Saturday, August 24, 2013

A true story on cats, artist workshops and cherished memories

This is a true story, in 2 parts
Spread across 10+ years and 2 countries
Whether this story is about human emotions, jewelry techniques or the real value of 1 Euro -
I guess it's for you to judge

Part 1: Den Haag, Nederlands

The time - about 10 years ago.
Pavel and I (dating at that time, not married yet), are taking a couple of days off between meetings.

Den Haag, Nederland

Lousy weather, cold and rainy.
We walk past a shop, and I spot a cute little cat statue, in the traditional blue and white Delft colors.

Traditional blue and white Delft colors cats

As he knew I am collecting miniature cats, Pavel walks into the store
....only to emerge a copule of minutes later with a sheepish look and say - 
'Can you loan me one Euro - I do not have any money on me'

This was the beginning of a much loved story in our family.
I, of course graciously handed him a Euro, 
He bought the cat
I never agreed to 'let him pay the loan'
And this turned out to be the most favorite cat in my collection, as well as a funny story to be told numerous times :-)

Let's pause for a minute - take a look at some other feline members of this collection
before we move to the 2nd chapter of the story.

'What is this? Looks like a new friend!'

Here is a couple of cats from a nice store in Prague's Jewish quarter

Wooden cats, the smaller one goes inside the bigger one

A beautiful Lladro cat, my mom brought from a trip to Spain

A tiny crystal cat

'Would you be my friend?'

And, now - let's fast forward 10 years, to the 2nd part of the story-

Part 2 - Shenkar, School of Design, Israel

As my academic studies were in Software Engineering,
I was really excited to join an Artist workshop, at Shenkar school of Design in Israel.
Imagine - me at Shenkar! :-)

The workshop was led by Attai Chen, an artist who creates in various materials - metal, paper, even one work where he gold plated sardines! (real ones ...)

The subject of the workshop was 'Ornaments and patterns', and as part of this workshop, Attai would teach us a special technique that can be used to replicate objects.
(after all patterns are all about repeating a basic unit).

The workshop participants were asked to bring a small object they would like to replicate.
Can you guess what I brought??
You are absolutely right!
Imagine my husband's face, when I told him at the end of the workshop I have a surprise for him,
And handed him ...

A perfect wax mold of my beloved cats! 

Thinking, about the next steps:

- Make it into an ice cube - so he can enjoy it every time he makes a Pastis drink?
- A chocolate cat - to be offered, when a smile is needed

What do you think? Any ideas?

If you want to know how to make such molds,
send me your email - and I will send you written instructions with some pictures I took. 

To end this post, here is a beautiful quote by Jean de Boufflers
"Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance the lasting perfume"

A cat to be definitely remembered now!

Wishing you, 
to enjoy every moment,
...and from time to time - capture them, for lifetime memories.

Bye, until the next post - 

Friday, August 16, 2013

A ring with a story - my 'walk on a beach' ring is born

This is not an Agatha Christie story, so we can start from the end.
Really proud to share with you, my story ring - 'A walk on the beach'

blue topaz silver ring by akvjewelry, story ring
Look carefully next time you go for a walk on the beach, who knows what treasures you may find

What do you do when you come home from the beach?
Shower, have a large glass of cool tea, go for a nap?
From the moment we left the beach last week, I started to think about designing a ring.
A ring that will tell the story of the warm sand texture, bring in the rougher shape of the pebbles.

All shapes of pebbles and broken shells, smoothed by the waves

And of course, the blue transparent color of the sea.
Searching for just the right stone.
Aquamarine? Peruvian Opal?
After 2 gemstone stores, the perfect stone appears.
A 9mm round and clear Blue Topaz.

Blue Topaz, the December birthstone, light blue, clear and sparkling 

Now, to the ring itself.
Silver, clean and simple.
Sand texture from the outside, smooth and shiny on the inside.
A sculpted cup to hold the stone. Something to bring the pebbles and shells into the story.

