Asteria Colored Diamonds

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jewelry of a Feather and Other Materials and Techniques that Flock Together

Candy colored bracelets by Carol Martin Jewelry.

The thing about jewelry is that creativity and art doesn’t have to be restricted to precious materials or a structured ways of doing things. Individuality was clearly evident and prevalent among the jewelry designers at the recent Buyers Market of American Craft show held in Philadelphia, held Feb. 17-21. 


The Durango, Colo., resident specializes in pate de verre and kiln cast glass methods. Kiln casting involves the preparation of a mould that is filled with solid glass granules or lumps that's heated to a high temperature to fill the mould. Pate de verre is a form of kiln casting that uses finely crushed glass mixed with a binding material to create a paste that is applied to the inner surface of a negative mould forming a coating. The coated mould is fired and the glass is fused creating a hollow object. Needless to say these are labor intestine techniques so it is rare in jewelry design. She also does precious metal fabrication in sterling silver, 14k gold and gold fill, a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass. The result of all this work is serious jewelry with a playful appearance. It includes candy-colored bracelets (top picture) in round, square and triangular shapes; rings with center glass pieces that look like colored gemstones; pendants that appear like colorful glow sticks; and bracelets built of glass beads fitted with a sterling silver clasp (pictured above).


Volver A Volar
The first booth I stopped at during the BMAC jewelry preview, Feb. 17, was showcasing earrings made of rooster feathers and silver. Totally natural, the multi-colored feathers, which included orange, yellow and white in various natural designs, stood out boldly mixed among the black feathers, which were the most common. They are the work of Sonia Lub, a Napa Valley resident who began the business last year. The name of the company is Spanish for, “To fly away.”


 Sergio Lub
Sharing the booth with Sonia was her father, Sergio, who was showing his hand-crafted copper and magnetic bracelets, which the native of Argentina has been making since 1969. They come in various designs and of course these types of bracelets have been popular in recent years because of possible added health benefits. For example, being near a magnetic force may result in increased circulation. Meanwhile, small amounts of cooper absorbed through the skin may have benefits for those who suffer from arthritis.


The German native is a metalsmith works primarily with 14k to 18k gold, sterling silver and platinum that he occasionally matches with various gemstones and pearls. He does bring an unusual perspective to his designs. He seems to enjoy stretching the metals into loops and other curved shapes of varying degrees of thickness. It’s most evident in his double-looped oversized bracelets that crossover a person’s arm. 


Among the items that the jewelry artist was displaying, was a group of colorful flat earrings made of hand-pigmented resin and sterling silver. The different colors and shades swirl and blend in circular patterns like water. They come in several shapes, including round, teardrop, oval and marquis.

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