Meet Julie Powell: Jeweler Extraordinaire

Year after year I am struck by the creativity of our jewelers.  Oftentimes I will discover that in addition to making jewelry, they also design textiles or sculpture or wall art.  Enter Julie Powell, one of the newest additions to our jewelry department!

When I found Julie at a recent show, I was completely charmed not only by her beaded jewelry designs but also by the sketches she was working on in her booth while not engaged in conversation with buyers.  It reminded me that creative people use every spare moment to do what they most love.

Watercolor by Julie Powell

I love learning about these amazing designers after their jewelry has arrived in our office.  I research and read all the many pieces of information I can find in order to help our salespeople and customers know that behind every craftsperson there is an individual who has spent a lifetime learning his or her trade.

Julie’s story is a fascinating one.  She has a background in weaving, knitting, quilting, embroidering and dyeing fabrics, and has used this experience to design her beaded earrings, bracelets, pins and necklaces.  I was particularly delighted to discover that Julie is featured in the latest issue of Ornament Magazine.  I invite you to read her unique story and be dazzled by Julie’s immense gifts!

Inside the Holly Yashi Studio

By Kylie Hiemstra

While driving up the California coast this spring, I noticed a billboard advertising the Holly Yashi studio. Having grown up admiring and proudly wearing lots of Holly Yashi pieces, I was excited by the chance to visit.

 

 

Once there, I met Paul “Yashi” Lubitz and introduced myself as Dawn Hill’s daughter. He was very friendly and eager to show me around the studio. I saw creative and detail-oriented people hard at work designing and crafting beautiful and unique pieces. Seeing all of the different tools and stations helped me understand the many steps in the process of making such intricate jewelry. My favorite part was watching niobium transform into the vibrant colors that are a hallmark of Holly Yashi’s pieces.

 

 

The store portion of the studio was full of bright and interesting items which I also got to explore. Visiting the studio gave me the opportunity to further appreciate the intricacies of Holly Yashi’s pieces and the labor that goes into making them.

 

 

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!

valentines 1

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.

fizz earringsPixelLGSQredPT2 3340

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

 

 

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

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

Shout Out to Spring!

Awww…  gorgeous Springtime!

Who doesn’t love this time of year, with all of its glorious colors!

Tulip Fields, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Tulip Fields, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Springtime is also a time of year when many floral designs make an appearance in Appalachian Spring’s jewelry. 

One of our latest offerings can be seen in the new Terry Pool collection.

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Each of Terry’s creations begins with a handmade sketch, where Terry works out the details of each piece.

Tool Drawing

Tool Drawing

Terry also has a sense of humor, as evidenced in this photo we took when we perused Terry’s newest collection, premiered at the American Made Show in DC.  We laughed and enjoyed, as we know you will!

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Picasso and NY NOW

This year the NY NOW trade show coincided with MoMA’s unprecedented Picasso sculpture exhibit. Being able to take time to attend this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit helps me appreciate all the great design I see when buying jewelry at the show.

Woman in the Garden, 1929-30, Paris

Woman in the Garden, 1929-30, Paris

It’s always exciting to see new work from our jewelers.  One of my favorites is Stacy King, who started Lulu Designs in 1997.  Working as a production potter for 10 years gave Stacy insight into the art of balancing form with color. As Stacy became interested in jewelry, her mastery of ceramics gave her unique tools for becoming a self-taught jeweler.

lulu tryptich

Lulu Designs began as an idea, a desire to create beauty in the world.  Clearly, Stacy’s vision is being realized in every one of her designs – jewelry that is simple yet elegant, handcrafted to let the life and power of each stone and metal shine through.

Stacy King

Stacy King

ny now logo

Winter White

I am particularly drawn to white at this time of year.  In a season that can be dark and colorless, white provides a spark of light that is both bright and uplifting.

Art by Nel Jansen

Art by Nel Jansen

My cousin Nel is an accomplished artist, and I love seeing her blog posts every day in my inbox.  Last week she posted this stunning painting of white tulips.  Before I had time to begin to consider buying this piece, it had sold.  Lucky buyer!

Necklace by Meghan Riley

Necklace by Meghan Riley

The onset on winter also brings with it a different fashion dynamic.  High collars, scarves and the like call for an alternative in our choices of jewelry.  We might choose a long necklace to wear with a sweater rather than a short one, or a post earring instead of a long French earwire to avoid having it catch on our clothing.

Earrings by Silver Seasons

Earrings by Silver Seasons

Invariably our minds turn to the beauty of white when we have our first snowfall.  Who ever thought of carving letterforms out of freshly fallen snow?  Celebrate the creativity all around us, no matter the season!

Denis winter snow

Calligraphy by Denis Brown

Jewelry Inspired By Architecture

As a jewelry buyer, I am drawn to bold color and clean lines.  This photo of the JFK TWA terminal shouts “Good Design!”

TWA_Red1

I’m also a fanatic about laser cut designs in any medium.  Kathleen Dautel of Spark Metal Studio creates laser cut stainless steel that is hand finished and hand colored with epoxy resin.  The forms are both architecturally based and drawn from nature with a linear graphic quality.

fizz necklace

Fizz Necklace

Kathleen has always had artistic influences in her life.  Her father was a printmaker, painter and art professor.  While at the University of Oregon, she took her first metalsmithing class and loved it.  After graduating, she returned to the U of O to receive a BFA in Metalsmithing.

Stem Necklace - Model

Kathleen moved to Portland, Oregon in 1994, and the city, its buildings and environment inspired her to pursue architecture.  She continued her education at NC State, earning a Masters in Architecture.  Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to work as a project designer for architecture firms in the area, winning several design awards for many of the projects, but her love for metalsmithing has always been in the back of her mind.  In the fall of 2009 Kathleen launched her own jewelry and metalsmithing line, Spark Metal Studio.

Kathleen Dautel

Kathleen Dautel