See the texture on the ring, still a bit too shiny - but the texture is there 

One more things is missing, the fun of walking barefoot and finding treasures
a beautiful shell, sparking sea glass
a surprise.
Tiny diamonds, dark, brown - providing a spark in unexpected places.
For this, I need to visit Roman, my magic stone setter...and here it is:

Three hidden diamonds, set asymmetrically, one on the cup and 2 on the shank 

All done? Not yet. We need some pictures, to help visualize the story. 
And where is the best place to take the pictures?
Back to the beach, of course.
And here I turn into a photographer this time!

A first picture, with the ring on my hand. Hard to get the right angle,
 let's take some photos with the ring in the sand
Oh, yes!! And another one ....
Great! But I want some wave in the picture as well, let's wait for one
Here it comes! Perfect 

Wait a minute, Whoa....that's not what I meant!

Where is my ring???


Here is the ring! Diamonds in the waves.

A happy photographer, resting in the sun, listening to the waves

amy kanka valadarsky

A few more photos at home, 
Without waves this time....

And my new story ring is ready to go

Sitting pretty in a handsome wood box

The End.

Of this week's post of course!
If you want to make sure you will not miss the next ones - 
Register to the email newsletter
Top right corner of the page - just enter your email

As always, would love to hear your thoughts and see your comments

Bye, until next time,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A walk on the beach

A Saturday morning walk on the beach

Saturday morning in August.
A perfect time for my husband and me to take our dog Lisa for a walk on the beach. 
Join us, to one of my favorite places of Israel's marvelous Mediterranean beaches. 

Parking our car in the car lot, and the blue color, already makes me smile.
Isn't this beautiful?

Shades of blue, from the palest azure to turquoise. The beautiful Mediterranean sea. 

Down the stairs we go. This is the perfect time to come.
Not too crowded yet. 
Let's start walking.

Shallow waters, a lighter shade of blue here, framed by the white seafoam

Just steps away from the public beach, and the wave sounds surround you.
We are not alone, some fisherman are still here. Came long before us, will probably leave soon.

Catching fish. An island of quiet, just meters away from the public beach.

We are taking in, the sounds, the textures.
I am turning into a 5 year old girl and start collecting shells :-)

Waves come and go, massaging the bare feet. I love foot massage :-)

Unexpected beauty everywhere. Waiting for us to take the time and notice it.

The water is warm, and blue and clean. I just love walking in the waves.

That's me!

Unlike our wonderful Lisa, who must be the only Golden Retriever in the world who hates water. 
We call her our 'sand dog'!

...and here with our much loved dog Lisa! Adopted this very month, 3 years ago from an animal shelter. 

I love being here. 
Not only it is a beautiful place, it is a great place for people watching. 
The families, who finally have some time to be together

Building sand castles. Building trust. Collecting memories. 

The couples, looking for a bit of sea and sun

Life is meant to be enjoyed. At every age.

We also take the time to talk, to make plans, to fill up the reservoirs before the new week starts.
....and as usual, an idea starts shaping up in my mind.

Will let it rest the night and draw it in my sketch book tomorrow.

Time to head back home, hope you enjoyed walking with us.

Me and my better half.
This is the smile I want him to remember in the midst of stressed meetings next week.

I love to share the places and the things that inspire me with you.
Both here and on my Facebook page -
Why don't you join me there as well?

If all goes well, 
in the next post, I hope to show you what came out of this walk on the beach

...want a hint? It involves an Aquamarine :-)

Going to the workbench now
Talk to you soon



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Good reasons to fall in love with silver jewelry ....and I am NOT talking about price

I have to confess that until two years ago, I never wore silver jewelry.
Delicate gold chains, the standard thin gold ring, occasionally a small pair of gold earrings.
Then, I started to create jewelry, and fell in love with silver.
Not just as a designer - but as a woman who appreciates beautiful things.

Why, you ask?

