Saturday, September 26, 2009

SARAH GRAHAM METALSMITHING

As we stroll within the lush surroundings of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, we learn that it is bigger than New York's Central Park, and was once an expanse of sand dunes more than 130 years ago.

We explore the park's Conservatory of Flowers and the five-acre Japanese Tea Garden, which is one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the United States. California is also the home of featured jewelry designer Sarah Graham.

Friday, September 25, 2009

ULLA HORNFELDT JEWELLERY

Sterling Silver and Lapis Brooch Pin
The magnificent Royal Castle of Stockholm in Sweden, built with sandstone and brick, houses over 600 rooms and functions as the reigning king's, Karl XVI Gustaf, workplace.

Among other duties, his majesty holds nearly a dozen annual dinners and is protected by armed, royal guards at all times.

Sweden is also the hometown of featured jewelry designer Ulla Hornfeldt.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

SANDRA MARDINI JEWELRY DESIGN

There is no mistaking the elegant yet powerful beauty of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

Architect Robert Mills, in honor of the first U.S. President George Washington, designed the century plus obelisk in 1836.

Construction began on the 550-foot tall structure 12 years later--161 years ago--on July 4. Washington, D.C. is also the current home of featured jewelry designer Sandra Mardini.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MING DESIGN

As we move along Windsor Castle's sprawling 26 acres, we are mesmerized by the great sense of history and majesty. At over 900 years old, it is one of England's oldest castles and is a periodic residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

It houses a grand collection of fine art including paintings by Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Canaletto. England is also the home of featured jewelry designer Ming Lampson.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SUSANNE FRIIS BJORNER

Today we visit Denmark's Botanical Garden and Natural History Museum, which houses over 23,000 plants from every corner of the world including the Galapagos Islands, Madagascar, Norway, and Denmark. Denmark is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Susanne Friis Bjorner.

Monday, September 21, 2009

SABIDO & BASTERIS

Today we explore the incredible Mayan ruin Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico. Once categorized as an Atlantean outpost, Palenque's remarkable temples--the Temple of Inscriptions, the Temple of Jaguar, and the Temple of the Sun--are architectural wonders covered with colorful motifs reminiscent of Asian art. Mexico is also the home base of jewelry brand Sabido & Basteris.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

MADELAINE MAYER | MRMR DESIGNS

Today we visit Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan, New York. Named for former Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins, the park's tumultuous and dramatic reputation has settled down in recent years. Today the park's family-friendly 10.5 acres houses handball and basketball courts, playgrounds, and outdoor chess tables. New York is also the hometown of featured jewelry designer, Madelaine Mayer.

Mayer's design approach is not only concerned with the careful selection of materials but also the creation of jewelry specific to each woman.

"Jewelry should perfectly suit the woman wearing it. It should be just the right length, just the right stones, and just the right composition for each individual," she explains.

Mayer's purposefulness and forethought even resonates in the name selections chosen for her custom-made pieces. The monikers of Greek deities, like Clio and Aeolus, add a wonderful touch of fantasy and spiritual symbolism.

Jewelry has been a longtime fascination for Mayer, "I have always made and loved jewelry ever since I was a little girl," she says. Over the years, however, Mayer periodically experimented with different materials and jewelry styles, but eventually she stopped making jewelry.

She attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where she received a Masters Degree studying her other passion, architecture. She subsequently landed a position with the firm Mitchell Giurgola Architects in New York.

Though not as prevalent, her jewelry-making inclinations never faded and in 2000, she studied jewelry design at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. Eight years later, while preparing for a friend's wedding, she had an epiphany.
"I made an endless rope of pearls to wear to a friend's wedding," she recalls. "I was so busy studying architecture I hadn't made any jewelry in several years, and I had forgotten how much I loved the art of making jewelry. I started getting daily compliments on that necklace and that was it; MRMR Designs was born."

Mayer's passion for architecture could not be expelled from her. Her ethereal, exquisite designs are influenced by ideologies of form and structure.

"I like clean lines, balanced forms, and absolute durability. If a piece can't stand up to my daily abuse and scrutiny, it doesn't make it in the line. One of the best compliments paid me was by a colleague who said that my jewelry pieces look like an architect designed them."

Mayer primarily works with sterling silver and an incredible array of semi-precious gemstones that range from the pale yellows of citrine to the milky violet hues of amethyst.

