Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Earth Treasures Part Two

I promised a few more photos from my tour of GIA, The Gemological Institue of America in Carlsbad, CA. These are actually photos I took of photos done by Bill Atkinson. (Thanks Bill) They were hanging in a hallway where their beauty was admired by all. Enjoy! 

Anyone want to guess what specimens are?

Leave a comment.

Happy New Year to All!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Growing Up Jewish: Earth Treasures!

Growing Up Jewish: Earth Treasures!: "A few days ago I had the pleasure of taking a tour at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. I am going to cut my ram..."

Earth Treasures!

A few days ago I had the pleasure of taking a tour at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. I am going to cut my ramblings short and let the immense beauty of these gemstones, jewelry, and art pieces speak for themselves. I took these photographs, some of which accurately portray these beauties, and some, I  apologize, don't do them justice. In my next blog, hopefully soon, I will show a few photographs of photographs, which will leave your mouths open!  Enjoy!
 I regret that I did not write down the names of the artists who created the necklace and other gemstone creations shown below. If you know their names, please add them in your comments!

                                                                                     Scroll all the way to the bottom to see all photos!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How Can I Thank Thee?

This blog is about my personal thanksgiving. No, not for the abundance of food we will enjoy, although I am certainly grateful to be well fed with the most wonderful foods on this earth. I am grateful for being cognizant of my place in this world, with enough sense to realize how lucky I am.

Santa Fe Mezuzah
As a child, I used to wonder how I would feel if I had been born less fortunate, perhaps in another country. Would I realize what I was missing? Don't get me wrong,-we did not have much, and we struggled, but we had a safe place to live and food, not gourmet, to eat. We grumbled at times, but we were better off than most people in the world, and I somehow knew that.

I am grateful this year that my family is so nearby. My daughter has moved back into the area, and my son and his wife live nearby with their precious twin girls. Our other grandchildren, 3 of them, also live nearby and enrich our lives greatly. Their extended families have welcomed us and shared their joy with us.  I'm thankful to be a grandma and to be healthy enough to enjoy it.

Thanksgiving was closely preceded by my son's birthday which might be more special to me than to him, and 4 days later, by my own. On my birthday, I received dozens of birthday messages from my friends and family on Facebook, some known well and some newly found. What a source of fun for me on my day! I'm grateful to have a sister to share my day with-my twin, who even visited this year!

My life seems to revolve  around my work especially at this time of the year. I am so grateful that I have been able to pursue my passion for these many years, supported by my husband in both labor and love. His encouragement has never faltered and he has generously schlepped with me through hundreds of shows and exhibits, without a complaint-ever!

I'm thankful for the community of friends with whom I share my life's work -the artists, and jewelers who share my passion for creating. You know who you are!

A couple of other family members deserve my thanks. My former husband and his wife have become some of our closest friends. Imagine that being possible! Our extended families have closed circles around all the children, and we have all flourished! We now have one Thanksgiving meal instead of two, and we can all celebrate our holidays together as one family.

So, I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had, for the people I hold dear,  and for the wisdom to realize what really matters. And yes, for the food..actually, for the fun in making and sharing the food!

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings and Hugs to All!!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Art Event Not to be Missed!!!

Pomegranate Mezuzah Case

I am going to be showing my Judaica and Jewels this coming Sunday, November 14 in Sherman Oaks, CA, along with some wonderful other artists. This is a private show but you are invited, along with your friends! This is not a Chanukah Bazaar in the traditional sense, although there will be sensational gifts for your buying pleasure!

It is sure to be a festive, enjoyable event filled with music and joy! If you are interested and would like further information, please respond here and I will send you the information!  You can also send me an email at and I will get right back to you.

I feel very fortunate that I was invited to participate in this art event by the noted artist and former Dean of the School of Art and Architecture at USC, Ruth Weisberg.
Embossed Copper and silver earrings

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

End of an Era-or Not!!

This post concerns my education as an artist. In the early days, after a brief, 6 evening class in lost wax casting, and a year or so of evening adult class/studio time in jewelry making, I was on my own for many years. Then I heard about a metal guild in Southern California, so I joined, finding fellow jewelry artists and fantastic workshops given by nationally recognized experts in various techniques. But always, it was back to my tiny studio, maybe 10x10', working by myself.