Well, if you look for a piece of jewelry that stands out from the crowd
.....chances are it will be in silver
(not many will play creative with gold - better to go safe and create pieces that will sell...)

Sterling silver, 18k gold pearls and diamonds , marie cianciolo, silver jewelry
Bird bath ring by Marie Cianciolo. Sterling silver, 18k gold pearls and diamonds 

Silver, is a jewelry artist dream come true.
It can take a thousand shapes, forms and colors.
It can be formed into wearable sculptures.

silver ring, laura mains, silver jewelry
Silver ring by Laura Mains

It can be blackened ( oxidized ) and combined with gold for a rustic look

keum boo ring, Curnow jewelry, silver jewelry
Oxidized silver and gold ring, by Robert Curnow 

It complements natural stones beautifully.
How many gold pieces of jewelry have you seen that showcase amazing stones such as this Ocean Jasper?
Most gold jewelry pieces will be combined with expensive stones only, after all, when someone looks for a gold ring - they look for the Diamond or Sapphire.

silver pendant with ocean jasper, butterfly pendant by akvjewelry
My very own silver butterfly pendant, showcasing a forest green Ocean Jasper wing

The fact that silver is a less costly material to work with, drives artists to combine it with different metals.
Here is a beautiful ring where silver is combined with copper and brass using a special technique called Mokume Gane.


mokume gane ring, dafna dagan, silver jewelry
Mokume Gane ring by Dafna Dagan

And surprise, surprise - lately more and more artists start combining silver with diamonds.
Silver and colored diamonds, in particular, create a wonderful naturalistic combination.

sterling silver with brown diamonds, Pedro Boregard, silver jewelry
Alligator cuffs in sterling silver with brown diamonds by Pedro Boregard 

Yes, I can hear you say, but silver tarnishes with age. 
You are right, it does. 
But is this necessarily a problem?

Soft, muted finished silver jewelry, only gains in beauty as time passes.

To quote designer Christine Huber
"...when silver oxidizes with time, it subtly suggests the aging and survival of a relationship....seeing a woman wearing a blackened ring with diamonds, suggests the longevity and endurance of a loving relationship"

How can you not fall in love with this?
I can't.

Would love to hear from you, so leave your comments below and let me know:
Do you own silver jewelry?
Are you tempted to look for your special piece now?
Anything you would like to ask, or know more about?

Can't wait to hear from you,


Friday, August 2, 2013

Meet Amy - The person behind AKVjewelry

A bit excited, a little afraid....
But still daring to take the first step and write my very own blog.

This is me -
in the garden, where I spend as much time as I can

in the studio, sketching a new idea

49 years old
25+ years spend climbing the ladder of software industry
3 years ago, followed my heart and started designing jewelry

this is my first jewelry piece (will spare you my first photo :-) )

Silver, yellow diamonds set in 22k gold by akvjewelry
a ring I just finished, ready to go meet its new owner in Italy

Yes, I did go a long way...

But for me, this is only the beginning

I constantly challenge myself to create jewelry pieces
That will

......ADORN the body

a back necklace inspired by Mashrabiya - more about it in the next posts

..................INSPIRE the mind

one of the many Mashrabiya pictures that inspired me

...................................and UPLIFT the spirit 

( Really felt proud to wear this back necklace last week ) 

Why, would you ask, am I writing a blog instead of working at my bench?

Because I want to share with you
The stories, and the inspiration that make my creative juices flow
.......Be inspired by your comments
..............Get to know you

Why, would you read my blog?

To renew your sense of wonder at the beauty that surrounds us
.......even if it is on the other side of the earth

To get tips that will help you find
.......the perfect piece of jewelry
             (maybe it is already in your drawer, we will talk about it in one of the coming posts)

To get exclusive coupons and sale offers
       Just for you, my blog readers!

Sounds good?

 Take the first step to joining my blog readers club
................and sign up to receive blog updates via mail.
See the newsletter signup form at the top right corner of the page?
Just enter your email and click the 'Sign up' button - it's as simple as that!

See you,