Monday, March 29, 2010

Bakelite Video

Collectors of vintage jewelry are most likely familiar with the term bakelite jewelry. This phenol thermoplastic is one of the most collectible of the vintage plastic family. I have written articles on how to identify bakelite and also the fake plastic which often tries to fool people, fakelite.

Just today I found an interesting You Tube Video on the history of bakelite that you may be interested in viewing. It was made in Amsterdam and is called "Transatlantic Chemistry: Baekland the Inventor of Bakelite."

The video explores the fascinating life story of the Belgian American inventor Leo Henricus Arthur Baekland, his experiments and adventures at the turn of the 20th century, and especially his discovery of Bekelite, the material that conquered the world, and led to a collecting frenzy in the vintage jewelry world.

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Today's Vintage Jewelry Find - Spoontiques Unicorn Brooch

My daughter is at college and I miss having her home all the time. When I get particularly lonely for her, I also get very nostalgic.

When she was a little girl she loved unicorns and mystical horses, like the My Little Ponies" series. So, when I was trying to find the piece of the week for this week, this lovely unicorn brooch by Spoontiques really fit the bill.

The brooch is set in pewter and has the most fabulous detail., particularly in the area of the mane. The pin is 1 3/4 x 2 1/2" in sized and is signed and dated © Spoontiques Pewter USA 4125.
This lovely Spoontiques unicorn brooch is available from my Ruby Lane Shop - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry for only $21.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bellari Necklace takes top honors in the 2010 JCK Jeweler's Awards

JCK's third annual Jewelers Choice Awards have announced the winners for 2010. There were 233 entries from jewelry designers and manufacturers submitted for the design contest, and the voters declared their favorites in January as the finalists.

Taking top honors as the grand-prize winner is a multicolored gemstone and rhodolite beaded necklace from BELLARRI shown here.

The winning necklace is from Bellari's Mademoiselle Collection and features over 37.50 ct, of genuine multi colored gemstones and rhodolite beads as well as 1 ct.of genuine diamonds. It has a suggested retail value of $13, 135.

You can view more of the winnners on this page of the JCK website.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Polymer Clay Challenge for this Month - Faux

The folks at Polymer Clay Central have another challenge on right now. The name of this month's challenge is "Faux." The contestants have come up with all sorts of designs befitting the name.

There are fake acorns, fake snakeskins, fake malachite clock and fake bronze pendant. It's amazing what can be done with polymer clay.

Polymer clay is a sculptable material based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It usually contains no clay minerals, and is only called "clay" because its texture and working properties resemble those of mineral clay. It is sold in craft, hobby, and art stores, and is used by artists, hobbyists, and children.

You can vote on your favorite challenge piece on this page of the Polymer Clay website. Voting ends at the end of March.

My favorite is a grouping of pendants shown here, which are meant to represent carnelian, bone, turquoise and leather. Which is your favorite entry?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Contemporary Jewelery Designer So Young Park

If you love contemporary designers, you will want to be in New York this month. The Aaron Farber gallery has an exhibit of three contemporary designers, one of whom is So Young Park. The exhibit is called Working in Metal - Three Women and will take place from March 18 to April 19.

I have discussed the exhibit on my Vintage Jewelry Lane Blog, but will talk a little bit about So Young Park, since I am most fond of her work.

So Young Park has developed her unique style of working in sterling and gold through her technical virtuosity and a background in metal arts honed in both Korea and the United States.

So Young Park’s concept is that of nativity; where her work is not created but born through her diligent creativity of forming metal. According to her, human and plant life have similar growth and life characteristics. She appreciates being involved in the process to experience the power of miracles, even if it requires the endurance to give a life to her jewelry.

Her jewelry pieces express use organic plant forms and sea lives that are artistically rendered in a simplistic, geometric, and sophisticated manner.

Ms. Park has a bachelor of fine arts and craft design from the Kon-kuk University in Seoul, Korea, and masters of fine arts degree in Metal and Jewelry Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

You can learn more about So Young Park on her website. Here are some examples of her work:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rebajes - The Master of Copper Art Jewelry

Copper jewelry from all designers is very collectible, but the real master is Francisco Rebajes. This well known designer created copper jewelry from the early 1930s to the late 1960s.

Rebajes was born in Spain, but his parents immigrated to the USA. He created modernistic copper and sterling silver jewelry in his New York studio, in Greenwich, before returning to Spain in 1967. The shop sold jewelry and objets d'art. His designs were unusual and dramatic. All pieces were handcrafted, and unique. They remain some of the most collectible of copper jewelry pieces today.

