Inside the Ed Levin Studio

 

Visiting the Ed Levin Studio was one of the highlights of my jewelry career.
I’ve long loved this studio for its fine quality and attention to detail, but
the thing I love most about Ed Levin Studio is its personal touch.

shaping jewelry toolroom

making kinetic
Appalachian Spring has featured Ed Levin Jewelry for 48 years. Ed spent his
early years learning the trade in Argentina and continued to create art his
entire life. One of the highlights in visiting the Studio was seeing his early
sketches and designs. Ed combined classic and ethnic in an innovative way,
always keeping fashion and taste at the forefront of his creations.

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A Colorful Valentine’s Day

Even in the stark landscape of winter, we are surrounded by color in all its glory!  Living in Washington DC enables us to take advantage of a plethora of colorful cultural offerings, all at the end of our fingertips.

The reopening of the National Gallery of Art East Building in September 2016 showcases brand new spaces, including this stunning Calder room.  Stepping into this room with its bright pops of color makes my heart sing!

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Alexander Calder

 

Take a quick walk to the West Gallery and catch the current Stuart Davis exhibit and witness a virtual explosion of color.  Davis was an early American modernist artist whose bold and brash paintings celebrated jazz and the proto pop art movement of the 1940s and 1950s.

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Stuart Davis

 

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we often turn to color.  Red comes to mind, with hearts and flowers, and most importantly, jewelry!  Appalachian Spring is ready with a collection of varied and diverse offerings, including these Valentine’s Day favorites.

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Help celebrate Valentine’s Day with your friends and loved ones and choose glorious color to brighten the day!

 

 

The Joy of Soup

By Naira Ruiz

During winter, with its cooler temperatures and shorter days, a hearty bowl of soup becomes the ultimate comfort food.

It’s not just eating that brings pleasure—making soup is relatively simple and the options are endless.

Since I’m somewhat of a soup aficionado, I couldn’t resist trying out the recipes in “A Beautiful Bowl of Soup” which you can find here.

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I love that this cookbook has recipes from around the world and even includes dessert soups I’d never made, like Berry-Wine Soup and Strawberry Bonbon Soup.

So far, my favorite recipe is the Polynesian Peanut Soup, but since I’m not even halfway through the book, that might change.

In fact, I’ve had so much fun trying out new recipes that it’s inspired me to serve soup as a main dish at gatherings this winter, and an attractive tureen is the best way to present it. Ceramic tureens not only look great but will also keep soup warm on the table because they hold the heat.

On Appalachian Spring’s website, you can find beautiful, handcrafted tureens by Barking Spider, Royce Yoder and Robin Cage.

Barking Spider’s tureen comes in a charming rust color (find it here)

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Royce Yoder’s tureens, with their textured ash glaze, are absolutely striking (find it here).

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Robin Cage’s glossy, two-toned tureen which is both simple and elegant (find it here).

robin-cage-tu-rust-green-1Enjoying a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day is one of the pleasures of life!

Holiday Bling

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Nothing says holiday like that sparkling piece of jewelry!  Pave pieces, with their dazzling diamonds, make their grand entrance during this festive time of year.

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We are delighted to showcase the gorgeous pave diamond pieces created by Alicia Van Fleteren.  Alicia’s pave pieces will spark up your wardrobe and help you feel ready for those holiday parties that await your arrival!

The Beauty of Fall in Your Home

By Naira Ruiz

There’s so much to love about fall. The temperature is perfect, our favorite treats get a pumpkin spice makeover and fall foliage, with its vibrant red, gold and orange tones, is absolutely gorgeous.

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It’s the one time of year where I’m constantly stopping to soak in the rich, natural beauty around me.

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But it wasn’t until fairly recently that I realized fall décor can be equally stunning. Take a look at these high-quality, hand-crafted items that evoke the spirit of fall but also work if you decide to display them all year round!

A nod to fall’s rich colors 

From the moment I first saw them, I fell in love with these metal leaf ornaments by Still Life.

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They start with an actual leaf that’s then preserved in gold, silver or copper. Each ornament takes approximately seven hours to create and the detailing is so remarkable that you can actually see the leaf’s intricate vein pattern.

 

These make perfect host or hostess gifts. You can give one by itself or use it to spruce up a bottle of wine.

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Go here to choose the Aspen Leaf style or here for the Sugar Maple. Once you decide on which leaf you want, you can specify if you want it in gold, silver or copper.

 

A nod to fall’s cheerfulness and whimsy
Jack Pine’s iridescent, mini glass pumpkins look charming displayed on table tops and bookshelves.

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And you don’t have to stick with traditional orange— they come in an assortment of vivid colors!

Click here to see a selection.

 

A subtle nod to fall

These functional, stoneware leaf trays and plates by Hank Goodman are great for those looking for fall décor that’s very subtle.

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With their simple but elegant lines, they complement both contemporary and traditional settings. You can use them to serve appetizers or use a plate stand to display them like art.

 

You can find the leaf tray here.

 

Four Gifts That Will Spark A Child’s Imagination

By Naira Ruiz

Have you ever given a gift to a small child but soon discovered they were more fascinated by the wrapping paper or box the gift came in, than the gift itself? If so, you’re not alone. Almost every parent has a story like this. That’s because small children can be notoriously finicky when it comes to toys.

Over the years, I’ve learned that high-tech or expensive toys aren’t necessarily the best toys. Good toys, the ones kids cherish, engage their natural curiosity without feeling too obviously educational. As one wise blogger at Babble put it, if a toy “screams ‘this is for learning’” it feels too much like school and that can turn a child off.

But don’t fret! If you’re determined to buy something that a child will actually play with, I’ve got you covered. Here are five simple gifts that are sure to spark a kid’s imagination.

