Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Edwardian Jewel...

Just listed this stunning necklace on the website.  Hard to find antique Edwardian era (circa 1900) silver and paste double-sided locket.  She is in beautiful condition with her original hand painted photo still inside.

I have no idea how she ended up in the London England antique shop I purchased her from, but she now resides in a Florida jewelry studio until she travels to her next owner, who I hope will find her as special as I do.  xoxo ~ Joy

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Studio Tour!

After a week of cleaning, organizing and finishing a cabinet makeover project, I thought I would shoot a behind the scenes tour of my studio for you!  I've tried to make my space like a little French jewelry boudoir since I spend so much time in here.  All my favorite things surround me as I work and it provides a lot of inspiration...hope my little space inspires you too!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Reading List...

I love reading.  I mean REALLY love reading.  I often have more than one book going at the same time….one to read before going to sleep, one to read when I grab a relaxing moment in the living room or studio, usually one to enjoy in a bubble bath and I always travel with books.    I most often read biographies, history and reference books on jewelry.    I am currently juggling these four books and if you enjoy beautiful 18th century French paintings, history and books on antique jewelry, you might enjoy them too….

Brilliant Effects:  A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery -   A gorgeous book full of historical information about owning, wearing and trading gems and jewelry during post-Renaissance Europe.  It’s a fascinating read and I am devouring the chapters right now about the French royal crown jewels during the time of Marie Antoinette.

Portrait Jewels: Opulence and Intimacy from the Medici to the Romanovs -    I discovered this book in a quaint bookshop on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris.  I adore working with small portrait pieces in my jewelry making and this book spoke to me.  The photography is stunning and the history and technical details about this type of jewelry is simply awe inspiring. 

Francois Boucher – One of my personal favorite artists of the eighteen century, Boucher’s work is beautiful and romantic.   I was thrilled to stand mere inches away from his original paintings when we were in Paris and as an official painter to the royal court, his work can be found everywhere from Versailles to the Louvre and beyond.  This book offers a great collection of his work and combined with his biography, one of the most complete books I have been able to find on Boucher.

Fragonard’s Progress of Love at the Frick Collection -  I found this book in the gift shop at the Louvre in Paris.  After viewing original Fragonard’s in the museum, it was a treat to purchase a book on this subject of his work.  Fragonard is another one of my favorite artists from the eighteenth century and he was also a student of Boucher, so the style and themes of his work is very similar.  If you like one, you should like the other!  This fascinating book explores the behind the scene history of the creation of the Progress of Love series originally created for Madame DuBarry, the mistress to King Louis XV. 

For me, I enjoy reading as much for relaxation as for learning something new.   If you enjoy reading, what are you reading now?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A New Video!

Back in the Studio...

I am back in the studio after our whirlwind trip to Asheville, NC.  For a Florida girl, the chance to dress in jeans and sweaters is a real treat and we really enjoyed the crisp, cold, mountain air for a change of pace.

I also enjoyed shopping for jewelry pieces to work with and this is just a small sample of what I came home with......

....but this was my most favorite find....and because I loved her so much, an early birthday gift from my prince.....

...a gorgeous Virgin Mary statue.  She stands close to 3 feet tall and looks like she stepped right off an alter located in an historic church in France.

I found her outside of Asheville in an old tobacco barn that now sells antiques, which only added to her charm especially when I found her by chance....tucked inside a wooden box sitting in a dark corner of the barn.

She will stand watch in my studio and hold pieces of religious jewelry and rosary beads for me.

Now that my batteries are recharged I am inspired to start working with the haul I made up and down the east coast and with an upcoming Gem and Jewelry show in town this weekend, I am sure I will be busy in the studio for some time.  Can't wait to share these upcoming pieces with you and share the stories of where they came from!    .....soon mes amies.......... : )   ~ xoxo ~ Joy