This is my story.
"Today, much of the originality in jewelry design comes from unusual stones used to create unexpected designs."
Organic beads. Good to release anxiety too.
My Passion for Gemstones started at a very early age. My Mom was a private collector of jewelry of gemstones. We would go to art galleries, Museums and silversmith workshops and admire the silver jewelry they made, many with gemstones.
Once for her birthday, my father gave her a huge Topaz ring of about 60 carats set in Platinum. I gazed into the stone, wondering where in the world it came from and how it got its shape. It was beautifully executed and was clear without inclusions. I wish I had it. Unfortunately it was lost after her passing.
* My story sounds a little like "Eat Pray Love" when traveling to India in a spiritual search in addition to my Christian believes, I started collecting beautiful gem stones in India. So I decided to study gemology right there. I learned of the stones and their attributes. As an artist I wanted to be able to work with semi-precious gemstones and to design jewelry. Learning the craft from an Indian guru in jewelry making, I like to combine contemporary versions with the traditions of Indian and Tibetan jewelry. My paintings also took on a new vibrant expression with India still in my mind.
I met a journalist, named Madhu,who also traded in the precious stones of her continent. While living in India I noticed how many people of all ages, genders and castes wore stone jewelry to adorn themselves or for many other reasons, such as spiritual or astrological believes.
The extent of their knowledge fascinated me. I realized this knowledge of stones was passed down from generation to generation. It is innate in their DNA.
Madhu introduced me to the president and professor of the Gemological Institute in Poona, India. This city lays in a valley surrounded by mountains being mined for their treasures. Besides Jaipur, which I later visited, this was a good place to purchase gemstones of this subcontinent.
I learned of the stones and their attributes studying up to sapphires and rubies. I was not interested in diamonds. Being an artist my dream was to be able to evaluate the gems and to design jewelry in a contemporary version of the traditions of Indian and Tibetan jewelry.
The Lapis I purchased were mined in Afghanistan. The best in the world. My first preferences were Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise and Coral. I have made many necklaces with theses three stones.
While studying, I could present my purchases to the institute to make certain I was on the right track. This brought me great joy and my passion grew.
In the Himalayas I met with refugees of Tibet. I admired the many exclusive, ethnic, intricate silver pieces the ladies wore and sold.
Madhu then set me up with a "Guru'" of stones. He spoke Hindi and I English, but somehow we understood each other. It was the language of the gems. I saw his interpretations, which were passed down for generations, and of the compatibility of stones. Which gems felt "comfortable together" in his designs.
I learned much and took my gems and other treasures in my backpack after one year of living in India and headed home to my studio to figure out how to combine these "Mother of Nature" beauties with my art. Then I was "stuck and in love with these "Gifts of God."
I also found many other beads in my travels throughout Europe, I could combine with my Indian treasures, giving a new look. Sometimes I recycle jewelry giving another art expression. It is an adventure I would like to share with you.
It took me a while to be able to work with them as a craft, choosing the correct materials and findings to create my ideas.
All of my designs are one-of-a-kind. Each is exclusive. I have created and sold many. My jewelry has been published . Why would you want to have one of my creations? Because it is collected and designed by an artist. Me. If you have any specific wishes in gemstones, I may be able to accommodate.
Let your passion develop for these treasures of our earth and take a journey with me and my creations. See the beauty of the beads. These were mined, hand carved and polished by fantastic craftsmen.
Remember no two beads are alike.
Although these are professional photos, the colors may vary slightly.
If you like my jewelry, but don't see exactly what you are looking for, I can gladly work with you to design a piece you will treasure forever.
All of my jewelry comes beautifully gift wrapped and I can include a personalized note if this is a gift.
You can order online or visit me in my art studio. Just call for an appointment. See Contact Page.
Photography by Rob de Koter