Mayer's extensive knowledge of gemstones highly affects her jewelry making philosophy. "There are stones, like the green amethyst, which most women have not seen, and they are so delicate and lovely," she enthuses.

"There are so many more amazing shapes, colors, and types of pearls out there. I think beautiful, high quality, and unique pieces should be accessible to all women."

On Monday, September 21, 2009, Mayer will display her beautiful trinkets at the Fall 2009 Trunk Show of New York's Fashion Week. She also participated in the 3rd Annual Architects by Day, Jewelry Designers by Night jewelry show.
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Photo 1 (top right): Leda Earrings with Blue Quartz Briolettes
Photo 2 (center): Hand Woven Triple Sterling Silver Anteros Bracelet with Citrine Cabochons
Photo 3 (bottom left): Estarte Necklace with Citrine Briolettes on Sterling Silver Chain

Friday, September 18, 2009

SURA JEWELRY

A former meeting place for kings, princes, emperors, and dukes, today we visit the resplendent Beyerbeyi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. Built by Armenian architects during the mid-19th century under the order of Sultan Abdulaziz, the palace houses crystal chandeliers from France, oil paintings, and porcelain vases. Turkey is also the home of featured jewelry designer, Yeliz Titiz.

During the 16th century, it was customary for Ottoman artisans to implement gemstones and precious metals to not only jewelry but also functional items like utensils and book covers.

Titiz' designs magnificently capture this bold and complex approach. No stranger to fashion, Titiz' family owns a popular apparel company in Istanbul. Her interest in exquisite jewelry began during travels throughout Europe. She developed a magnetic attraction to antique jewelry, collecting an assortment of trinkets during her travels.

Inspired by Istanbul's inherent beauty, in 2007 Titiz established her company Sura Jewelry named for an ancient, Byzantine city. The gorgeous, majestic, and feminine jewelry is fit for a queen. It is a testament to the techniques of ancient Ottoman craftsmen while also incorporating modern aesthetics.

In fact, Titiz works closely with skilled Turkish artisans who fashion her designs from richly colored, semi-precious gemstones, and brass and silver immersed in 24-karat gold. Gemstones range in color from blue agate to red tourmaline and every color in between including sunflower yellows, and autumn oranges.

The pieces are bulky and ornate making them sumptuous and eye catching. Her cuffs, in particular, are bold with various styles that include complex floral motifs, and corset shapes accented with spectacular, large stones (in some cases the stones are uncut).

Keeping in step with the traditional jewelry of the country, even the more understated pieces, such as single-stone pendants, have immense presence and power.

Former fashion model Nancy Alexander sells Sura Jewelry from her website ShopTerrene.com. An avid traveler, Alexander created the site to showcase one-of-a-kind jewelry made by international artisans and sell the pieces at affordable rates.

Publications featuring Titiz' jaw dropping designs include Six Degrees, Ocean Drive, Glamour, People en Español, InStyle Hair, and Florida.
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Photo 1 (top right): 24-Karat Gold-Dipped Brass Ece Earrings with Turquoise Drops
Photo 2 (bottom left): 24-Karat Gold-Dipped Sevda Cuff with Pearl Accents

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CONSTANZE SCHREIBER

Today we stand within the majestic walls of Germany's Mespelbrunn Castle. Its hidden location in a Bavarian valley protected it through World Wars I and II, and it is considered one the country's most beautiful castles. Its halls are filled with gorgeous columns with carved angels, masks, and rosettes. Germany is also the hometown of featured jewelry designer, Constanze Schreiber.

A photo of Schreiber's skull bracelet was the first piece I saw from her unusual jewelry collections. To be frank, I found the spooky, drawn faces of the skulls rather creepy. As I read about her, and viewed more of her pieces I recognized the expansive themes she conveys through her jewelry.

Working with porcelain, fine silver, copper, ceramics, silk, plastic, steel, iron, and fur, Schreiber bases her unconventional designs on traditional antique jewelry. "I focus mainly on pieces out of the 19th and 20th centuries particularly protective amulets that remind the wearer of his or her mortality," she says.

Ethereal flowers structured from white silk, and silver, beautifully designed fur necklaces, as well as the skull pieces each serve as manifestations and/or interpretations of themes ranging from remembrance to love to death to fear. Often times a single piece is a representation of two or more symbols.

