Wednesday, July 16, 2008

JBalducci Jewelry

Jenifer Balducci has a bachelor's degree in fine art from UCLA and a certificate in jewelry design from Gemological Institute of America. She also studied jewelry fabrication at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco while completing her master's degree in 3D computer arts.

designer earrings

Maple Leaf Earrings

Brass maple leaves dangle from 14k gold fill French ear wires.

Also available in sterling plated on sterling ear wires.


Before starting JBalducci Jewelry in early 2003, Jenifer designed high-end jewelry for two large manufacturers in Los Angeles, as well as custom pieces while working in a fine jewelry retail store in Santa Monica, California. JBalducci

jewelry provides an outlet for Jenifer's passion for gems, metals, and jewelry, and her need for unhindered creativity.

hair jewelry

Vintage Reborn Pink Celluloid Cluster Bobby Pin

A vintage carved pink celluloid flower cluster with pink rhinestones.


Jenifer uses only fine materials and often incorporates unique vintage and antique pieces. All pieces are handmade in her Bay Area studio, and many are one of a kind. Her creative flexibility has enabled her to design a wide range of styles, ensuring that anyone will find an accessory that they can identify with and fall in love with.

pearl necklace

Vintage Blue Flower Clasp Pearl Necklace

Two strands of white pearls are secured with a vintage blue enamel floral clasp accented with sky blue rhinestones. Measures 16 inches. One of a kind.


Jenifer Balducci is based in San Francisco, California, and her jewelry is available online and at fine boutiques worldwide. Jenifer also makes unique bridal jewelry. Custom pieces designed around your specifications are encouraged and available, as well as bridal party design.

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Related Entries:

Jewelry Career Resources - 08 August 2006

Jewelry as Designer DNA - 13 September 2006

Couture Jewelry Awards - 04 March 2007

Jewelry Designer for Princesses - 08 March 2007

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Ruby - The July Birthstone

I love rubies! One of the pieces of jewelry I remember from childhood was a faceted ruby pear (glass, of course) pendant that hung from a gold chain. I loved it; it made me think of fairy tales and India and other exotic places that, at the time, I didn't know if I would ever get to see. Now that I have, rubies still remind me of India, Turkey, Egypt, and Spain. I love working with them, and I'm always on the lookout for rubies to put in my jewelry - and the bigger they are, the better! (See links to jewelry at the end of this post.)

Rubies are a folklore staple, part of their exotic mystique. My favorite bit of ruby lore is the belief that putting a ruby under your pillow will ward off nightmares. Also, the ruby is associated in many cultures with an increase in prosperity, fame and accomplishments. Wearing a ruby was/is said to protect one from danger, and various diseases of the blood. According to Aryuvedic traditions, they strengthen the heart, restore balance in both love and spiritual relationships, and help to prevent miscarriages. Of course, rubies are thought to represent passion when a man presents one to a woman as a gift.

In Arabian lore, the ruby (also called the jacinth) was used to describe the beauty of the houris in paradise. Another name for the ruby, widely used in the 17th century was the carbuncle although it was more common to use this word to indicate a garnet. In India, it was known as the "Lord of the Gemstones". In Proverbs 31:10, a virtuous wife’s worth is “far above rubies.”

Scientifically, rubies are known as corundum (as are sapphires) and are a 9 in hardness on the Moh's scale. Only the diamond is harder. Many of the best, dark red rubies are known as pigeon's blood rubies. The best rubies were always thought to come from Burma. However, rubies also come from Thailand, India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and even North Carolina in the USA.
It's hard to beat the richness of rubies, even with my favorite - the emerald. The ruby has luxury, mystery, and romance all rolled into one fabulous gemstone!
Ruby Bracelets Ruby Earrings Ruby Necklaces All on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Short Sleeve Sweater with Printed Collar and Cuffs

Short Sleeve Sweater with Printed Collar and Cuffs

Crisp and fresh, this sweater will bring a polished look to any summer outfit.

$29.99 ; (sale) at Ann Taylor.

Mongolian Artisan Jewelry

Metalsmiths and Jewelry Designers

Mongolian style filigree and enamel jewelry is handcrafted by artisans using traditional Mongolian art forms, that reflects Russian and Chinese influences from the past 1000 years. This jewelry was made for the Mongolians originally, and then filtered into what is now China. During the 1700s, it was made exclusively for the Empresses and manufacture was very limited.

handcrafted necklace

London Blue Topaz and Enamel Pearl Necklace

Beautiful polished necklace features a pear cut London Blue Topaz stone in a filigree setting of 24k gold plated over sterling silver with enamel details. Necklace is teal dyed Freshwater Pearls, 18" long.


