Contemporary Art Jewelry
I can't say enough about Nancy Bernardine's gorgeous and unique designs. The gemstones I love best are the natural stones with rough edges, irregular shapes, and earthy colors – and she handles them so well. She takes these diamonds in the rough and creates a setting around the stone, not the other way around.
Larimar, Lapis, Sugilite, Chrysocolla, Turquoise, Lapis, Azurite/Malachite, Sugilite, Quantum Quattro, Lapis, Boulder Opal
This one of a kind bracelet was designed around a collection of hand-cut stones in shades of blue, green, and aqua. It is a heavy bracelet with two layers of metal, the bottom layer is highly polished sterling with an embossed layer on top.
Each piece of Nancy's jewelry is handcrafted with precious metals of Sterling Silver and/or 14k, 18k, 22k Gold and set with unique freeform cabochons. Gemstones she uses include: Boulder Opal, Lapis Lazuli, Sugilite, Drusy, Chrysocolla, Agate, Spectrolite, Turquoise, Onyx, or other exotic and common stones.
Handcrafted Coral Fossil Pendant
Coral Fossil Stone, White Topaz
Hand Textured Sterling Silver
I don't know where she finds such colorful gemstones, but they're some of the most unique I've seen. And she creates each piece from beginning to end. Have a look at her website (links below or click on one of the pics), the images alone are worth your time.
Gold and Gemstone Pendant
14k, 18k and 22k Yellow and White Gold
Chinese Writing Stone, Onyx Blade, White Sapphires
As a jewelry artist, my passion is design, and my outlet to satisfy this consuming interest (obsession is what some of my friend's call it) is to saw, cut, hammer, form, sand, grind, solder, forge and polish precious metals and gemstones into miniature works of wearable art.
From early childhood, I was visually inspired by color and form. My first love during pre and elementary school was drawing intricate colorful patterns for fabric. I used the drawings to design and cut out dresses for my paper dolls. Guess that says something about my age since paper dolls haven't been around for quite a while.
Anyway, after elementary school, I graduated from paper doll dresses to designing and making my own clothes.
Gardening, painting and drawing, handcrafts, sculpture, photography, gourmet cooking and interior decorating are some of my interests. These and similar activities satisfied my creative drive during high school, college, and marriage. Later, I worked in computer graphics and as a software developer.
After years of searching for the perfect "job" to satisfy my lifelong obsession with design, I stumbled into a gem and jewelry show that a friend suggested I visit. Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry was born just two months later with the beads and silk thread I purchased at that show. After two years of stringing beads and doing art shows, I wanted to expand my skills so I took some metalsmith classes.
Then I "discovered" rocks! Blue rocks, green rocks, brown rocks, red rocks – all colors of rocks! I learned that it was fairly easy to cut rocks with a saw, then grind, and polish them into shiny gems. This is a very messy and dirty task, but it is so rewarding to take a piece of rough stone and turn it into a beautiful gem for a piece of jewelry. Some of my early pieces were actually made with rocks that I found in my garden or alongside the road.
Now, I work with gold, silver, and unique precious and semi precious gemstones to create one of a kind jewelry. Although I did take a few classes in metalwork, I am a self-taught jeweler and lapidary. I began learning my craft the same night I visited that gem show in 1991. Jewelry takes so many forms that I will never learn all the techniques. But, that is what keeps it so exciting!
Working with you to design an original piece of jewelry that fits your unique personal style is one of the most satisfying aspects of my work and an added bonus to doing what I love.
Jewelry Design Style
My design style is a mix of contemporary, classic, and eclectic. It incorporates clean lines, soft curves, and geometric shapes. Most of my jewelry includes one or more precious or semi-precious gemstones, which is why color is often the important first step in a design. Finding the right color combination for the gems can make or break the design. I make dramatic and bold jewelry, but even if the piece is to be small scale with subdued colors, it still needs to "speak" to me.
I enjoy the design phase best, so my handmade pieces are all one of a kind or limited editions, and you will never find anyone else wearing the same piece. All of my work is made by hand in my private studio using time honored fabrication methods; nothing is ever cast, manufactured or created by anyone else.
Nancy specializes in commissioned jewelry design. If you can't find exactly what you want on her jewelry pages, she will create something just for you. Her customers often pick a stone from the cabochon page as the starting point for an original design.
The custom jewelry design page describes the process of a commissioned design, and the jewelry design section has samples of rings, pendants, bracelets, and earrings.
Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry