Studio Notes: Jewelry Food for Thought

Got some time to relax? Enjoy this tidbit-filled post on jewelry. Now, let’s eat!

Gilded Orchids

Artists working for Tiffany & Co. really know how to gild the lily—or in this case, orchids. In 1889, Tiffany designer Paulding Farnham created 24 bejeweled enamel orchid brooches for a Paris exposition. In more recent times, the company produced a fresh crop of 18K gold orchids sparkling with diamonds. Reminds me of rare lady’s slipper orchids I discovered in a ditch this summer along a busy road.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The new batch of brooches were exceptionally realistic, because designer David Freda used actual orchids to create the casting molds. To find out more, see Cathleen McCarthy’s article, More than a Skin of Paint in the May/June 2018 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.

Diamonds and Leather

While paging through Tiffany’s online 2018 Blue Book of jewelry innovations, I came across a flawless platinum circle pendant containing 14 carats of diamonds and 40 carats of color graded aquamarines from deep to pale blue. Probably weighs a ton.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: This pricy bauble is pictured hanging very casually from a plain leather thong.

The Unreal Thing

JTV is now selling lab-grown diamond jewelry. A pair of 2-carat total weight lab-grown diamond earrings in 14K gold was $3,689, marked down from $4,098.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I googled and found a pair of 2-carat round total weight nature-made enhanced* diamond screw back studs in 14K white gold for $1,955.

*Enhanced means that a diamond has been treated. These include high heat/high pressure to improve color or laser drilling and filling of flaws.

Goblets by Candace Beardslee

Goblets by Candace Beardslee

A Cup of Cheer

Washington silversmith Candace Beardslee created this set of furiously beautiful gold-lined goblets you can view at the Northwest Designer Craftsmen website. Beardslee wrote that her work “focuses on one-of-a-kind functional objects and jewelry that are inspired by the Pacific Northwest flora and fauna.” $4,000 each.


Portrait of Edmond Belamy courtesy of Christie’s

Portrait of Edmond Belamy courtesy of Christie’s


A group of French artists have found a way to use artificial intelligence (algorithms) to create portraits. In fact, one of their works, Portrait of Edmond Belamy, managed to sell at a Christie’s auction for $432,000.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Will someone use artificial intelligence to create jewelry that sells out at art fairs?

More Jewelry Business

Want to sell your work? Marketing master Marlene Richey has written a concise five-page guide to selling jewelry at trade shows. Even if you are not at that level, the free guide, courtesy of Rio Grande, is full of solid advice you can use for art fairs and bazaars.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Richey suggests you devour (her words) Jeffrey Gitomer’s 2004 Little Red Book of Sales.

Betsy Lehndorff has been writing for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist since 2010. You can reach her at

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