Having studied jewelry design and goldsmithing in the Netherlands and Denmark, Schreiber has a joyous fascination with exploring unusual materials, textures, ideas, and symbols. "I believe there is a crucial truth in the symbols and archetypes of the past that are still valid today. I see them as attempts by human beings to give form to essential themes."

Schreiber's unique jewelry will definitely engage those who see it, and her pieces have been exhibited in the Museum of Applied Arts in Denmark, the Gallery Funaki Connect in Australia, and the Gallery Ornamentum in Chicago.

"I am intrigued by the beauty and power of symbolic meanings," Schreiber explains. "The symbolic meanings make the pieces so powerful for me. I am searching for a contemporary continuation of traditional jewelry."

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Photo 1 (top right): Fine Silver and Silk Flower Necklace with 18-Karat Gold Accents
Photo 2 (bottom left): Katharine Necklace made from Fur, Silver and Lead

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SIMON COTTRELL

The Red Sand Garden, the Eucalypt Walk, and the Dry River Bed are just a few of the various landscapes found within Melbourne, Australia's Royal Botanic Gardens. One other attraction located on the grounds is the National Herbarium of Victoria, which contains over one million-plant specimen. Australia is also the home of featured jewelry designer, Simon Cottrell.

All jewelry is engaging no matter the style or type of materials used. It captures your attention causing you to marvel at its design. Cottrell's jewelry and objects are not beautiful in a conventional sense, but the forms are undoubtedly intriguing.

Cottrell is a graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMITU), receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Goldsmithing and Silversmithing, as well as a Masters Degree in Fine Arts.

His designs possess an absorbing mechanical and futuristic aspect as he implements not only gold and sterling silver but also stainless steel, and Monel. Monel is a corrosion-resistant metal used to make musical instruments, ships, and pipes, and the metal seems to add a substantial, almost militaristic dimension to his pieces.

His mixed metal objects and jewelry appear to possess a puzzle-like, interlocking component as though he made individual parts and assembled them. Interestingly enough, my visual deconstructing or constructing is exactly the reaction Cottrell wants.

There is a distinct, somewhat scientific, intellectualism to his creative process. "It is attentiveness that enables us to understand the nature of cause and effect within the production of materials. The visual `simplicity' of an object contains a complexity within its structure," he explains.

"I am materializing my view of the `nature of things', which in turn is just giving you something to look at and hopefully bring you in closer. Getting accustomed to looking closely at small things, like jewelry, leads us to break down the components of something larger."

Cottrell is the recipient of RMITU's L. Puzsar Award for Best Jewelry Design in Gold and Silversmithing, the Johnson Mathey Award for Excellence in Silversmithing, and the Koodak Peoples Choice Award. Exhibitions of his innovative designs have been held in India, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, London, the United States, Korea, and Germany.

Cottrell does not have a website at this time; however, you can view more of his objects and jewelry at Klimt02.net.
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Photo 1 (top right): Green Gold and Stainless Steel Tight Cluster Brooch
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Blob Brooch with Facetted Tubes

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MEIRI ISHIDA JEWELRY & OBJECT

Built in the early 18th century, the Rikugien Gardens in Tokyo, Japan is a beautiful area with lush, green hills, a pond, and a weeping cherry tree. The garden's structure is patterned after Japanese waka poems, which are characterized by five lines. Japan is also the hometown of featured jewelry designer, Meiri Ishida.

Ishida's creations are essentially tactile textiles. Try saying that three times in rapid succession. That is quite a tongue twister. One look at Ishida's objects and jewelry made with multi-colored felt, gold and silver had the same effect. I was at a loss for words.

I like it when a designer goes with an unconventional design approach, setting himself/herself apart, establishing their individuality, and expanding their creativity.

A graduate of Tokyo's Tama Art University (T.M.U.), Ishida specialized in glass art, but her love of various textures and aesthetics led to lots of experimentation. Four years after graduating from T.M.U., Ishida attended the Alchimia School of Contemporary Jewelry in Florence, Italy, under the tutelage of Giampaolo Babetto, and Barbara Seidenath

Ishida's designs are full of color and whimsy. The multi-colored, horizontal pattern of the felt material she uses brings to mind winter attire: warm cozy mittens, sweaters, socks, and a skullcap.

Her jewelry is structured like standard necklaces or bracelets. "When the form, color, and tactile feeling are mixed with someone's personality, my jewelry is complete, and creates a new poetry," she says.

