Archive | August, 2007

Briolettes Make the Cut

24 Aug

Briolettes Make the Cut
Briolettes are still super hot right now, especially for gemstone jewelry designs like these from JEWEL COUTURE LLC who continues to expand on its Precious Briolette Collection.

A briolette is a side-drilled, rather than drilled from top to bottom, bead. It is also very often faceted, like you'd see a faceted stone in a ring for instance. The company has some bragging rights too:

Recently, the Collection's Ruby Heart Necklace was the featured piece at the American Heart Association's Gala Event in NC, where it was widely publicized throughout the state. JEWEL COUTURE LLC is again parterning with the AHA for its white-tie 50th anniversary prestigious Heart Ball in Charlotte NC, early 2008, where Mia Katrin will be creating a fantastic featured piece designed specifically for the event, and will receive wide publicity.


Call for Irish Jewelry Designers

23 Aug

Call for Irish Jewelry Designers

While this isn't just a call for those who design jewelry, obviously, jewelry is what I write about there, so thus the title of this blog post. Actually, there's a blog call out for all kinds of Irish artisans to be part of a unique blog site that will be all art and all Irish. It's the brain-child of Paul O Mahony, who explains his concept in a recent press release: today launched auditions for a new premier Irish Artisan group blog. The auditions follow on the trend from other countries where there has been a boom in artisan blogging. Blogging has been slow to take off in Ireland, but this is rapidly changing with many media personalities and businesses starting blogs. A lot of bloggers are now becoming well known names in Ireland with book and newspaper deals. Auditions for the group blog will be accepted until October 30th, 2007. Full details on founder Paul O'Mahony said "This is a great opportunity for Irish Artists to exhibit themselves and their work online and reach a new world wide audience. Blogging has been a revolutionary way of connecting with people all over the world. It's a cost-effective way of marketing your art and it brings life and personality to your online presence thanks to the natural human interactivity, which websites on their own generally fail to achieve."

Once auditions end, a group of 10 artists will be selected to be part of this group blog, with every artist contributing to the blog on a regular basis and sharing the stage as their audience grows.

You can find out more about his idea as well as how to apply, where else but, his blog.

Starbucks Gets Nosey about Jewelry

22 Aug

Starbucks Gets Nosey about Jewelry
Everyone enjoys complaining about Starbucks, so here's something else you can add to your list of complaints. They are down on jewelry, even when it might be part of an employee's cultural heritage. Now they are being held accountable for their anit-jewelry stance. From CBC told to turn over interview with former Starbucks staffer:

The CBC has been ordered by the B.C. human rights Tribunal to hand over an interview with Benita Singh, one of two Indo-Canadian ex-Starbucks employees who filed human rights complaints against the coffee behemoth after being fired for refusing to remove a nose ring.

Starbucks was granted its request Friday for transcripts of a 2003 CBC interview with Singh, in which she discussed her dismissal from Starbucks and her reasons for wearing a nose ring.

Singh, who was fired from a Vancouver Starbucks outlet in June 2003 and Aisha Syed, who was fired from a Richmond outlet in November 2002 after working there for three years, filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in 2003 alleging the Starbucks policy discriminates against their race, ancestry, place of origin and sex.

[...] The women's lawyer, Lisa Fong, is working on the case pro bono – for free. She said Monday it has taken so long because it was difficult to find an expert willing to provide evidence free of charge that nose rings are an aspect of Indian culture.

The two firings clash with Starbucks' claim that it practices diversity in its human resources policy, said Fong.

Vogues Goes Video in a Big Way

21 Aug

Vogues Goes Video in a Big Way
We are all familiar with the hard copy magazine, vogue, but now, they have gone video in a big way, as in a big new web site full of shopping favs which have taken a clue from the traditional magazine we are all used too. Glossy as gone global a la the world wide web, and you can shop and not drop by flipping through web pages full of fashion merchandise at ShopVogueTV. I took a tour and was very happy to see that jewelry is finally in it's own department and not clumped together with other accessories in some kind of generic fashion.

Check out these crystal earrings, for example, from Badgley Mischka.

And here are the details from a ShopVogueTV press release:

At 727 advertising pages, September Vogue sets the record as the most ad pages ever published in a monthly consumer magazine. This year, the 115-year old magazine surpasses its own previous records with a total of 840 pages, weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces. Vogue Publishing Director Tom Florio says September Vogue generated an extraordinary amount of advertising due in part to the debut of ShopVogue.TV, the video online shopping and entertainment network. Premiering today August 21st, this broadband network will feature four channels of original programming: 60 Seconds to Chic, Behind the Lens, Trend Watch and The Collections. In an industry first, viewers will be able to shop these shows as they watch them.

