gold clasp and the deep lines in the coral. 

Louise loved the design concept and the materials I chose. Now the making is ready to begin. Stay tuned for the collection. 

To be continued....

Aquamarine Droplets

Before I depart from my own personal, Blue Period (yes, that was a Picasso reference) I wanted to share one more custom design. 
Aquamarine drops suspended side by side on delicate, textured gold-fill chain. 

The muse for this piece is a beautiful woman with golden-blonde hair and sky blue eyes.  She loves Aquamarine almost as much as she loves gold! 

Intricate Earrings

While I was making the Simplicity Earrings I was once again inspired by the stones I was using. 

This design is a classic. Many jewelry designers use it. This kind of intricacy takes a lot of love and devotion. Each of these earrings takes several hours to make, so the designer must; love the stones and be devoted to the outcome in order to finish. 

As I've said before, I love Apetite & Prehnite!

Simplicity Earrings

Here's another request for blue. I have these earrings in brown (Andalucite) and gold. My friend/neighbor Stephanie, was adoring the design but again, not a brown fan. When I asked her what color she would prefer...BLUE!

Here are two of my favorite blue stones; Apetite & Tanzanite and because I just can't get enough of it (and love to mix it in with blues) Prehnite. 

All said and done, the earrings remind me of the J Crew Summer Catalog (which I love). There is something so simple and sexy about them. I confess I made a pair for myself. A quick versatile design I'll in as many colors as I can! 

What makes them versatile? They could be $20 or they could be $200 depending on the stones and they can be worn out with full cocktail attire or with blue jeans to the super market. I'd have to say, and I know Stephanie would agree Simplicity Earrings are a mommy's best friend. 

Stephanie's husband might not agree. Here's a funny little story to go with the earrings:
One day I met Stephanie's husband, Julio on the street in front of our homes, as I often do. He seemed flustered and when I asked him why, he told me, that he was trying to take a part the sink because she's lost one of these very earrings. I offered to reproduce it for her but he was already determined. Men...


Friday, October 19, 2007

Light Play

Labradorite is a semi-translucent grey stone that reflects brilliantly blue-green opalescence. More captivating than the finest Opal-if you ask me. 

This necklace drapes around your neck with dancing bits of cashmere-blue Iolite, between reflective Labradorite and Carnelian coins; suspending an intricately wrapped Labradorite drop. 

Labradorite has always reminded me of peacock feathers. I made an effort to reflect that in this design, right down to the handmade spiraled wire clasp. 

Bring in the Blues

After looking at my jewelry blog a friend of mine commented, "There's just so much brown." I took another look and guess what, it's true! I have recently fallen in love with brown and my work shows it. 

It turned out that my friend was looking for the perfect gift for his girlfriend. Just so happens she loves blue. 

I decided to take on a blue challenge. Keep checking in because I've got a few new designs and baby, I've got the blues. 

This necklace is a classic with a twist. Large fresh water pearls knotted to sit perfectly perched at the nape of her neck. Yes, my tangent on blue was leading somewhere; true blue pearls paired with sterling silver, twisted wire chain and delicately accented with small Prehenite rounds and hand made spirals. 

Picture Credits.....it's all me, I got a new camera!

Every Day Jewels

I am a girl who wears jewelry every day! You just won't see me without it. I also like to travel and believe it or not, when I do, I am a minimalist. These two facts present a dilemma many women face. On my last trip I finally found a solution, every day jewels!

I made myself a necklace with all the colors I love. This way no matter what color I wore the necklace perfectly matched! I wore this necklace through my entire trip, not even taking it off to sleep. I sort of expected that. What I didn't expect, this vacation necklace became my favorite necklace. Now that I am back to my home routine, I still wear it all the time.

It's extra durable because I made it with swimming in the ocean in mind. This means I don't have to worry about wearing it to the gym. I get so many compliments on this necklace that I finally decided to duplicate it.

What you see above is a duplicate made to sell. Though no two pieces of mine are ever the exactly the same, the bright cheeriness of this necklace is consistent. This one is made with the following ingredients: Citrine, Aquamarine, Ametrine, Tourmaline, Kyanite, Ruby, Pearl 12k gold filled wire/chain and Happiness. 

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Framboise & Whisky

Knotted Tourmaline makes the perfect base for this Whisky Topaz center stone!

This necklace can be custom made in colors, stones, length and closure specified. Prices will vary accordingly. 

Knotting whether with gems or pearls gives a fluidity much to be desired. It is recommended to re-knot jewelry every other year depending upon your wear and tear on the piece. Most jewelry stores and bead shops offer this service. Guess what, I do too! I just love to knot and I see no reason why jewelry should sit unworn. Feel free to email me to set up a time to discuss possible repairs.

This photo courtesy of my darling husband, Mark Manfrey. 

Framboise Bliss Earrings

These earrings are made of Tourmaline in warm tones dropped from oxidized and textured sterling silver chain; and capped with sterling wire for a sophisticated look. 

To find out more about Tourmaline and hear more about this design see, "Watermelon Bliss Earrings" same design, same stone but; different tones and different metal. 

Also see the matching necklace, "Framboise & Whisky."

This photo courtesy of my mother, Virginia St. Claire. To see more of her work visit her website: www.inheavenhawaii.com

Watermelon Bliss Earrings

Why even go out without fabulous earrings? 

These Tourmaline drops are dropped from textured gold-filled links and capped with gold-filled wire for a sophisticated look. They are two inches long and make a dramatic impact whether your heading out for coffee or to the opera. 

People wear Tourmaline for different reasons. Some are merely amazed by the variety of colors it grows in as a natural wonder. Others wear Tourmaline for its healing qualities. Tourmaline is said to absorb stress in the form of positive ions as it omits negative ions purifying the psychic environment for its wearers. I just love to work with this stone. 

Jewelry for bliss, who could ask for more?

This photo courtesy of my loving husband, talented artist, Mark Manfrey. 
  See also Framboise Bliss Earrings 

Wedding Crown

Having just returned from an exciting anniversary trip I decided to post my wedding crown. The crown is hand-forged in sterling silver, with gold-filled accents.  Each of the flowers are made of Ruby and Tanzanite and accented with fresh-water pearl leaves. The back closure is dressed up with organza ribbons, a veil may be attached for a more traditional bride. 

This is the crown that I wore for my wedding. The blooms are the colors that I chose for my bridal party. This crown can be made with any variety of colorful gemstones to match your group, your personality or both. White pearl blooms are also a possibility.

Each of these crowns are 100% unique just like you!

This photo courtesy of my mother Virginia St. Claire. 
To see more of her work please visit her website.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Garnet Tassel Semi-Lariat

Inspired by jazz and dancing, pearls and hessonite garnet are knotted neatly into place. The hessonite changes in tone for 26" adding interest while a repetition of pearls give flow. 

Semi-lariat in this case refers to the fact that while one end cascades down freely, the other slides up and down the length of the piece but does not detach. Similar to another favorite my lei designs the semi lariat slides over your head. There are no clasps to fiddle with the finishings are integrated into the design. 

I have made this design in many different materials. It is one of my most popular designs and likewise one of my favorites to make.

The tassel can be repeated for matching earrings for a decadent look or accent beads can be used for a more understated look. Dress it up or dress it down this design will draw compliments in the grocery store and the theater alike. 

This picture was taken by my loving husband.