However, the objects she creates are altogether different. It is an unusual aesthetic and I enjoy her creative expression. Some objects appear to be silhouettes of rabbits, and the head and shoulders of people, while others are non-descript.

The silhouette cutouts are layered creating a three-dimensional aspect, and as you look closer, you can see that there is perhaps a centimeter's difference in size. This allows you to see levels of colors.

"Color, humor, mixture, and continuation, my work consists of these elements. Color especially is the transcendent sensation."

Some objects resemble a toddler's play toy; another resembles a floral arrangement, while yet another looks like a small bowl of salad.

Over the last seven years, Ishida's work has been featured in exhibitions around the world including the Florida Craftsmen Gallery in the United States, the Contemporary Art Center in the Netherlands, and the Galleria Marcolongo in Italy.
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Photo 1 (top right): Unnamed Felt Object (resembles salad)
Photo 2 (bottom left): Unnamed Felt and Gold Necklace

Monday, September 14, 2009

HOW TO WEAR JEWELRY

I am delving into a different topic again for this month's Splendor Sidebar. This month's topic is tips on how to wear jewelry. The content of my article is based on a few online editorials I read on the subject, and the suggestions do not necessarily reflect my ideas. Personally, I do not see ways to wear jewelry as being completely set in stone, but I thought some of you might find the information helpful.

Here's the scenario: you've put on a pair of dark jeans, and a button down,
white blouse or an elegant, black dress and you want a little something extra to add a final touch. You gaze over to your jewelry box unsure of which piece adds the right complement.

According to online sources, you should keep in mind a number of factors when selecting that fabulous piece of jewelry: your age, build and height, the size and style of jewelry (bold or classic), as well as the type of jewelry (diamonds, pearls, etc.).

Taking into consideration what you are wearing also factors in the piece you select. If you are wearing anything with a bright print, wear clean pieces with classic designs.


Let's go back to our two examples. Simple, classic jewelry designs also work well with a casual outfit, such as the dark jeans and white blouse; although a single, bold piece like a gold necklace or chunky bracelet can provide an interesting complement.

The key here is selecting a single piece of jewelry. Wearing loads of jewelry of any kind is not the option to go with. A simple string of pearls (faux pearls too) looks stunning with a white blouse and an open collar. A gold necklace with a diamond pendant or a pop of color like coral or turquoise goes well with the elegant black dress.

It is said that long, dangly earrings look best with a straight, smooth hairstyle offset by a lean, long neck. However, small, button-type earrings are believed to look better on petite and stout women. Similarly, rings with slim bands complement slim fingers, while rings with large stones can cause small fingers to look even more diminutive.


Unless the rings are stackable, it isn't a good idea to wear multiple rings with various band sizes. If your jewelry is eclectic and was not bought as a set, the jewelry you choose should complement. The rule is--and it kind of goes without saying-- to wear a gold necklace with other gold pieces, although layering necklaces with varying lengths adds a nice, funky touch.

Ultimately, the bottom line is to wear jewelry that reflects who you are. If you have a take-charge personality wear bolder pieces. If your demeanor is understated, classic pieces will most likely appeal to you.


Sometimes pieces you choose reflect your mood. In her Ezinearticles.com article, Vicky Post said this, "Give your jewelry the same attention you give to the rest of your outfit, and make sure that whatever you wear, clothes or jewelry, that you are comfortable with the result."

ANZIE JEWELRY

The beautiful Zinnia flower is among the 20,000 plant species we will find at the Montreal Botanical Garden in Canada. The garden, built 73 years ago by Frére Marie-Victorin, houses over 32 greenhouses, and an array of flora that includes bromeliads, orchids, and begonias. Canada is also the hometown of featured jewelry designer, Anzie Stein.

Depending on the course of action a person chooses, life's challenges can become a foundation from which something positive can grow and flourish.

Such is the case with Stein, a former art instructor. In 1999, Stein's life turned upside down when her husband, Barry, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Fraught with emotion, Stein turned to jewelry making as a way to release tension. "It was a good way to take my mind off something so scary," she says. What began as a stress reliever quickly became a crusade against the disease.

Working with crystals and inexpensive stones, Stein and her oldest daughter, Jaclyn, created the Lifesaver Bracelet, the proceeds from which were used to raise research funds for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.

Daughter Jaclyn, who studies jewelry design at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), mirrors her mother's sentiment, "The process of starting the company gave my family hope, gave us something to focus on, and gave my father hope."

