The rich colors and textures of Eugène Delacroix’s oil paintings still strike a chord with me – the dramatic scenes of men hunting on horseback contrasting with the intimate glimpses of Algerian interiors is a combination too luring to resist.
Traveling to Morroco and North Africa in 1832, shortly after Algeria was taken by the French, Delacroix was enamoured with the people and clothing and daily scenes that surrounded him. By far I love the paintings he made during this time most of all. These were some of the most inspiring when I starting looking for something to kickstart my ideas for new jewelry, along with the 1930’s drama, Algiers.
“Eugène Delacroix was a curious mixture of skepticism, politeness, dandyism, willpower, cleverness, despotism, and finally, a kind of special goodness and tenderness that always accompanies genius”.
On the chilly night that first opened the box containing this set of hand-crafted earrings from SugarSpoon, I remember being instantly enamoured. I could not have imagined just how intricate and eye catching these earrings were until I saw them for myself! They were cold in my hands from spending the afternoon in the mail box – and they were as light as a pair of snowflakes.
Heather Beauchene is the artisan behind all of the sweet delights that SugarSpoon has to offer. Perhaps the most striking aspect of Heather’s jewelry is just how fine each bead is – apparently smaller than any currently manufactured. Each unique set of earrings is crafted from antique seed beads ranging in size from 18/0 to 22/0 per bead (the smallest currently made is 15/0). “I love to work with colour” says Heather, “And the tiny seed beads have given me the chance to do that with out having to set gem stones. I’ve been using them since I was a teenager.”
Heather is a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently taking some time away from her job as a bench jeweler and jewelry designer to spend time with her new baby.
Each set of earrings in SugarSpoon’s shop is a hybrid of rich, textural color and an artful homage to organic, nature-inspired forms. The set I was given reminds me of delicate, pink coral branches – though a much more tasteful and eco-friendly version of the coral jewelry that has become so fashionable in the past years.
As sugary sweet as this Etsian’s style might be, the obstacles Heather has overcome reveal her adamantine spirit. Part of her time away from her jeweler work will be used to help her recover from a tumor. Heather described her illness: “It made me very sick and made my bones dissolve… I’m sort of like the glass man from the movie Amelie right now.”
Heather has quite a few plans for the months ahead – “I’m planning a new jewelry line using lots of colour and texture. Weight training to build up my bones again….and lots and lots of Mommy-Baby time!”
(and keep an eye out for her new line of wearables!)
Finally, I am getting to respond to getting “tagged” by one of my favorite Etsy artisans, CelesteFrittata! If you are a fan of goregous typography, fine craftsmanship and unique wrappings, you will also love her! Check out her beautiful Bottega on Etsy
and her blog
full of cool finds, interviews and techniques!
Here are the official tagging rules!:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
So, 7 random, weird facts (I don’t think you know what you are in for!):
1. I love movies made prior to 1950 – I adore silent films or very, very early talkies, where the dialogue is all crackly. “M” with Peter Lorre, Bringing Up Baby with Katherine Hepburn and the Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart are my favorites!
2. When I was 14, I was an apprentice at a musical instrument repair shop – I worked on stringed instruments like violins, violas, cellos and guitars.
3. Ever since I was 5 or so and saw David Bowie in the Labyrinth movie, I have had a crush on him. I watched it at my neighbor’s house and I can remember immediately falling for him. Shhhh! That’s a secret!!!
4. I write down my dreams and try to figure out what they mean.
5. Initially I went to university for a concentration in Illustration (I wanted to write and illustrate children’s books), but I came out with metal/jewelry arts instead! (But, I have a children’s book in the works that I hope to get published for my nephew and niece!)
6. I love unusual names – my pets get the brunt of this. My cat is named Evelyn Camille Manchester III, while my two Lionhead Rabbits are named Artemesia and Lalique.
7. The studio that I make my work in is a carriage house / stable from the early 1800’s and is said to be haunted by a ghost horse named Red Boy. Often the clicking and thumping from the hot water pipes sounds like a horse kicking the walls of his stall or stamping his hooves impatiently!
And now my choices, I’ll tag some people who I really admire: