NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for February 2009
In This Issue
- Happy Valentine's Day
- SHOP SPOTLIGHT: Knotty Beads
- ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: Marcia Southwick of B. Bold Jewelry for Boomer Girls
- WELCOME: Inspired Design Creations
- SYNERGY Jewelry & Collectibles
- Share Creative Hands With A Friend
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
Click here to see a special Valentines video message from Ruby Lane, or go to:
Atlantic Treasure Island
'Pink Puffy Hearts' Lampwork Beads Necklace
SHOP SPOTLIGHT: KNOTTY BEADS
Knotty Beads is committed to creating one of a kind pieces that speak of quality and originality, every piece is unique. I macramé with a variety of threads but mainly stick with a durable nylon thread (s-lon #18) or high quality 3-ply waxed linen thread from Belfast, Ireland, both give comfort and durability along with a lovely rich appeal. A variety of different beads are used, from semi-precious stones, glass beads, horn and bone beads, clay beads, really whatever fits my fancy at the moment I sit down to create a piece. I also make custom pieces to order. If you see something you like but the length or colors are wrong, I can recreate something similar (but never identical) for you.
Today's Macrame has come a long ways from the 70's, when as a young girl I made hemp chokers and bracelets alongside my mother as she made her plant hangers and owl wall hangings. My love for macrame never stopped and you will feel this in the unique pieces I create.
Microme is a term now used when it comes to Jewelry made with the smaller thread like the s-lon thread I often use. The technique, however, is still indelibly macrame.
This is a time consuming love of mine, one piece can take anywhere from two hours to several hours to make, but I love how the macrame knotting and thread color adds a unique distinct beauty not found in regular strung beaded jewelery. It is my hope that you find pleasure in my Knotty Beads collection of Jewelry.
Though I am new to Ruby Lane, please be assured that you will be treated with the highest of care and quality service. Sally Bauer of Knotty Beads
ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: MARCIA SOUTHWICK OF B. BOLD JEWELRY FOR BOOMER GIRLS
B.BOLD Jewelry for Boomer Girls was born out of necessity. Women who over fifty are basically ignored when it comes to fashion. It's difficult to find anything not meant for a twenty-year-old. One day, out of frustration, I decided to accessorize and sell everything in my wardrobe that wasn't classic or timeless. After reading several beading books, I started making jewelry to accent what was left. What a relief! I could suddenly wear basic black, add a new piece or two of very bold jewelry, and my look became different every time. I could even pack a lighter suitcase.
Soon, however, I found myself with way too much jewelry. I decided to take all of it to the East Coast to see if it would sell. Due to my mother's support, I sold out. (All of her friends are wearing my jewelry.) She has encouraged me every step of the way. I owe her everything!
As a retired creative writing professor who has published several books of poetry, my process has always been evolutionary with specific artistic goals that entail logical forward and sideways steps. I've come to have a good sense of what I need to do next. This kind of learning has had a huge influence on my jewelry making.
The complex nature of color is endlessly interesting to me. Joseph Albers gave his students 200 exercises in which they placed different colored craft paper squares next to one another to see how one color influences another when combined. During this process, colors shift in value, tone, impact, and complexity. They also shift from foreground to middle ground, to background and back again. This process sometimes would involve juggling three or four colors at once.
When I make a piece of jewelry, I "revise, revise, revise"—just as I was taught to do when writing poetry. I study materials, to experiment with texture as it applies to color and shape. Over time, trial and error has led me to find top quality sources for those materials.
As a writer, I am considered a collage artist. When it comes to my jewelry, this has caused me to experiment with juxtaposing disparate kinds of beads to change them in context. You'll see formal shell pearls, stunning imitations made out of the linings of mollusks, next to rustic Chinese turquoise. I'll sometimes place beads from completely different cultures next to one another to create something new. I also work with light and heavy textures to achieve a lively balance between them. When I'm finished with a project, and have gotten the sequence, texture, and colors right, it's as if the new necklace or bracelet comes to life!
William Butler Yeats said that poetry is "the right words in the right order." The same principle applies to beading. It's as if beads, placed next to one another in a sequence, are speaking a non-verbal language. The way beads function in a necklace can even become rhythmic and have incremental repetition in terms of how they are ordered. Certain beads can take on more importance in a particular context than they have on their own. Other beads that stand out on their own can be softened and given less emphasis in a new context. The varying effects are exciting and endless. The more I learn, the more there is to learn, and that's what generates artistic passion, motivation, and inspiration.
Ruby Lane is the best online resource there is for jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. I'm truly impressed by the attention of the founders and staff to quality. Other artists have written me out of the blue to encourage me, and I'm learning from them every day.
The wonderful thing about making jewelry is that it is fertile ground for the creative process itself. Every day, I see that this is the case for all of the artists on the Artisan Jewelry lane. All of us are competing, yet growing together and supporting one another. What could be more exciting than that? For me, it's the start of a whole new creative phase in my life. Marcia Southwick of B BOLD Jewelry for Boomer Girls
WELCOME: INSPIRED DESIGN CREATIONS
I tell people that the left side of my brain controlled the first half of my life, and now it's the right side's turn! Although I've always had a creative streak, I excelled in math and science in school. I majored in chemistry in college, then went on to get a doctorate in optometry. I taught at an optometry college for about 10 years. I'm passionate about teaching, which I guess explains why I include information about the history of gemstones --- I like the thought that perhaps someone will learn something new as the result of my efforts!