In some instances, life's challenges have a happy conclusion and after numerous surgeries, Barry Stein is now cancer-free. Anzie, along with Jaclyn, continued learning about gemstones broadening jewelry styles, and ultimately establishing their company, Anzie Jewelry.

The items featured within their 11 collections, fashioned from 14-karat and 18-karat gold, and sterling silver, are breathtaking. There are plenty of pear-shaped and round cut stones, and all items are categorized as cool, warm, and neutral.

The cool items feature turquoise, purple amethyst, and blue topaz, while warm items highlight ruby, carnelian, and red coral. The neutral pieces feature citrine, black onyx, and clear topaz. Did I mention that the key focus is gemstones? Their color, their cut, their presentation; the gemstones are what stand out.

Inspirational, protective symbols, such as the Star of David, the Fatima Hand, and Evil Eye, are highlighted on some of the pendants; and the company's building block, the Lifesaver Bracelets, remains a best seller with funds going to research for ovarian and breast cancer as well as AIDS.

Anzie Jewelry has been featured in publications Elle and Bride magazines. News anchor Paula Zahn, and actors Vanessa Williams and Neve Campbell are high profile fans of the stunning jewelry. Anzie Jewelry is sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, and Holt Renfrow.

For more on Stein, and her company check out WatchMojo.com's video interview with the designer.


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Photo 1 (top right): Turquoise Soleil Pendant with 14-Karat Gold Accents and Chain
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Double Strand Cluster Necklace with Ruby Briolettes

Saturday, September 12, 2009

HERNDON HEALD

Today we visit the Sante Fe Plaza in New Mexico, the place where politics, commerce, and social interests mesh. Originally constructed as a fort nearly 400 years ago, the Plaza houses the Palace of the Governors, which happens to be the oldest building in the United States. New Mexico is also the home base for jewelry company Herndon Heald.

The name Herndon Heald is a composite of three names: married couple Mark and Naomi Herndon, and Jeri Lynn Heald.

Seemingly brought together by fate, the trio crossed paths when they all set up homesteads in Sante Fe, New Mexico. "Mark and I moved here when he accepted a teaching job at a metalsmithing school," explains Naomi Herndon, who once apprenticed with Cartier. "I met Jeri Lynn while I was working for a jewelry company. One of us manages the business, one handles manufacturing, and one of us does the creating. Finding the right partners was number one."

Ultimately, the jewelry making skills of all three heavily influence each design. "We take inspiration from older jewelry," Naomi continues. "Jeri Lynn does a lot of weaving and crocheting techniques, Mark brings his expertise in Native American jewelry, and my background is sculpture."

The trio established their company just two years ago, and it is not without its share of challenges. "Some people think it's just about making pretty things, but it is like running a marathon sometimes every week," says Naomi.

One of the most important aspects of running their business is showing appreciation for the additional artisans they employ. "I had worked with a jewelry company that took a stance with the treatment of their employees I did not feel comfortable with," Naomi acknowledges. "We wanted to create a company in line with our morals."

The designers' refined jewelry possesses a distinct, East Indian flair such as their Novia Hoop Earrings made with sterling silver and dangling, pink tourmaline stones. The jewelry is divided into four major collections: yellow gold, sterling silver, rose gold, and mixed metals.

Pieces are offset with beautiful smoky quartz, labradorite, rubies, green chrysoprase, moonstones, and chalcedony. Many items feature what is notably the designers' signature touch: hammered paillete discs in gold or silver. "We make our own hammers for creating certain textures," Naomi says.

The jewelry is primarily minimalist, clean with neutral tones like pale greens, and creamy whites, although other items featured at Katybeh.com highlight designs with brilliant color.

Some pendants are suspended from leather cords; in fact, there are eye-catching leather items including the Leather Ladder Bracelet with pieces of silver riveted into the leather, and the Tie Me Up in Knots Bracelet, made with small, leather knots set between gorgeous, sage pearls. Overall, the collections are elegantly understated and great for the woman who doesn't like feeling overwhelmed by jewelry or high-end prices.

There's something else special about their pieces, their tag. "Our jewelry's tag bears an anvil with a heart symbol in it. We wanted something that is specifically us," Naomi offers.

