Monthly Archives: August 2008

A look back at our August featured artists

Thank you for visiting all of the great sites of our featured August World Artisan Gems. Be sure to join our mailing list so you’ll have instant access to and be the first to know the latest information about the most talented emerging and established artisans and their newest creations.  Artisans featured here produce unique and one-of-a-kind artwork ~ don’t miss out ~ allow World Artisan Gems to be your guide to the most spectacular jewelry and glass art from around the world!

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Michelle Hambourg – My Belle Bijoux

Name:  My Belle Bijoux (Michelle Hambourg)


Whereare you located?  Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tree of life collection

Tree of Life Collection

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Bio: Michelle Hambourg is a jewellery designer, an entrepreneur and above all, an artist.

She has been dabbling in the arts for many years, ever since the day she painted a mural on her bedroom wall with the contents of her diaper! As the story goes, her parents were less than thrilled with this installation piece but look back on it now as the first sign of Michelle’s unyielding creativity and artistic passion.

As she grew out of her diapers, Michelle continued to follow her imaginative intuitions and had an active involvement in the arts throughout public school, high school and university, eventually leading to her BA from the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University. She believesthat it is her artistic background that has given her the impetus to alwaysstrive to construct one-of-a-kind pieces, unlike any others she has seen before.

woodburned pendant

When did you start creating your jewelry/art?  I first started to play around with beads about 5 years ago. My designs have evolved and changed quite a bit since then, and I have only been creating the type of jewelry that I make now for about a year.

What exactly do you create?  I make one-of-a-kind artistic jewelry, specializing in wire work and wood burning.

What materials and methods do you use?  Mainly wood and wire and various beads. My favourite beads lately are usually freshwater pearls and shell beads.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I am mostly inspired by trees and nature; anything surreal or with a dream-like quality; and of course, other artists.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?   I have a studio in my basement at home, although my “working environment” tends to be anywhere in the house. I’m a tad disorganized in this respect. I also like to work outside on a nice, warm day or at my cottage, with a gorgeous view of the lake.

Where can your products be seen?

In my Etsy store, on my Flickr page, on my Blog and in my Facebook Group

woodburned pendant

Hype on King
September 6thin Kitchener, Ontario

The ClothingShow
September 27th– 29th at the Exhibition In Toronto, Ontario

Who are you a fan of? I’m a fan of ALL of the fabulous artists on

Price range: $5 – $50

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my current favourite creations is actually my newest collection, which is still in the experimental phase. I refer to this new collection as “Multi-MediaPendants,” as they can’t really be categorized as one specific form of art. To create these pendants, I first etch a design into a wooden shape with a woodburner. After that, I hand paint them to add some variation in colour, then I affix various beads and other embellishments to adorn them. After that, the piece is coated with resin for a shiny, protective seal. You can see the first few completed Multi-Media Pendants here:

Multimedia Pendant
Multimedia Pendant

We enjoy the interesting and original ways you mix media to make such pretty designs!

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Marie Cristine Lund

Name: Marie Cristine Lund

Amethyst cluster bracelet

Amethyst cluster bracelet

Website Link:

Where are you located? Vanouver Island, Canada

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am lucky to live in Campbell River, Vancouver Island, Canada. I have a wonderful husband and 6 year old boy/girl twins! As a family we love to take advantage of the wonderful outdoors. We are minutes away from the ocean and beautiful lakes!

When and why did you begin designing jewelry/art? This is hard to answer. Starting as a little girl I’ve always made jewelry of some type, I’ve just always been drawn to it and eventually things progressed into what they are today.

What do you make? Primarily I make silver jewelry, but I am starting to dabble in gold, the cost makes it a bit nerve wracking. I also cut my own cabochons

What materials and methods do you use? Mostly sterling and fine silver with a bit of copper or gold here and there. I also use some stones, gems and occasional artisan glass.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Mostly from pieces I’ve already made or am working on. I’ll be working on a piece of jewelry and during the process I will get inspiration for another slightly different piece.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I don’t have my best work environment yet! Right now I have a large work area in the family room where I do everything that doesn’t involve the torch. That allows me to do some work and watch my kids at the same time. But this September my kids start grade 1 and I think it’s time for a proper studio.

Where can your products be seen?
My blog, Trunkt, Etsy, Handmade Boutique

Upcoming events:
Christmas art markets at:
-Campbell River art gallery
-Courtaney art gallery
-Campbell River Maritime Heritage Center

Magazine articles or press:
July 2007Art Jewelry Magazine
Mention on many indie, fashion and jewelry blogs

*up coming*
Fall 2008 Step by Step Wire Jewelry
November 2008 Art Jewelry Magazine



Who are you a fan of? I’ll name just a couple, but there are so many more…

Sherri Serafini– Amazing seedbead work!
Iza Malaczyk– Outstanding wire work
Sydney Lynch– Wonderful artist, beautiful designs

Price range:  $20.00 and up

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations (seen below): Right now I have two favorites. I love both of these bracelets! Handmade chain with rough emerald nuggets on one side, fused silver wire made to resemble twigs on the other and hand forged leaves spaced through out.