Rebajes' jewelry clearly reflects artistic and cultural influences. Many of the designs show his fondness of Pablo Picasso. His masks series are perhaps the most well known of his pieces.

The design mark is the word Rebajes with a stylized sideways number 8. It is engraved into the pieces on the back of the designs.

Here are a few recent Rebajes arrivals at Vintage Jewelry Lane. You can click the pictures for more details and additional photos.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Cutest Scottie Dog Pin Ever!

I have a fondness for dog jewelry of all types. My favorites are German Shepherd dog jewelry, since I have three of them. (I lost my mind one day! - long story...) But a close second comes Scottish Terrier jewelry. My parents have two of them, and they are just adorable.

So, when I came across this fabulous pin, I just had to share it with others. It's made of heavy vintage plastic with a riveted in pin back, and the colors are such deep rich shades, to say nothing of the fabulous design.

The pin is large too - it measures a big 2 3/8" and is thick and weight to feel. It's available for $30 in my Ruby Lane Shop - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry. But hurry, at this price, it won't last long. (I just listed it yesterday and already has someone place an offer on it.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

MJSA Expo Offers Seminars for a Post-Recession Jewelry World

The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) will present a series of free seminars during Expo New York, on March 14 to March 16, 2010, to help jewelry makers "survive and thrive" in the post-recession world. The sessions will cover many areas of marketing, business strategy and other jewelry techniques.

If you are a jewelry designer coming to New York this week, you can make the most of your trip by taking advantage of the design related events which are scheduled around the show.

The event is the largest and oldest jewelry trade show in the US and is dedicated to the design and manufacture of jewelry. The seminars at the show will be conducted by some of the jewelry industry's top presenters.

The seminars will cover topics such as "surviving the recession" to "working with alternative metals." A full shedule of events can be found here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Creative Jewelry Designs - Barbie and Ken Jewelry

If you have a daughter, you are likely to be well acquainted with the phenomenon known as Barbie. Even though I had made a decision that MY daughter wouldn't own one of these dolls, birthday parties soon put an end to that decision.

I recently found a contemporary designer who make new use of the term "green jewelry. " The designer is Margaux Lange, and she makes one of a kind jewelry from recycled Barbie and Ken doll parts.

The collection utilizes salvaged doll parts, in combination with sterling silver and pigmented resins, for a unique jewelry design.

Lange received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001, where her Plastic Body Series was first conceived. She has been creating and exhibiting for nearly 10 years and the jewelry has been published in numerous books. The Barbie Body Series is sought after by Art Jewelry collectors, Barbie nostalgics, and bold individuals alike.

The collection consists of necklaces, bracelets, pins, earrings and rings. Many feature parts of Barbie, and some use parts of both Barbie and Ken. Here are some examples:

Photo credit Margaux Lange

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rings on the Auction Block in Birmingham, UK

My favorite Auction House in the UK, Fellows and Sons, has an upcoming auction of secondhand Jewelry & Watches, which will be held on Thursday 11th March 2010 at 10.30am.

I had a look at the auction catalogue and this time, rings seem to be a big focus of the selections of jewelry. (The watches are first in the catalogue and jewelry selections come later in the list.) You don't even have to be the UK to bid. Just register and bid online!

Here are a few of my favorites, with rubies, sapphires and diamonds. Anyone need a new ring? The auction might be just the place to have a look.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Michelle Obama in Diamonds and Pearls in Recent Interview about Childhood Obesity

Michelle Obama was recently interviewed by Robin Givhan of the Washington Post to discuss her campaign to help combat childhood obesity.

The first lady wore a Moschino sheath dress which had a a fabric rosette at the right shoulder. She accessorized the frock with another of her pretty brooches - this one a Garavelli flower design accented with diamonds. It was an anniversary gift from the president.

She finished off the look with a colorful pearl multi strand bracelet with dangles. What do you think of the look?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vintage Jewelry Word of the Week - Arabesque

The word arabesque is used to describe a design which has flowing repeated geometric forms and patterns that combine in a fanciful way. The designs often having low relief curlicues.

Often the design is very elaborate and consists of intertwined branches, leaves or flower patterns. The main characteristic is the flowing style or intertwining of the elements of the motif.

The technique originates from Baghdad in the 10th century. It was very popular in the Muslim world in both architecture and other design mediums.

The technique was used not only on jewelry, but also on jewelry boxes itself. The final result is a piece which is both romantic and feminine with a filigree appeal and look to it. The style is also very popular as etching on lockets. Cameos are also styles of jewelry which are set in Arabesque frames.

Here are some examples of arabesque patterns:


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