Sheila Schwede's Captured Fire features an eye-catching Mexican fire opal heart-shaped stone carved by her husband Todd. Inspired by the Balboa Park botanical gardens of her native San Diego, Sheila's necklace uses silver clay in syringes to re-create twining vines with their bold and colorful flowers. She used Accent Gold for Silver™ to select parts of the necklace to add metal contrasts and detailing.
"Oh, I like this. I like this a LOT!" says Chris.
Intricate, intertwining wirework--using a range of wire weights--frames a fascinating upcycled cabochon in a deep, rich red. Daryl Adams' Freya features a focal created from upcycled aircraft aluminum poured into colorful resins and cut into cabochons by Texas artist Jerry Howard. Daryl's design balances new with old, neutral with color and edgy with refined.
Chris picked up this piece repeatedly, saying, "This is so well balanced and planned."
Natasha Downs' Pink and Green Tourmaline uses PMC Silver to showcase the tourmaline crystals she pulled from a random bucket at a gem-and-mineral show. The contrast between the flashing, faceted crystals and the textured silver clay components--along with the interplay of colors--kept drawing Chris back.
"Looks like watermelon tourmaline," she said."Looks delicious."
He's exactly the type of dragon most of us wouldn't mind meeting in a dark alley: Brandy Bruder's Draco is made of brightly colored Zebra Wire™, with bold eyes made of olive "jade" and black agate. This dragon-headed design is also surprisingly light.
"Oooooooooooo!" was the universal response to Debbie Benninger's Dragon Queen. The complex collar-and-drop necklace showcases dragon wings and crests made of woven wire, in subtle plays of color, and embellished with labradorite cabochons and sparkling, deep blue beads. The intricately stand-up collar necklace was a lock-in for our President's Award for its technical virtuosity and elegantly engineered design.
Marielle Teasdale's Lady Lizard is a stunning work of micro artistry. This Trendsetter Award winner blends a variety of techniques and mediums. The shell is made of fine silver clay, later enameled a beautiful turquoise blue. The eponymous lizard herself is made using tiny slivers of Murano glass, each placed individually on a marble putty shape, then fired and polished. Our in-house jewelry designers kept coming back to this piece, amazed by the breadth of techniques showcased in this necklace.