Sunday, November 24, 2013

From sketch to the finished jewelry piece - join me in my studio!

Handmade fine jewelry, artisan jewelry, one of a kind....
What does it really mean?
What does it take to create a unique piece of jewelry?

Want to take a look behind the scenes, see how I create my jewelry pieces?
Here is a short video for you

Like it?
I hope so.

I would also like to let you know, that for one week only, starting THIS Wednesday, until December 3rd
ALL items in my store are at 25% off AND free shipping worldwide.

Yes, including these flower baskets!

No better time than now, to take a look at my ETSY store and get your favorite piece of jewelry at a reduced price.

Click here to find your new favorite piece of handmade fine jewelry!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Lalique - the art, the artist and ....the moon

Brooch by Rene Lalique

 It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
And in the case of Rene Lalique's work - no words can really describe the exquisite beauty of his art pieces.
this is also one of the cases where it is worth going beyond admiring the art and realize the greatness of the artist.

Rene Lalique was a rare individual: he possessed the ability to pursue and excel in two distinct careers, initially as an exclusive jewelry designer and later as the creator of stunning commercial glassware. - this is how Eric Knowles starts his review of Lalique.


Even more remarkable, is the fact that Lalique's career spanned two artistic periods - the Art Nouveau and the Art Deco - and while he remained loyal to his famous 3 'F' inspiration sources (fauna, flora and female) - his designs evolved and were at the leading edge of both artistic styles.

A gold enamel and opal wooded landscape plaque
inset with diamonds
Above and beyond these facts, there are two things which make Lalique a very unique artist.

The first one is his ability to innovate and reinvent the fundamental assumptions of both jewelry and glass arts.
Just think about it for a moment:
Would it occur to you to value a painting based on the price of the paint and canvass used to create it? Sounds silly, right?
But in the jewelry domain, what is more obvious than to price the piece based on the material it's made of?

Lillies of the valley,
horn, gold, opaque enamel on gold hair comb. 
Lalique challenged this concept.
While he used gold and diamonds in his creations, he loved semiprecious stones, in particular Opals.

He used enamel, glass and bronze in his jewelry pieces - and created a new standard for judging a piece's worth -
the artistic merit rather than the materials used.

Jewelry becomes Art, not just decorative art.

His innovations in the jewelry field included the use of non-traditional materials, for example horn, as well as technical innovations such as its transparent enamel technique - 'plique-a-jour'.

Which brings me to the second reason I admire Lalique's genius.

The kiss. Brooch in silver and pressed glass.
Swans vase. Blown glass in silver mount.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Lalique mastered two distinct mediums. To most of us, there is very little in common between metal and glass, but let's take a closer look.
Enamel is a vitreous material, basically glass powder.
Lalique's work with glass, started when he perfected his Enamel technique. At some point he started incorporating sculpted glass pieces in his jewelry.
But his innovative mind did not stop there.
He mastered the lost wax technique used in jewelry from antiquity, and applied it to glass - producing vases with unbelievable detail - not really achievable in any other way.
Remember the Opals he loved? - He experimented until he achieved the same type of opalescent effect in glass making use of the interplay between light and the glass transparency

Peacock bodice front. Gold, enamel, opal and brilliants

While there are quite a few artists that mastered more than one medium - take geniuses like Michelangelo as an example - few were able to blend them in such an innovative and creative way.  

Bacchantes. Lalique's famous sculpted glass vase
Two peacocks table lamp. Glass.

Hunt centerpiece, glass

One of Lalique's famous perfume bottles. Another innovation
as until his time, you would buy perfume in plain bottles and
pour it into your decorative bottle.
Are you familiar with the saying:

"Shoot for the moon and if you miss, you will still be among the stars" ?

Well, if there was even an artist I would set as "my" moon - this would be Lalique.

And the stars in this case, are still very far away - but definitely a worthy target.

This post was inspired by a long weekend my husband and I spent in France recently.
While the official reason for this trip was a family wedding, some of its highlights were seeing Lalique's work.

If you are in France, go see the 'Museum des Art Decoratifs' in Paris as well as Lalique's Museum in Wingen-sur-Moder.

Here are the relevant links:
This is the museum in Paris:
This is Lalique museum in Alsace region:

Suzanne. An opalescent statuette, fitted for illumination

Hope you enjoyed the read,
bye for now

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When history, color and jewelry meet

The old city of Akko - A view from the top of the surrounding walls
There are many stunningly beautiful places

Some of them have fascinating stories to tell

…few of these would really inspire you and make you fall in love.

If in the last post I was inspired by people - this time its about a place.

I recently spent a day in one of the most beautiful, interesting and fascinating cities in Israel – Akko (Acre).

Layers of history ( physical layers of the city from Crusaders’ time and Ottoman empire ) – topped with a living breathing city.

"Inn of the Columns". The best preserved khan in Israel
Constructed during the rule of Ahmed Jezzar Pasha in the Ottoman era

 ....Cat napping in the sun on the first floor

Just under the napping cat, an oriental gift shop.

A symphony of color – the cream color of ancient buildings, the turquoise doors ( protection against evil eye) and the unbelievable colors of the fishing port and the old market.

The fishing port. Akko is one of the oldest port cities in the world

Fishing boats, resting now after the night fishing trips
Colorful spices in the old market. Oh the smells ....
 Fancy a fresh glass of red grapefruit juice?
I had one. Yummy!

Exotic fruit in the old market. by this time I was drunk with colors and smells.
Baskets filled with Pomegranates everywhere
Inspiring blend of 4 religions (Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Bahai) and many cultures coexisting, living together.

Muslim prayer - see the plastic chairs just behind him? A family was having an early lunch
were they Muslims? Christians? Jews? No idea. Coexistance

The old clock tower. 
This square tower was build in 1906 to commemorate 25 years of Sultan Abdul Hamid II's rule.

Four clocks were added to the top of the tower in the early 1960s:

On the southern face - Hebrew letters used as numerals.
On the eastern face - Arabic numerals
On the northen face - Western style numerals
On the western face - Roman numerals

I liked Akko when I first saw it, years ago. 
Every time I go there, I discover something new, a new story, a new layer, a new angle of light reveling yet another secret.

Needless to say, at the end of this day, the thought of creating an Akko inspired jewelry collection crossed my mind.

And speaking of jewelry, I thought this is a good time to share with you one of my necklaces that was inspired by ancient designs.

Rest your eyes after all these colors with monochrome silver,
Stay with the intricately combined layers – this time woven loops of fine silver wire
Ancient design, from Etruscans and the Roman times
A handmade. fine silver Roman chain necklace,

In a unisex version -

And in the artisan version, combined with a one of a kind pendant that doubles as a clasp.
What do you think of it?

Hope you enjoyed this short virtual trip.
And if old colorful historic places inspire you as well, why don't you share with us in the comment?

until next time,