Win a $25 Gift Voucher!

Subscribe! 1 winner/month

Socialize with Us!

Socialize with Us! Google Plus Follow us on Twitter

Share this Page

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Shop!

Buy our Beads on Etsy

 

Top-100 Award

Bead blog top 100

Bead of the Week

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.

 

Search This Site

 

ear cuff 3I heard this story from my good friend Jonathan and thought it was so spot on about how inspiration can happen during the creative process. The Earcuff became wildly popular after this invention – in the 70’s, I think; I’ve featured my fav (Pegasus Cuff) from the LewAllen Studio (the one just below and to the left), and a couple from contemporary Etsy artisans (here at the right and below, right side are:  martymagic's Dragon Earcuff/Earwrap and PuranaJewellery's Dandelion Earcuff. ). Earcuffs are a great alternative for people who don’t want to pierce, or who just want a really unique and striking look. Here’s Jonathan’s story:

We heard from a friend that there was a space in Bob Spitz’s building near the Santa Fe plaza that we could rent and we went to see it. It was a single room on the second floor of a building next to a gas station that was on the northeast corner of the plaza, right across the street from the library. The rent was reasonable, so we took it and moved our stained glass studio into town. There were other rooms upstairs. On one side was a bead store and on the other was our old friend from Highlands--Ross LewAllen and his jewelry studio.

Ross made earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry items in his studio. He was set up for casting silver and gold, but usually he constructed pieces, sawing them out of sheet silver and soldering, and then using different surface treatments. His prices were very reasonable. I think you could get a pair of silver earrings for $15 or so in the early seventies. One summer he went on vacation and left his studio in the hands of Dell Fox, another Santa Fe jeweler. As soon as he was out of town, Dell doubled his prices. When Ross came back he was totally taken aback and asked Dell how she could do such a thing. Dell told him that they sold just as much jewelry as the summer before but now he was making twice as much money. Ross couldn’t argue with that, and it’s probably a good lesson for all of us!

pegasus 2Some mornings we would go in early and drive up Canyon Road to the Three Cities of Spain restaurant and have breakfast. We would talk to the tourists on the front porch and they would tell us they would stop by our studio. It was a very nice start on the day. Living the life of an artist in Santa Fe , a city known for its art, was a real rush. Artists are celebrated for creating, and that is a high honor. Everyone wants to create. Everyone does create, but sometimes it takes a long time for the work to evolve and even longer to recognize your true creations. It has been so in my life.

One morning I opened up the glass studio and went to the bathroom to get some water for the coffee maker. I noticed Ross sitting in his chair with his first cup of coffee. It looked like he was trying to think of what he should do next. As I came back I stopped at his door and said loudly, “There sits the artist! Thinking of ever new parts of the human body to poke holes in!” (This was in the early seventies- long before tattooing and piercing began to be popular again.) Ross laughed and I laughed and I went to my studio to make my coffee and plan out the day.

I was doing some work at my main table about 20 minutes later when Ross ran in. “Look!” he said. “Your joke make me think!” and he put something in the middle of my table. I picked it up and looked. It was a small silver tube a little more than half an inch long with an open slot on the side. The edges were rounded and the diameter of the tube was about a quarter of an inch. It had been polished and it shone in the light. “What is it?” I asked. “It’s the Earcuff!” Ross answered. And he took it from me and slid it onto the upper part of my ear. I looked at myself in the mirror and it looked good! “This is really nice, Ross!” I said, and he went back to his studio. Other than the artist, I was probably the first person in the world to wear an Earcuff.

dandelionRoss started producing Earcuffs in all sorts of styles. Plain ones like the first one, and others with little rings you could hang things like other jewels and feathers on. Soon they became popular and other jewelers began to copy him. Now during Indian Market on the plaza each year, Some of the Native American jewelers have Earcuffs in their booths; I don’t know if they know the very first Earcuff was made less than fifty yards away by Ross LewAllen, extraordinary jeweler and artist who spent his whole life creating.

Eventually Ross turned over his jewelry studio to his daughter Laura. She subsequently invented the cool climbing rope bracelets they sell a lot of, with choice of charms (you can see  some of these in the youtube video mentioned below). The shop is still going strong, on the northeast corner of the Santa Fe plaza.

To me it’s a really humorous story and also very inspiring!  If you'd like to see more of the LewAllen jewelry, check out http://lewallenjewelry.com/, a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GbuMf-btu0, and their Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/Jewelry-handcrafted-by-Ross-Lewallen-and-Laura-Lewallen

What stories do you have about things that have gotten your creative juices flowing? We hope you’ll share in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

The Inspired Jewelry Designer

The Joy of Wire Work

Until Next Time,

Sheila

Copyright © 2017 The Bead Collection. All Rights Reserved.