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Archive for September 22nd, 2010

Combining The Wearable With The Theatrical

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Michael Zobel
Combining the wearable with the theatrical


Can you the artist ever be appropriately flamboyant, sensitively flaming, “out-there” yet still “in-here”?

Michael Zobel is an artist known for his dramatic works.    How successful do you think he has been, walking that line between wearable and costume?

What does it mean to walk that line?

Something showy?

Something evocative?

Something which shows the materials (metals and stones) off in unusual ways?

Something that has your friends running towards you, rather than away from you?

I find it interesting that the many pieces he has on display seem much more dramatic than the pieces he has on his website for sale.      What does this observation mean, when thinking how dramatic to get with your own pieces?

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Artisan Eco Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Lionel Aubert
Artisan Eco Jewelry

It is truly amazing what kinds of jewelry can be made from wood and other similar natural materials, encrusted with gemstones held in place by the force and shape of the wood.    No glue or prongs here.

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Another Collectible Vintage Jewelry Artist

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Theodor Fahrner
Another Collectible Vintage Jewelry Artist

Fahrner created sterling with gemstone, crystal, or rhinestones, pieces of jewelry in the 1910’s and 1920’s in Germany.    His style varied a bit from avante garde-art nouveau-art deco to more traditional styles.

Fahrner is an example of a big enterprise jeweler.    He patented several processes for mechanically or partially-mechanically reproducing jewelry.    While he designed jewelry himself, he also worked with jewelry artists all over Germany, and reproduced their designs under the Fahrner label.

His jewelry is associated with high quality workmanship.   He tended to avoid flowery and lacey forms within his pieces, because these would be difficult to mass produce.

Fahrner died in 1919, but his “label” continued until 1945.

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Jelly Bellies

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Jelly Bellies – Vintage Jewelry

Lots of people collect vintage jewelry today.    One of the most collectible vintage piece is known as a Jelly Belly.

Jelly Bellies are an animal made out of sterling or vermeil, with a carved piece of lucite for its belly.    It is rumoured that the lucite came from old airplane windshields.

A lucite belly is more valuable than a glass belly.   A clear lucite is better than a colored belly.

You can usually find these at next to nothing.   They resell for hundreds of dollars.

The first jelly bellies made have been made as early as 1938.  Most were made between 1943 and 1945, and set in sterling or vermeil.  Sterling was rationed and very expensive during these war years, so adding a piece of Lucite to the design made it possible to produce large, eye-catching designs. After the war and into the 1950’s they were made in base metals, but all of them are delightful!

Many costume jewelry manufacturers used the Jelly Bellies which means some are marked and some are not, but most famous are the Trifari and Corocraft sterling designs, which incorporated fantastic design with breathtaking quality of materials and craftsmanship.

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