I've been creating and selling jewelry for about 5 years. Every piece of jewelry is an original design that is conceived and handcrafted by me, Catherine Hines. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. While I may occasionally make a similar piece, I will never duplicate a piece. I have so many design ideas floating in my head that once I create a design I'm eager to move on to another! And my customers are insured that they have a truly unique piece of jewelry.
Most of my jewelry is created with semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. Occasionally I incorporate vintage beads, shells, unusual glass or ceramic beads, or beads that I've created out of polymer clay. I most often choose sterling silver for the metal components (clasps, spacer beads and chains) or I'll use vermeil (sterling silver electroplated heavily with 22k gold) when the design calls for a gold-tone metal. Lately I've been attracted to copper, partly due to the skyrocketing cost of silver, but also because it works so well the color palettes that are popular this season.
I also have a passion for off-loom seed bead weaving. In these techniques, tiny seed beads are handwoven together with thread in various patterns to create a fabric or a rope. As you can imagine, this is very time consuming! But the results are well worth the time; the jewelry pieces I create with seed bead weaving are some of my favorites.
I also love to design jewelry based on the symbolism and meaning of gemstones. Over time, I've become fascinated by the history of jewelry, especially the myths and folklore surrounding gemstones. Archeologists say that beads first appeared with the advent of modern man 40,000 years ago and since then every culture throughout the world has probably created and used beads. While our modern culture considers jewelry mainly as adornment, it served numerous roles in earlier cultures: it was a medium for commerce and trade, a symbol of status within a society, and an integral part of sacred rituals. Many cultures, including all the advanced ancient civilizations, believed that gemstones had magical powers: they had protective, talismanic powers that could keep evil spirits away, they bestowed certain powers or energy upon the wearer, and they could cure assorted illnesses.
As a result of gemstones' various uses throughout history, even our modern culture associates certain symbolism with gemstones. For instance, there are birthstones for each month of the year, as well as for the 12 signs of the zodiac. A diamond, of course, symbolizes love and devotion. Amethyst is the stone of sincerity, while citrine symbolizes wealth.
In addition to creating jewelry, I'm also passionate about the outdoors. I enjoy hiking and backpacking, especially in the mountains of western North Carolina. There's nothing like a night in the woods to wash away stress and restore harmony. Nature is the ultimate inspiration! Catherine Hines of Inspired Design Creations
SYNERGY JEWELRY & COLLECTIBLES
Some people are born with a creative soul, a desire and need to fashion an object d'art or a wearable treasure. I am one of those blessed people. From a young age, I watched my mother create lovely dresses, quilts, and curtains from beautiful fabrics. However, her expertise never rubbed off on me. All my sewing attempts failed, as I could not even cut straight, let alone stitch a perfect row!
Life had always held many interests for me, cooking, gardening, reading, scrap booking, but there was a yearning to discover my true passion and the artistic outlet that spoke to my heart. When decorating my home, I found myself drawn to antiques and collectibles and was especially fascinated by vintage jewelry. I recalled favorite childhood memories of playing dress up with grandma's gowns, gloves, and hats. However, the best part of make believe, was when I opened her jewelry box and all her sparkling treasures were revealed! With the purchase of my very first Victorian locket, I was captivated! I became an ardent collector of vintage jewelry; lockets still are a personal favorite. Ruby Lane then became the ideal place to market the surplus of jewels!
My collection expanded to include little trinkets and baubles; sweet do-dads that needed some tender loving care to come alive again! Bins spilling over, ideas flowing, I began to re-invent the jewels into new pieces and Synergy Jewelry was born. Bits of fantasy mix with enjoyment, my mind plans a design as my workspace cascades with wonderful keepsakes of yesteryear. Sentimental objects are layered for a necklace, assembled into a collage, or used to design a bracelet. Using buttons, cameos, chains, ivory, mosaics, porcelain, Victorian scrap, or watch faces; the pieces come together like a puzzle, I add tidbits until the fit is just right! Customers with special orders are thrilled when their beloved heirlooms are re-designed into wearable jewelry for today. They describe my jewelry as feminine and sensual!
My latest ardor is the Grandmother's Jewel Box Vintage series of bracelets, dedicated to the dreams of that little girl in the big shoes and hat, dripping in jewels! The bracelets are comprised of a multitude of found objects and I usually incorporate a vintage locket. They are addictive and have definitely fueled my creative fires! Oh and they are hot! Ladies have grabbed my wrist, exclaiming, "Where did you get that bracelet? I must have one!" Hence, the name Synergy was derived for my business: it is the attraction, excitement and reaction of finding the perfect adornment that you simply cannot live without! What serendipity!
Every day when "I go to work", I can genuinely declare with enthusiasm and joy, that I L-O-V-E my job, it's a "charmed" life! Karen Soldwisch of Synergy Collectibles
SHARE CREATIVE HANDS WITH A FRIEND
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