On a lovely spring day here in Corrales, New Mexico, I had the pleasure of getting a visit from Jane Ujhazi, Western Sales Manager for Nirvana Beads. It’s always so nice when you can buy inventory in person from someone, in your home, and take your time getting to know the product as well as the individual. It was equally delightful to learn Jane is a jewelry designer too, and what designs! It doesn’t hurt that she favors the style I love – big, bold, chunky Tribal/Ethnic style necklaces incorporating precious metals, gemstones, pearls, and tribal & vintage beads. Check out 'Purple Haze' -- made with hard-to-find German resin nuggets in jewel shades of amethyst, painted natural pearl flats, and marbleized wood beads.
Jane first started stringing "love beads" as a teenager in the late 1960's. She got involved in jewelry-making in the early 1990's when she fell in love with a friend's Tabra earrings. This led her to buying her first beads as an adult from a fabulous bead store at the Barnyard in Carmel, California. She also credits her parents with giving her a subscription to National Geographic when she was 10 years old; she felt she got to travel the world through that amazing magazine – seeing the lands, the cultures and the art of humanity around the world. Jane and I struck up an instant friendship, as we clearly have a lot in common. So of course I asked her if I could feature her and her work in one of my posts, and she generously agreed. As you can see from the images here, she makes stunning jewelry that honors ethnic and tribal traditions of self-decoration.
The amazing piece shown to the left, ‘Song of Afghanistan’, was recently featured in Bead Style Magazine. There is museum-quality design and craftsmanship in this triple-strand heirloom necklace that honors traditional materials from the mountains of the Silk Road. Spectacular matched blue lapis lazuli rounds were paired with antiqued gold spacers and cut-work Indian brass focal beads to create this stunning piece.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Her work reflects who she is: playful, beautiful, elegant! To the right is another one of my favorite pieces of hers – ‘Sedona'– with the beautiful colors of the desert evoked through amazing amber and turquoise gemstones. Also to the right is another favorite, ‘Herat’. This single strand conjures images of the Middle East Bedouin tents and Arabian horses -- with precious Lapis Lazuli, legendary blue glass and handcrafted Tibetan artisan beads.
Many of the one-of-a-kind pieces I fell in love with (via photos) had already been sold, but fortunately, Jane accepts custom orders and is always ready to make a unique creation to your specifications or to recreate one of her previous masterpieces.
Below in the center is another favorite, ‘Khatmandu’.
This set conjures images of the exotic settings of its namesake capital city. Jane has incorporated Tibetan copal amber, mosaic turquoise and traditional Ghanian brass honor materials in this interpretation of tribal jewelry.
Just who is the real Jane and what makes her tick? She bird-watches, reads history, practices compassion, and approaches the world with a kind of hopeful-yet-cynical, utopian-yet-realistic, pagan-yet-practical attitude I can really relate to. I can tell you she is a true Renaissance woman – having worked in the corporate world, now owning her own business, also caring for her elderly mother in her own home, and serving as proud mother herself to three cats and twenty-two chickens. She sells primarily at the Old Town Farmers & Artisan Market at home in Bandon-by-the-Sea (her jewelry, along with eggs, eggs, and more eggs), online, and in galleries, gift shops and boutiques. Jane is a true dynamo, helped along in life by her beloved ‘patience-of-a-saint’ husband Jeffrey. They live on the spectacular Oregon coast but love the desert, mountains, forests, and all beautiful nature.
If you happen to be looking for amazing Czech glass beads or buttons, you’ll also want to talk to Jane about her other life representing Nirvana Beads. I just spent two hours finding the best and most beautiful of her samples (in my humble opinion) – but I could have easily spent two days. What amazing finds! She offers the ultimate in fine hand-made pressed glass beads in a dazzling array of colors and shapes – all delivered to your doorstep. And the wholesale prices are to die for; truly great bargains here, especially if you buy in bulk.
Jane is an all-around great human being, role model, and gifted artisan. I’m telling you, when you connect with her, your life becomes instantly blessed.
Until Next Time,