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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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Amy Photo 3Meet our latest favorite Jewelry Designer and Artist extraordinaire, Amy Kanka Valadarsky!

Amy describes herself as lucky that she was mature enough to appreciate it fully, when she discovered her passion for design. We also think she was lucky to be able to formally study at the Sheffield School. It takes an uncommon amount of drive to go back to school at (a relatively) older age (late 40's, in her case), but Amy had what it took and now is truly a wonderful success. After years of hard work and struggle (as so many of us are familiar with!), she now has her own studio at home – a dream come true! She is surrounded by her design books and other objects that keep her vision of beauty alive.

Amy primarily works with silver, gold, pearls, and gemstones. Her process is one of 'sculpting' or 'painting' with stones. I've noticed that she is frequently inspired by nature – tree branches in winter, natural stone and ore, bodies of water. She is a woman after my own heart, given her love of the stone Labradorite. She sees the deep blue color of this special stone as clear, majestic, and compelling – and I couldn't agree more! One of the many beautiful items at her Etsy shop, AKVJewelry, is a beautiful Labradorite stone set in silver – you can view it and other pieces at:  

After years of study and practice, it is clear that she has found her own distinctive creative voice. Her is a unique style that she achieves with a distinctive interdisciplinary and artistic approach. On her Facebook site, she sometimes posts pictures of items that have nothing to do with jewelry, but that are inspiring in terms of their beauty, richness of color, or other compelling elements. Then she has the generosity of spirit to explain why these images inspire her – and in doing that, I believe she is a natural teacher and source of inspiration to others.

The piece I chose to feature in this post (pictured above) is her very special 'Artisan Silver Pendant Necklace' – a stunning adornment of silver, garnet and gold. I love her story about this particular piece.  In creating it, she was trying to convey the crisp beauty of winters she encountered when growing up in Romania, and also when visiting the winter wonderland of Lapland. She suggests that anyone who shares lovely memories of snow and winter might feel especially pleased to wear or to give this item as a gift. I'm entranced by this idea as well – as so many special pieces of jewelry have their own story and connection to the wearer or the recipient, do they not?  Amy really does her homework when describing her work, sharing with the viewer all the elements that make it special – including rare history and meanings of stones in the pieces.  Who wouldn't be honored to wear a creation such as this, when so much love and care has gone into it? Honestly, since I've been getting to know more and more artisans, I don't think I will ever buy manufactured jewelry in a store again - unless of course, it's an Etsy or ArtFire shop or other place that supports artists making one-of-a-kind adornments.

Amy currently resides in Even Yehuda, a town in the central Sharon region of Israel. You can see her work and interact with her and her many fans at her Facebook page:!/amy.valadarsky?fref=ts

AKV Ana Photo


p.s. If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also enjoy the post on Darcy Rosner!

P.P.S.S. If you're interested...we have a NEW EXCLUSIVE SALE FOR RETURN CUSTOMERS, FOLLOWERS, SUBSCRIBERS & FACEBOOK FANS -- 30% OFF THROUGH JULY 23!  Use coupon code 80631

Sale is on ALL Items in the SHOP!




0 # Amy Kanka Valadarsky 2013-07-23 04:48
Thank you Sheila for this blog post, I am really honored to be featured here.
Would love to hear what your readers think about the jewelry pieces I make.

All the best,
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0 # S O McLaughlin 2013-07-23 08:36
Hi Amy, and you're most welcome! I really enjoyed doing the story on you and will keep you posted on any comments!
Readers out there, please consider Amy's request -- all artists benefit from feedback and response! And in the meantime, thanks again for your subscription and readership!
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0 # Amy Kanka Valadarsky 2013-07-24 08:15
Beside thanks for helping me be a better artist, I would like to offer the readers that will send helpful and constructive comments on my work a thank you token.
Go to my ETSY store, look around and tel me what you like and why, what you would like to see there and you don't, even things that bothered you. I will reward your time and effort, by giving one of you a discount coupon of 25% on any item in my store.
Waiting to read your comments :-)
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