James Ratliff Gallery Exhibits 2nd Annual "Jewelry Extravaganza"
By: James Ratliff Gallery
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, "Jewelry Extravaganza"
Sandra Den Hartog's creations have their genesis in Sandra's childhood fascination with and love of pretty rocks. As a child she always made it a habit to carry a bag or small pail with her as she played and took walks so she would have a way to carry these "special" rocks home with her. So today's' classy Zanzibar Jewelry Collection had its impetus way back when as a child Sandra "collected" rocks! In high school she took classes in Geology and Gemology....then marriage and raising children intervened so jewelry making had to wait its turn.
Sandra reflects "It was as a result of traveling that my interest in gems and minerals was once again sparked. It is hard to believe how stones/rocks change from country to country. In bringing back Ethiopian Crosses from Africa, I made our daughters and granddaughters necklaces with the crosses. I was hooked! First thing you know I was on a mission. I just LOVED it and everyone else seemed to also. That encouraged me even more." Over the years Sandra's jewelry has been juried into various shows where she's been fortunate enough to win several first, second and third place awards plus an Award of Merit. And as she says, "The rest is all history."
Sally Peck retired to Sedona, Arizona in 1991 following a 30-year career teaching art in public schools. According to Sally, "I took beading classes to refresh my memory of an art learned as a Campfire Girl. I have beaded over 300 pieces of wearable art, not to mention many, many fabulous, fully beaded pieces of jewelry!"
Sally's designs are her own…no two are alike…and all are hand-worked. Her unique jewelry designs are made from natural materials including metals, glass, shells, stones, vintage items, and semi-precious gems. Over the last several decades, Sally Peck has won many national, state and local awards for her beading skills! Sally concludes "Making jewelry is more than a hobby…it is an exciting obsession!"
Adriana Walker, of Italian/Croatian/
Which came first: the business woman or the artist? They synergistically developed as Adriana continued to explore cultures of the world, its arts – especially Papier Mache, batik, soldering, fiber, water color. Study led to teaching and subsequent introduction into the world of fused glass. Adriana reflects that her innate knowledge of the wet in wet of water color most likely contributed to her fascination with the colors and textures she achieves in making glass.
Adriana states: "Wet in wet is a technique used in water color painting in which you drop wet color on to very wet paper, letting osmosis move and blend the colors, always exciting since you cannot precisely control or predict the outcome. To enjoy this process you have to have an innate feeling for color mixing and are able to "go with the flow".
The continued thread of family has been the texture in Adriana's life. Husband, Jerry, is her business manager. Adriana's mother, Emma, an artist in her own right, has always been Adriana's treasured ally and "technical engineer" working alongside her daughter to complete necklaces, fine tune designs, embroider seed beads.
Life within and outside Adriana's Vail, Arizona, studio is one which is marked by interest, curiosity and spontaneity. Adriana awakens the glass through "raking" to give it a "certain look". Adriana explains: "Raking is a technique used in fused glass to manipulate and mix the glass in order for the colors to not only combine but become three dimensional through the 1/4" thickness of the glass making it more organic and natural looking."
Adriana's jewelry is evocative of the universe—its breadth and depth; its cultures and struggles; its beauty and the magic of natural creation; its suggestive patch work effect. Organic and ethnic motifs thrust the wearer into a connected cosmos and contrast with works of sculptured roses or pearls. Retro 50s jewelry recasting suggest more recent styles from the past and are reinterpreted through Adriana's sense of design.
Each piece of Adriana's has its own signature of design and is made to be worn. Adriana comments: "As I walk into my studio, there are a lot of unfinished pieces. I can never do the same thing twice and I don't want to. The only thing I don't do is simple and delicate. Each necklace is unique within itself but each piece is universal."
For further information about "Jewelry Extravaganza"
James Ratliff Gallery