Name: I answer to the following – “Bijoux” “Bijoux d’Odalisque” “Holly” “Princess” “Pumpkin” (thank you Mom) “Sweetie” and my favorite… “Hey you…Why are you dressed like that? It’s just the grocery store!”
(I am a chronic over-dresser. When I say “life is short – wear your jewels everywhere,” I mean it.)
Website Link: www.BijouxOdalisque.etsy.com
Where are you located? Upstate, New York
Belle Epoque Bracelet
Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a classically trained oil painter, art historian, and jewelry designer. I spent many years traveling abroad to visit see my inspirations in person. Traveling is an addiction. I hope never to grow tired of the gelato flavors in Venice, the sidewalk chalk “paintings” in Paris, or the “Pemberley”-reminiscent manors of England. I am a true romantic, and a very silly one sometimes. I once walked across Paris in the middle of the night. I found myself completely alone beneath the Eiffel Tower – no tourists or passer-bys in sight, so what did I do? I laid down on the cool pavement beneath the dark and forbidding sculpture so I could lie on my back and memorize the moment. On another occasion, I visited Chateau Versailles and upon being given a map of the famous manicured gardens, I threw it in the trash so I could purposefully lose myself within its secret paths and lush little alcoves of roses.
When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? As a painter who favors layers of rich glazes and varnish, I wait days, even years for my canvases to dry, waiting the next application of fine detail. I became restless and needed to mold or manipulate…”something”. I traded my pigments for gemstones, my brushes for silver and began creating lavish gemstone designs.
What do you make? I make women feel glamorous. I want to shower them with gemstone jewelry that is of the finest quality and above all – wearable. I see no reason why a woman cannot wear a gemstone necklace with a crisp white shirt, not just her little black dress.
What materials and methods do you use? I use the finest quality precious gemstones, fine silver, and 24K gold vermeil – materials that allow for distinctive, elegant designs while keeping my prices affordable. There is no method to my creativity, no sketching, and no planning. I prefer to let my jewelry designs unfold and tell their own story.
Where do your design inspirations come from? I am inspired by so many artists, books, travels, etc…I wouldn’t know where to begin. The colors of Fall foliage, the scent of herbal teas, the sound of my husband composing music, or a particular perfume I catch the scent of on my Mother’s blouse – all of these things and everything lovely and unexpected inspire me.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I like to sit at my tall black apothecary desk next to our living room fireplace. I often prep for many hours of work by preparing a pot of my favorite tea (Earl Grey de la Crème) and having some music handy that suits my mood. I am currently very fond of the soundtracks to “The Piano” and “The Red Violin.”
Where can your products be seen? Etsy, Trunkt and Seeking Designers
Magazine articles or press: My designs will be featured in the winter issue of ELIZA Magazine which can be purchased online at their website or at Barnes & Noble bookstores.
The Longest Journey
Who are you a fan of? My mother. As long as I can remember, my mother has been my idol, my biggest cheerleader, and sometimes my backbone when I needed it. I thank God every day that I was lucky enough to be her daughter. When said, ‘Mom, I want to change my major and be an artist”, or “Mom, I am thinking of backpacking around Europe alone this Fall,” I never had to cringe and wait for criticism – she always understood that I could not color in the lines.
Price range: $80.00 – $3,000.00
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: The Belle Époque Necklace is by far my favorite gemstone creation. I was able to combine my love of flawless gemstones, the soft quality of pearls, and a natural geological wonder (amethyst stalactite). It’s an eclectic combination of “gems” that harmonize despite their very different qualities.
Belle Époque Necklace