Combining the best of with video entertainment, ShopVogue.TV is an immersive shopping destination with over 240 minutes of original programming and more than 1,500 products from a total of 170 brands. Viewers can make purchases as they look at over 500 ads, shop while they watch episodes of exclusive interviews and trade secrets, and share photographs of their own great finds and fashion inspirations by posting them on the site.

ShopVogue.TV debuts today, Tuesday, August 21st just as the coveted September Vogue arrives on newsstands and in mail boxes with the very best of fall fashion.

Steven Zale at Designer Showcase

21 Aug

Steven Zale at Designer Showcase

Okay, before you start assuming the name Zales belongs that that jewelry chain store you see in your local mall, well, don't assume. This is about Steven Zale, a California based jewelry manufacturer and designer who makes fine jewelry. Funny how the names are the same, but the jewelry is oh, so diffrent, and that's probably why Steven can now brag about his latest accomplishment:

Steven Zale, jewelry designer and founder of Zalemark, Inc., the Sherman Oaks-based manufacturer of several celebrity-endorsed brands, has been selected by the National Jewelry Institute to be included in the launch of their first major Designer Showcase exhibition featuring the work of individual jewelry designers in Spring 2008 at the Forbes Galleries in New York. Mr. Zale's jewelry designs landed him in the top 25 from more than 500 jewelry designers nationwide hoping to take part in this ground-breaking artistic debut.

The National Jewelry Institute (NJI) was formed in 2002 as a not-for-profit institute whose mission is to preserve research and exhibit fine jewelry from all over the world. The National Jewelry Institute has held exhibitions in New York, London and Paris. To date, the National Jewelry Institute's exhibitions have included primarily historical objects. Designer Showcase will provide exposure and much deserved recognition for today's exceptional designers.

"Steven Zale's samples of work that we have seen are extremely important in that they are marked with an individual design approach. This striking individuality is the driving force behind Designer Showcase."


Metal and Clay Equals Jewelry

20 Aug

Metal and Clay Equals Jewelry

An interesting jewelry medium called metal clay popped up around the early 1990s. The substance is clay but when the organic material is burnt out, it becomes solid metal, either fine silver or 22kt gold, depending on the type of clay. As a jewelry designer, I was really interested in this material, and I took a few classes, but it was frustrating in the early days of metal clay because you had to use a kiln to fire the clay. Today, because of new technology in manufacturing metal clay, jewelry designers can use simple hand torches or hot pots to finish small pieces that they then turn into earrings, charms, and much more. To the uninitiated jewelry consumer, though, they really don't see the difference.

The Detroit News reports on this new trend and shows of the work of one jewelry designer who found her metal clay niche, Process adds a unique twist to making jewelry:

About seven years ago, longtime jewelry maker Karyl Gatteno saw an ad in a magazine for a precious metal clay certification class that piqued her interest to learn a new technique for creating wearable art.

The Grosse Pointe resident who had spent years making jewelry using traditional techniques – silversmithing and beading – decided this would be a way to add a different twist to her designs.

"It was a totally new material that's very versatile and has a lot of possibilities," explains Gatteno, who took the three-day certification class in Indiana.

Gatteno says the gray, clay-like material was developed about 10 years ago in Japan by the Mitsubishi Co. It's a fine powder of pure silver mixed with a trade secret. After being shaped and given a design, pieces are then fired in a kiln.


More Laws About Lead and Jewelry

20 Aug

More Laws About Lead and Jewelry

It's about time! Funny how I've been reporting about lead in children's jewelry for years, and it just seemed to go and on. Now, with all the toy problems related to lead paint, it seems more legislatures have woken up to the fact that this issue with lead, toys, and children's jewelry is pretty darn serious.

From California legislator pushes federal ban on lead in kids' products:

A Bay Area legislator who is already sponsoring a "toxic toy" bill in the state Legislature told a federal agency Thursday that if it doesn't step up and ban lead in children's products by the end of the year, she will introduce a measure to protect Californians in January.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, sent a letter to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the agency responsible for regulating harmful chemicals in consumer products, demanding a speedy prohibition of toxic lead in products used by children, the most vulnerable of the population.

Ma said she would seek a law similar to one in Illinois, which is the only state to have restrictions on lead in children's toys tougher than the regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The measure prohibits the sale of any product intended for children that contains lead, whether it's in paint, metal, vinyl or something else. In May, the state recalled some bibs found to contain lead in the vinyl.