The Filigree work is hand-fashioned with tweezers, in which sterling silver wire is shaped into flowers, butterflies, and other subjects. The completed compositions are fired in a kiln to approximately 1700 degrees F, to be fused together with silver dust. This creates the body of the piece to which enamel and gemstones are added.

artisan jewelry pin

Peridot and Enamel Dragonfly Pin

Beautiful Peridot and Enamel Handcrafted Dragonfly Pin. Peridot eyes in a filigree setting of 24k gold plated over sterling silver. The pin features beautifully enameled wings. 2" by 2.5" long.


The outlined designs are then filled with a very finely ground enamel powder. The colors are blended to create special effects, and the piece is once again fired the kiln. This turns the enamel powder into glass with a high gloss finish. The final step is to set the stones and to plate the pieces with 24k gold.

designer necklace

Abalone Shell Necklace

Beautiful Abalone Shell Handcrafted Necklace. Abalone in a filigree setting of 24k gold over sterling silver. This necklace features a magnetic clasp for ease of use. Pendant measures 2" long by 1" wide. Necklace measures 17.5".


Many unusual stones such as Chrysocolla, Rhodochrosite, Chrysoprase, Water Sapphire, Black Star of India, as well as semiprecious stones like Garnet, Lapis, Amethyst, Madeira Citrine, Onyx, and Turquoise are used in these designs.

Each artist has been extensively trained in the basic techniques, and over time they become considered Master Craftsmen. Because the filigree and enameling skills are so totally different, an artist is trained in only one or the other. As a result, some items require two artists to complete one piece.

Each design of enamel and filigree work takes several days to complete, and it reflects the artisans' training and the art of their culture. The technique is similar to that used to make the original Faberge Eggs, which were made of gold, silver, and precious gemstones.

Gorgeous wearable art, and so affordable.

See full article

Related Entries:

Jewelry Career Resources - 08 August 2006

Native American Inlay Jewelry - 14 January 2008

Susan Marie Designs Jewelry - 04 July 2008

April Higashi Enamel Jewelry - 11 July 2008

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Stones, Winter Jewels

When I mix gemstones for bracelets, I mix because of a paradigm that I've adhered to for quite a while. I see many gemstones in terms of season. That may sound stupid, but I simply can't help it, and if you look at many of the jewelry pieces that I design, you can see this particular mind-set of mine at work. First, let me say that I wear all gemstones at almost any time of the year - this is something that happens when I'm creating. And, let me add that the precious gemstones that I use: ruby, sapphire, and emerald seem to me to be seasonless - that is, they can be for the hottest day of summer or the coldest of winter, but with certain other coloured stones, I have a definite prejudice!
Above you see one example: a citrine bracelet with two strands of citrine and silver; now, that is definitely a summer bracelet as is the aquamarine bracelet that you see below:Of course, the link is easy, you think: sea and sun! But if you look at the rainbow moonstone bracelet below because of the white (beneath the blue flash) most people would think of summer. Not I! Rainbow moonstone is a winter stone; I have the same idea about labradorite jewelry. I attribute it to the blue flashes that they have that always remind me of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights and conjure up visions of snow, reindeer in Lapland, the icy lands of Norway and Finland.
Sunstone is one of those stones that reminds me of hot summers - and also, hot days of Autumn, before that first chill sets in. It truly is a warm stone. And as one might think, when I mix pastel colours largely for one of my unique bracelets, it usually turns out to be a summer bracelet.
So what season is the peacock blue apatite and sunstone bracelet? The addition of the dark peacock blue makes it seasonless, adding the cool tones of winter to that hot summer sun. I've also de-seasoned a bracelet with labradorite as well - adding some aquamarine for summer and balancing the two stones with amethyst (which I think of as Fall and Spring)and a couple of dichroic beads for extra sparkle. To make the top citrine bracelet Fall-worthy, I would probably add some ocean jasper to it.
I know that some designers prefer to consult a colour wheel, but we all design in our own way - and sometimes in a way that perhaps makes sense only to one person.

Above is a "seasonless" emerald bracelet.