Wide fused sterling cuff with silver and 14k gold ball accents. I have this bracelet one right now!

Anything else you wish to add? Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit of myself with your readers!


Truly unique and creative ideas for beautiful silver jewelry. Thank you for interviewing with us!


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Ileana Munteanu – Enchanted Beads

Name: Ileana Munteanu 

Heart brooch

Heart brooch

Website Link:

Where are you from? Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a jewelry designer specializing in hand made bead woven jewelry. I am also a linguist, a proud mother and grandmother.

When and why did you begin designing jewelry/art? I was always very creative and I used my free time for making things that I could wear or I would need around the house, a mosaic table for example. Later, I started making evening dresses with beautiful appliqués (flowers, leaves, butterflies) made of pearls and tiny beads, that looked like a piece of jewelry. I sold them in galleries as a part-time job. Little by little, I realized that what I enjoyed best in designing and making an outfit was actually the elaborate embellishment. I started to make little pieces of jewelry developing new techniques as my jewelry evolved. My decision to concentrate only on the embellishments was how I started my jewelry collection about 12 years ago. 

Garnet brooch

Garnet brooch

What do you make?  I make brooches, necklaces, earring, bracelets, and beaded boxes.

What materials and methods do you use? I love semiprecious stones and pearls, therefore I use them all the time. I combine them with seed beads and I use the tiniest of Japanese seed beads, the size 15. The scale, shape, and variety of color of the material help me to mold my pieces. I would use my seed beads much like a painter uses colors and brush strokes to convey his version of imagery. The main method I use is bead weaving and my favorite techniques are modified peyote and netting/lace. 

Oval brooch with abalone

Oval brooch with abalone

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature is my main source of inspiration: Flowers, ladybugs, butterflies are featured in my pieces. Sometimes I get inspired by the semiprecious stones I find. I put them together with pearls, gemstone beads and colorful seed beads in a specific design, carefully coordinating the colors to achieve a natural, shaded look by incorporating several nuances of beads for each color I choose. After completing this most important first step, I find the right time for the beading process.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  My studio is in my apartment. It is a small room, organized in a way that would always help me find the materials I need. I like to listen to classical music while working.

Where can your products be seen? There are a few Galleries on the East Coast currently selling my jewelry: One in Brooklyn, two in Chicago, one in Annapolis, MD, and one in New Hampshire.
My products can be seen online as well:  The Enchanted Beads Website,   Etsy Shop,  My Portfolio can be seen on Talent Database and Myspace 

Beaded box

Beaded box

Upcoming events:

Crafts at the Cathedral
Dec 5, 6 & 7, 2008
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
New York, NY

Magazine articles or press:

Bead & Button Magazine:
* Issue # 14, December 1996
* Issue # 42, April 2001

The Crafts Report – May 2001
* INSIGHT section featuring Jewelry

The Crafts Report January 2007 issue
Ileana Munteanu: Ambassador of Jewelry by Darcel Rockett

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I created the Ladybug Pin when my granddaughter was very little. She was fascinated by ladybugs so I decided to make for her a bead woven ladybug. I participated with this Brooch in the 2004 FIRE MOUNTAIN Gems and Beads Beading Contest and it was a FINALIST. It was featured in the Fire Mountains Gems and Beads 2004-2005 Catalog, page 439 and the 2005-2006 Catalog, page 397

Ladybug pin

Ladybug pin

Anything else you wish to add? The permanent connection with the arts and the artists is beneficial for my evolution as an artist. Visiting museums and galleries, staying in touch with a community of creators online gives me support and fuels my inspiration.


Congratulations on all of your well-deserved recognition!


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Rose Moore – Clearlight Jewelry

Name: Rose Moore  – Clearlight Jewelry

Website Link:

Where are you located? San Francisco, CA

Red Hyacinth

Red Hyacinth

Bio: A FAMILY OF ARTISTS  Joso Vidal and Rose Moore, husband and wife, along with their son Owan Stenzel hand paint each of these uniquely designed natural shell pendants and earrings. They are drawn to the natural light embodied in each shell and strive to create beautiful works of art for your wearing pleasure. Each artist has their “signature” designs, their own exclusive creations. Here you will find Joso’s sunsets and Gaudi inspired abstracts, Rose’s flowers, floral abstracts and landscape designs as well as Owan’s intricate raindrop patterns. At the end of the description of each hand painted shell on the website you will find the artist’s initials, JV (Joso Vidal), RM (Rose Moore) and OS (Owan Stenzel) identifying their individual works of art. Accomplished artists in both music and fine art painting, check out Rose and Joso’s individual websites for additional information: Joso Vidal and Rose Moore

Sea Fronds

Sea Fronds

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a singer songwriter and a painter.  I paint one of a kind natural shell pendants and earrings.

