Webster’s online dictionary defines jewel as an ornament of precious metal often set with stones or decorated with enamel and worn as an accessory of dress. Amapola is resplendent with many varied jewels and they come with a wide variety of prices, from trinket to “Darling, you shouldn’t have!”
Jack Boglioli is a weaver of wire and wonders. Think of a weaver of miniatures using not straw or grass, but precious metal as his material. Jack shifts back and forth between faceted and uncut semi-previous and precious stones, and enjoys the challenge of setting stones in different ways, all using woven wire. Like all Amapola jewelers, Jack welcomes custom work and each piece is as unique as the stones themselves.
Brenda Bowman of Brenda’s Jewels creates fun, classy, everyday wearable pieces. For her work, her “heart is not into glass,” so she focuses on semi-precious stone and metal beads, with a nifty sideline in pearls. She loves peoples’ responses to her work, including her “word” bracelets with letter beads. She makes these using any colors and letters, including commissions of names, team names, causes and endearments, and even dogs’ names!
Joyce of Joyance began her beading career in 1982 when she bought a jade necklace on a visit to Hong Kong. Back home in Zurich it broke and the jeweler who restrung it charged her double the price of the whole necklace! When it broke again in a few weeks, she taught herself a variety of beading techniques and never looked back. Joyce’s designs are marvels of understated elegance.
Diana Kirkpatrick considers her work “wearable art.” In addition to beadweaving she fabricates a variety of earrings, necklaces and bracelets. She enjoys watching the design develop, with “suggestions” from the materials themselves. While she loves the colors and qualities of gemstones, use of Swarovski crystals in some pieces allows her to broaden her customer base.
Mary Ellen Merrigan employs an enormous variety of materials in her beading. She loves to use sterling, gemstones and vintage African trade beads, but since folks need affordable options, she also chooses to mix copper beads into some pieces. Words to describe her work are inventive, imaginative and whimsical. She especially enjoys commissions for treasure necklaces, combining her beads and artistry with customers’ old charms, too-small-to-wear-now-rings and other precious bits for truly personal, wearable art.
Michele McMillan is a gifted silversmith who both casts and fabricates her pieces. After only five years as a designer/silversmith, she creates a variety of organic and contemporary unique pieces. Michele is attracted to the unusual and different in the stones she uses and overall designs often grow out of the stones themselves. She enjoys award-winning outcomes, but loves the process.
Come see our jewelry and meet our jewelers! Compare and contrast for yourselves, but be prepared to find an ornament you cannot live without.
(After a lifetime batting words around like shuttlecocks in an endless game of badminton, it is a pleasure to use them to promote Old Town and my fellow artists at Amapola Gallery. –Kristin Parrott, carver, painter, acorn stuffer)