Blog Posts - The fusion of old world goldsmithing with modern design
 
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Gold. Warm and glowing.

Tonight when I was refining 24K gold to hand forge into wedding bands, the treatises of Benvenuto Cellini that I reread earlier today came to mind. I'm drawn to the techniques of old masters to preserve methods of the Old World, and Renaissance Italian goldsmith Cellini wrote in detail with a conversational style. I forgot the page turning, and as if transported to the 1500s, standing next to him, observing his work first-hand it was as if he spoke to me:

"Now my friend, in order to keep my promise with you as to the real practical things, and to show you that I'm not one who goes cribbing other people's ideas & methods but has worked them out with his own hands ..."

Preserving the story. Untouched by mass production.

 
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There is a centering clarity to my work.  A discipline that allows being in the world while still being in touch with the soul. 
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With the window open, the fragrance of flowers is carried in on a breeze.    A breeze with the slightest chill, reminding me that warm autumn hues will replace bright summer colors very soon.
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And so the pace quickens just a little because I refuse to rush my work. I've got new designs to finish and favorite pieces to reshoot ...

 
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Yesterday I received this beautiful postcard from a faraway friend.
How exciting to hear from Heidi who is in New Zealand! We share the same glowing enthusiasm for stained glass, and with her extensive travel and wonderful photography, Heidi's discoveries always fascinate.

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This postcard from The Nelson Provincial Museum features "Weave", designed by Jo Ogier and constructed by Robyn Hall and Glass Craft of Nelson. On the back is a detailed description of the work, the process, and each panel. The luxuriantly-colored stained glass represents historic and natural symbolism tied to the Nelson region.
So much treasure in one little piece of mail!

 
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Funny how a few finds, like the ones above, can stir up old memories.  
Hot summer afternoons on Short Beach in Stratford: 
gentle waves
cool clear salty water
and treasure hunts for starfish, hermit crabs, and tiny smooth bits of
cobalt blue glass - - just to name a few. 

Al and I spent so many childhood days exploring this tiny beach.  We didn't know until it came up in conversation.   It seems we were thrilled by the same things, including the small planes that would fly low overhead, and once in a long while a bright orange creamsicle from the snackbar.  We like to think that several hundred beach days ago and before third or fourth grade, Al and I met on the shore one sunny afternoon.  And as brief childhood friendships go, shared a treasure hunt on Short Beach.
 
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In Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Autolycus, a pedlar of jewels, pokes fun at those buying "all his trumpery" referencing "counterfeit stones".

It seems Autolycus has underestimated many who know that even the noble, including Queen Elizabeth, have been enjoying skillfully mounted glass jewels so well made it is easy to believe they are genuine.
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Light amethyst vintage glass jewels

A lighter purple hue of the regal amethyst is offered in a giveaway, with details noted in comments here. The winner may choose these 11mm light amethyst vintage glass jewels set in sterling silver posts with or without plating in 24K gold.

 
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Photograph by Flickr member MicrochipEmozionale


Bold, mysterious, and exotic.

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It is the costuming and jewelry that give Greta Garbo's Mata Hari definition. As the drama unfolds, I'm again fascinated by how she jumps
off the silver screen.

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From the silver screen to a black diamond and white gold. 
When the film finished, I returned to the bench to make Black Ice.
 
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Photograph by Flickr member alessmile

'Nothing is so beautiful as spring -
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing ...'
- extract from Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Thinking about the bright colors of spring and made these earrings.

 
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Photograph by Flickr member Simon_K

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."
~Charles Dickens

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Eyecatching and energizing, these emerald vintage glass earrings are hand set in sterling silver.

An idea springs to mind: One pair will be given away!
Click the comment box, above, for details.
(Winner determined by random.org.)

 
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Photograph by David Bohl

A back-lit Gothic-style faux stained glass window in many shades of purple, features Henry Davis Sleeper's collection of 19th century amethyst glass. The magnificence of these rich hues is awe inspiring.

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Photograph by Flickr member ben124

I would not be surprised if it was a purple and violet sunset that whispered to Washington Irving when he wrote, 'There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.'

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Commissioned to make an Art Deco inspired piece, the result is a custom antique-cut amethyst ring. Hand created at my bench, incorporating gold and two diamonds from her family jewelry.

 

This brief video features the greatest Gothic cathedral in France, Chartres Cathedral.

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, its massive doors open to a magnificent though dimly lit interior with 167 glowing stained glass windows that capture light in luxuriant colors. In the forward to his guide, the custodian Etienne Houvet describes the celestial beauty of these windows, saying it is as if you were "clad in a garment of gems". The vivid indigo hues are the most ethereal shade of blue, known as Chartres blue.


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