When did you start designing jewelry/art? 2005

What do you make? Hand painted one of a kind natural shell jewelry (pendants and earrings)

What materials and methods do you use? All natural mother of pearl pendants and earrings, special formula paint that creates permanent small works of wearable art.

Purple Columbine

Purple Columbine

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature, I paint landscapes, moons, sunsets, flowers, floral abstracts

Where can your products be seen? Clearlight Jewelry and on Etsy

Upcoming events:
San Francisco Gift Market Oct 10-12, San Francisco
San Mateo Harvest Festival, San Mateo, California

Who are you a fan of? Georgia O’Keefe

Sunset Harbor

Sunset Harbor

Price range: $22-$55

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I specialize in floral designs.  One of my favorite pieces is a peony I created in fall colors instead of the usual pinks and fuschias.

Thank you for allowing us to interview you and learn more of these beautiful tiny works of art and of your talented family!

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Kristy Lee Jewelry

Name: Kristy Lee


Where are you located? Arkansas

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a California beach native, now living in the “foothills of the Ozarks.” I do jewelry as a hobby when I can.

When and why did you begin designing jewelry? In 2005. I have been a collector of vintage and costume jewelry for almost 20 years, during which time I never thought of making my own jewelry. I lived a fast paced California life as a UPS driver. In 1998 I had some physical problems causing me to be unable to work.  I eventually discovered that I could make jewelry. I decided I wanted to have a lasting contribution to the world, which is why I sign my jewelry. From the moment that I made my first piece, I was hooked.

What style of jewelry do you make? Vintage inspired (50’s-60’s) ‘one of a kind’ and sometimes ‘over the top’ beaded costume and gemstone jewelry. Kristy specializes in extraordinary bib necklaces.

Bib necklaces

Bib necklaces


Tribal bib necklace

Tribal bib necklace

What materials and methods do you use?

I piece my jewelry together using various components including plated metal findings (eyepins, headpins, jumprings, chain) and of course glass, gemstone, pearl, unused vintage, and polymer clay beads.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Mostly from things I see; colors, nature, flowers, candy…. also feelings/emotions inspire what I make.

Where can your jewelry be seen? My website  and My Blog  Talent Database and Etsy

Upcoming events: Fall Craft Show in Hardy, Arkansas

Who are you a fan of?  Vintage jewelry designers. There are too many to list.

Price range: $3.00-$300.00.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: My favorite is my rose garden necklace because it is so appealing to the eyes. It looks delicious and reminds me of buttercream frosting.


Rose Garden
Rose Garden

Anything else you wish to add?  I am currently volunteering at our local animal shelter which is in desperate need of supplies to care for these animals. I am presently donating 20% of all sales to the purchase of food, medicine and supplies for this shelter.

Kristy Lee "Girlfriends" necklaces

Kristy Lee "Girlfriends" collection

Thank you for your interview and your extravagant bib necklaces and we hope this interview will bring some needed supplies to your animal shelter!


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Vicki Verbanic – Ocean Life Designs

Name:   Vicki Verbanic – Ocean Life Designs

Website Link:

Where are you located?   Florida, USA

Heart Ornament

Heart Ornament

Tell us a bit about yourself:  I first became fascinated with shell work when a close friend of mine was moving back to Switzerland and left me her craft shell collection.  I started playing around with them and have been hooked every since.  It is amazing the different type of works that can be created with these gems from the ocean!

When did you start designing this type of jewelry/art?  I have been crafting since I was 10 years old and my mother taught me to knit.  I love all sorts of crafts.  I spent many years making jewelry, and still love working with wire and metalsmithing, but that has taken a wayside to the shell art.

What do you make?  Shell art of all types!  I love vintage shell jewelry, but there are some obstacles in recreating a lot of these designs – besides locating the components, many of the shells used in bygone days are no longer being harvested, and when they are available many times are cost prohibitive.

Florida Scallops

Florida Scallops

What materials and methods do you use?  Shells of all types.  My flowers are done using hot glue. When I work on smaller “valentine” type items, I use Bond 527, it allows movement of the shells.

Where do your design inspirations come from?   Gosh, not sure how to answer this.  Sometimes it is just a lot of trial and error when working with the shells!

Lucine cups

Lucine cups

Where can your products be seen? 

Who are you a fan of?   A fan of?  I am jealous of people that live near the water and can shell any opportunity they get – does that qualify?

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:  My favorite work to date has to be the pocket watch pendant that I did as a gift.  I have seen other shell artists do these, and wanted to try one.  It was a challenge and I am looking forward to attempting more of these!

Pocket watch

Pocket watch

Anything else you wish to add?   Thank you for giving me this opportunity – I will be watching with anticipation and hoping that you have much success with your site!


Thank you for your interview and we will anxiously await your possible future attempts at vintage-style shell jewelry!


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