Lead is toxic to the brain and the entire neurological system, and can impair cognitive and physical development even at low levels, scientists say.

Critics of the Consumer Product Safety Commission have accused the agency of not having rules strict enough to protect the public and not enforcing the ones it has.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the agency, Maryanne McGerty-Sieber, in response to a huge recall by Mattel of toys containing high levels of lead, erroneously said the agency was preparing a rule to ban the toxic metal in all children's products. On Thursday, Julie Vallese, director of information and public affairs at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said McGerty-Sieber "misspoke." The rule-making under way applies not to all children's products, but would only restrict lead in children's jewelry, Vallese said.

Body Jewelry Goes High End

19 Aug

Body Jewelry Goes High End

I'm not a big fan of body jewelry. It's all I could do to get my ears double pierced let alone even thinking about getting any other holes drilled into me. But, because I'm interested in all kinds of jewelry, I thought this trend in fine jewelry for the body jewelry group was interesting.

I'm used to seeing things like skulls and rock and roll themed jewelry for those with the holes. But, a company called The Chain Gang, has moved beyond the R&R stigma and turned their designs into fine jewelry pieces with the use of precious metals and gemstones.

Pictured is a piece with Swarovski Cubic Zircons and made with your choice of 14kt yellow or white gold. If you prefer the real thing rather than CZ, they can do that too.

These earlets also come in gold with a choice of CZ or real gemstones.


None of this makes me eager for more holes, but it nice to see that not all body jewelry is what you expect it to be.

Jewelry & Fashion Blogosphere 08/19/07

19 Aug

Jewelry & Fashion Blogosphere 08/19/07

We start off our jewelry and fashion blogosphere goodies with Style Bakery's on the rise designers. That means jewelry designers as well as clothing and other accessories. Check out's winners of their annual "On The Rise" awards honoring this year's most exciting emerging designers, nominated by you.

In the spirit of Kimora Lee Simmon's Sangria Fabulosity Gloss that aids in the battle against cancer, Stylehive gives you the top 5 lip glosses for a good cause.

Christina at eBeautyDaily puts herself out there and demonstrates the dramatic – and highly effective – Mask White from Seikeisho.

Decision '07: Michelle Obama – Au Natural or All Glam? Your vote counts at 55 Secret Street.

Are there 101 things you'd rather be doing on the weekend than plunging your hands into icy water to squeeze suds through your dirty bras? Problem solved. Stiletto Jungle has a hot tip for how to wash your lingerie effortlessly.

Bag Snob exclusive, the limited edition Jimmy Choo Bari bag designed by Tamara Mellon!

Beauty Snob firms up her bum with the latest high tech skincare from Skinceuticals, the Advanced Firming Body Lotion!

Coquette's got an easy trick to update your wardrobe for Fall by accessorizing with bold obi-style and tie on belts.

Fashion Indie will be watching the CW's Gossip Girls come Fall. Find out why we're behind this indielicious show.

Don't just wear the trends! Fashiontribes shows how to interpret the Top 5 fashion trends for home decor chic.

Fun fall skirts from Boden get Girlawhirl in the mood to shop.

Kristopher knows the world's a dirty place, full of people who think sex is bad. So handle the world with Burberry gloves.

Celebs (and are digging the "BalmShell" effect of these new lipglosses- mega-watt glosses with adorable, collectible packaging!

My Fashion Life asks, "Could you live without your oversized bag?"

Papierblog looks at the launch of Chigaco designer Anastasia Chatzka's new online store.

Exposed! The story Second City Style broke last week continues. Some couture wedding gown designers are taking a stand against Kanacca's shady tactics.

SheFinds' has the scoop on where to find Jessica, Angelina, Jennifer and Victoria's jeans in the celebrity denim guide .

Jewelry and Beading gives you the scoop on where to get all your glass supplies for those who are interested in making lampwork beads and other glass jewelry items.

Lyrical Silver

18 Aug

Lyrical Silver

The Lyric sterling silver jewelry collection by Frederick Goldman is full of all kinds of intricate details that suggest some carved the designs into the metal. Of course, that's not how they were made, but it's more than just filigree here. With the addition of oxidizing the metal, it makes the reliefs pop out of the jewelry piece. For example, pictures left is a ring with pink sapphires and 18kt gold accent.

This is the sort of sterling silver jewelry that you don't want to do too much cleaning to because you can end up taking off the dark oxidized areas and totally changing the look of the piece. They site suggests just using a polishing cloth to rub it down now and then.

Diamonds and Silver
Silver with Blue Topaz