"In the past, jewelry was passed down. We want to bring that back. It may be just a silver cuff, but it belonged to a great grandmother. Our tag lets our customers know the care taken to make each piece."
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Photo 1 (top right): Five-Strand Cascade Bracelet with Hammered Sterling Pailletes on Sterling Silver
Photo 2 (bottom left): Peruvian Opal Pathways Bracelet with 14-Karat Gold Bead and a Singe Pearl

Friday, September 11, 2009

ALISON REID | ALI BALI JEWELLERY

In 1416 the Duke of Albany licensed James Dundas, of the well-known Dundas Clan, to build what would become the structure known as the Dundas Castle in Scotland.

Some members of the Dundas Clan fought in a few of the country's historic battles alongside William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce. Scotland is also the hometown of jewelry designer Alison Reid.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TRICIA KIM

The palaces of Seoul, Korea are stunning architectural triumphs filled with history. Among the grand palaces is the Changdeok Palace, which consists of 13 buildings, 28 pavilions, 3 main areas, and is encircled by a park. Deoksu Palace is actually a compound of several palaces made with different materials and styles. Korea is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Tricia Kim.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PAWEL KACZYNSKI

Carnivorous plants are sure to get our attention as we visit Poland's oldest botanical garden, Krakow Botanical Garden.

Among other areas of interest is the ominous 300-year-old Jagiellonian Oak Tree, and the astronomical observatory, which was the site of the country's first hot air balloon launch over 200 years ago. Poland is also home of featured jewelry designer Pawel Kaczynski.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BJÖRN WECKSTRÖM | LAPPONIA JEWELRY OY

Today we visit Finland's Oulu University Botanical Garden located at Linnanmaa Campus' north end. The garden provides the school's biology department with living specimens for research and educational purposes, while also serving as a lovely recreation area. Finland is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Björn Weckström.

Monday, September 7, 2009

TUAREG

There are many places of interest to explore in Mali, Africa. Contrary to popular belief, the ancient city of Timbuktu was once a hotbed of bustling commerce.

Presently, camel caravans arrive in the city each year to distribute merchandise obtained from salt mines. The city of Djenné holds beautiful centuries-old mosques. Mali is also the region where the nomadic group known as Tuareg travel.

GEMSTONE OF THE MONTH - SAPPHIRE

A symbol of devotion to God and the mysterious planet Saturn, the magnetic, blue sapphire gemstone is widely known as the "Stone of Destiny."

The sapphire is derived from a non-red variety of the corundum mineral; the same mineral its twin, the ruby, originates from.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

DENISE WALLACE

Rich with history and natural attractions, we walk along the Redoubt Lake Trail of Alaska's Sitka National Historical Park.

Established nearly 100 years ago, the two-mile long "national monument" consists of giant Spruce trees, flowers, shrubs, and magnificent replicas of native totem poles including the Raven and a Bear, and the Village Watchmen.

Alaska is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Denise Wallace.

Friday, September 4, 2009

SIRILAK SAMANASAK

Chiang Mai in Thailand can easily be dubbed the "City of Temples," as over 300 Buddhist temples populate the city.

Built for the purpose of uniting people within the community, Chiang Mai temples are multifaceted acting as centers of culture, literature, history, religion, and art. Thailand is also the home of featured jewelry designer Sirilak Samanasak.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

CHRISTO KIFFER DESIGNS

Today we visit a few of Brazil's historical sites located in Minas Gerais.  The country's colonial past is preserved in the distinctive baroque architecture of cities Ouro Preto, and Belo Horizonte.

Ouro Preto, in particular, was the center of a massive gold rush once the metal was found near the close of the 17 century. Brazil is also the home of featured jewelry designer, Christo Kiffer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

MARCELA ROSSL

Widely known as a "masterpiece of architecture," today we take in the astonishing Machu Picchu in Peru.

Also called "The Lost City of the Incas," Machu Picchu is a remarkable historical site containing structures built with uncanny precision and forethought. Peru is also the home of featured jewelry designer Marcela Rossl.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

QUOTABLE GEMS - JEFF BRIDGES

Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they've been hurt, they're sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that's protecting this tiny, dear part in them that's still alive.

NINA BASHAROVA JEWELLERY DESIGN

Today we are awed by an ominous, centuries-old stronghold located in Bilhorod-Dnitrovskyi, Ukraine, the Akkerman Fortress.

Built over an ancient Greek colony called Tyras, the military fortress served as a safe haven against attacks from Ukrainian Cossack raiders, the Polish-Lithuania Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire. The Ukraine is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer, Nina Basharova.
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