Along the way, I met Anthony Chavez and his staff at Bourget Bros., a hardware and building supply store not far from my home. Surprisingly, it had a first-class jewelry supply department in the rear of the store. Here, I not only bought most of my supplies, but I gathered a sizeable amount of information on the use of the tools and products they sold. I remember in the beginning, that I would sometimes make 2 trips a day to Bourget, to seek out Anthony's help for a project I had no clue how to start, or finish!

Chanukah menorah, lucite, film canisters, brass
Anthony encouraged me to try out his jewelry class at Venice High School, but I thought I had advanced too much for a beginner's class. I had also equipped my work space to such a degree that I thought I didn't need to go elsewhere to work. Boy, was I wrong!!        

I got to a point where I felt the need to shed my lonesome workspace existence, and join some kind of group. At the metal art guild (MASSC), I met Brad Smith, who was the intermediate/advanced teacher at the Venice High  Adult School, in conjunction with Anthony's class. I agreed to sign up for his evening classes. These classes, as I found out, were so popular, that students waited in line to register, sometimes for hours. The classes filled quickly with enthusiastic, happy, creative people- some just learning, and some verging on the professional. In the 3 classes offered during the week, there were nearly 150 people registered!

The was the start of something I have continued for about 7 years. Going to school 2 or even 3 times per week, I have learned so much, but more importantly, I  ave made wonderful friends, all of whom love jewelry! We worked on our own projects, or on one of Brad's choosing. It didn't matter. What we really worked on was encouraging and teaching each other. We spent many evenings problem-solving, and with Brad as our teacher, the problems got solved very quickly. We learned all sorts of skills in using tools, and even learned to make our own specialized tools. We learned people skills and the tools of life as well.

In the past couple of years, our class room space has been threatened. Venice High School needed it for other people's dreams, not ours. We fought the good fight, wrote letters, and forestalled the inevitable, but eventually we got kicked out. Brad and Anthony found us another space, at another high school with a deserted, rundown wood shop that we were allowed to convert for our needs. After hundreds of hours of volunteer cleanup and building work, mostly Brad's, the huge space was ours--but not for long. The room was so nice, that someone else claimed it, and again we received notice that we were to be  thrown to the curb.

Brad and Anthony worked hard, and found us another space at an adult school facility where we were told we now had a permanent home. We've been without a class all summer and fall, and looked forward to moving in and starting class again in January. We were all waiting to unpack the boxes and make this new place our home.

Today, we got the crushing news that this is not to happen. Budgetary cuts, other priorities, whatever. The needs of our adult art community are put aside and our community of jewelers and artists, old and young, is no more. I believe in miracles, but it's getting harder to be positive. Tools rust in storage, joints rust with disuse. We've run out of ideas. However, the Phoenix always rises, so we must continue to hope, and perhaps find a place to be reborn.

Overly dramatic, you ask? No, this was a very special community, cherished by many and certainly not to be forgotten easily. If anyone has any ideas, speak up. Until then, let's keep in touch and keep positive.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Contemporary Craft Market

I have to add the following information as a post rather than as an event, because my brain won't let me figure out how to do this the right way. Here is the information about my next event and how you can still get free admission tickets!  I will be at booth 521.

Tree of Life Mezuzah Case
The 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Contemporary Crafts Market continues at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium November 5-7. As a friend and/or customer, I am pleased to provide you with free passes. Click on the link (or copy and paste into your browser), click on one of the images of a show postcard (to enlarge it), print it, then bring to the VIP line at the show.  Each printout will admit two.
Butterflies of Freedom Mezuzah Case

While at the website preview the wonderful holiday gifts you will see at the show.
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
November 5-7, 2010
Hours:  10 to 6 daily
1855 Main St. (at Pico Blvd) in Santa Monica

Feel free to forward this to your friends and family members. There are a limited number of free tickets available.

Note: Tthe mezuzah case above left is made from
etched brass and sterling silver.It's box is copper. The case at right is made from pierced copper and brass, with sterling silver accents. The box is made of copper and nickel. All mezuzah cases I make are lacquered.