1.) A Wooden Teleidoscope (for ages 9 and up)
Teleidoscopes allow you to see the world around you as though it were an intricate quilt or creative work of art. Unlike kaleidoscopes, teleidoscopes use objects outside the instrument to form patterns. This means the possible visual effects are endless.

For example, see how a teleidoscope transforms a crosswalk and my face into quilted patterns.

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But what truly makes this wooden teleidoscope so special is that not only is it fun to play with, it’s also gorgeously designed. Older children will be able to treasure this gift into adulthood.
You can find a wide range of teleidoscopes in our stores or click here to check out the kaleidoscope and teleidoscope section on our website.

2.) Stack and Scare Wood Block Set (for ages 3 and up)
The traditional wood block set gets a quirky spin with this stackable monster set. It’s crafted from sustainable basswood and printed with non-toxic inks. Children can mix and match shapes to create numerous creature combinations.

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You can find the Charlie Monster Block Set here and the Rodney Monster Block Set here.
3.) I Can Dance /I Can Play Board Books (for ages 2 and up)
Parents who are just beginning to read stories to their small children will appreciate this interactive board book. Using the holes (which are on every page), little kids will get a hoot out of making dancers tap and athletes sprint just by wiggling their fingers.

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You can find both books in our stores. Click here to see which store is closest to you.

4.) Walnut Shape Stacker (for toddlers)
This beautiful, handcrafted, developmental toy will provide a baby or toddler with hours of fun as they work on their fine and gross motor skills. The different shapes and types of wood encourage shape and color recognition.

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You can find the walnut shape stacker here and other handcrafted toys for babies here.

Inspired By Nature

Recently I had the good fortune to travel to the beautiful city of Barcelona.  There are many things to love about the city, but the most impressive of all was the proliferation of buildings designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudi.

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Sagrada Familia Cathedral Interior

Gaudi was highly skilled and used nature as one of his primary inspirations.  The magnificent Sagrada Familia Cathedral is one of the finest examples of this fact.

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Appalachian Spring features jewelry that is also inspired by nature.  Michael Michaud is the designer of Silver Seasons Jewelry.  This unique jewelry is made by creating molds that are taken from an actual leaf, branch or flower.  A mold is created around the botanical element and as it is heated the plant matter burns away and leaves behind a beautifully detailed mold of itself.  The result is a stunning piece of jewelry that captures the exquisite detail of nature.

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Color Your World

 

Ann Carol Bracelets

Janet Schroeder has been fascinated by Classical and Modern art from an early age.  When she was a teenager she discovered that she loved to create jewelry, and she began honing her skills to become proficient in silversmithing.  In 1999, Janet began working with Carol Baretz of Ann Carol Designs and was then able to combine her two passions.  Carol introduced Janet to resin enamel colors, and the two began to fabricate unique pieces of jewelry.
Earrings

Using sterling silver as a canvas, the resins are hand painted and then allowed to air dry. Meticulous care is taken to ensure that every detail of Ann Carol Designs jewelry is special and something to be treasured. Some pieces may take many cycles to fuse the colors into an intricately beautiful piece of wearable art.  The result is a beautiful treasure meant to last a lifetime.

Janet Schroeder

Janet Schroeder

Going green…or blue or yellow!

 

 

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July 1- July 31

Buy 3 and get the 4th piece for FREE! *

My favorite “green” artist today is Fire & Light. This studio is at home in the first community in America that took serious action on recycling. After hauling their recyclables miles and miles away to the nearest big city to re-purpose, the town met and decided they needed a better solution. Breaking up into groups for glass, paper and plastic, each team brainstormed. And the glass group came up with the Fire & Light studio concept. Collect the glass, sort the glass, teach young people how to melt it and cast it into brand new pieces to delight the eye and dazzle the table. 363 group 2106 group

 

And there we have it. Eight colors, eleven forms and enumerable ways to mix and match to set your table for summer. Dishwasher safe, table ready and the perfect accent to your everyday china, Fire & Light offers years of pleasure and service. My personal favorite is the “pasta” bowl, which I use as a dinner plate over and over. Grilled salmon in a nest of polenta with a tangy sweet pepper sauce and a side of shaved brussels sprouts with cranberries and pecans makes a beautiful presentation in my citrus colored bowls.

Breakfast is always brighter with juice in my Fire & Light tumbler. Weighted on the bottom, I never fear that I will tip it over before I am awake enough to meet the day!

Fire and light

* Lowest priced item will be credited as free.
Can not be combined with other offers or promotions/discounts. 


 

 

 

Everyday is Earth Day

Although the calendar reminds us April 22 is Earth Day, everyday is Earth Day for Colorado-based textile artist, Ayn Hanna.  Formally trained as a professional fine art printmaker, Ayn began exploring the textile medium in 2005.  We are delighted to be carrying Ayn’s Eco-dyed, silk charmeuse and crepe de chine scarves at Appalachian Spring.

Ayn Hanna Leave on Fabric

Ayn begins the eco-dyeing process by collecting local plant leaves, flowers and stems and bundling these within the silk fabric.  The bundles are then tightly wrapped around a stick, sometimes adding metal pieces to achieve even greater color variations.

The next step is to boil or steam the bundles in a pot of water with leaves of various color hues.  The bundles rest a while before Ayn unwraps them to reveal the unique colors and marks left upon the silk.  Ayn then works her magic to skillfully finish the eco-dyed silk into beautiful scarves.

Ayn Hanna Two photos

We encourage you to visit any of our four store locations to see for yourself the beauty of nature’s colors and marks that can be achieved when combining water, heat, plants and metal.  Although these scarves are not available on our website, you will find many other beautiful scarf selections in our fashion department.

Ayn Hanna

Ayn Hanna