Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prepare to Drool...Gems from Jennifer Hallsey

Today, it is with pleasure that I share a selection of fabulous jewels from one of our best-selling artists at shopSCAD, Jennifer Hallsey. She makes exceptionally beautiful hand-beaded jewelry that speaks lovely abundance in terms of layers, colors and textures. Jennifer graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with a B.F.A. in painting and a minor in art history. Her talent for achieving perfect composition is evidence of this. 

Flowering Lotus Earrings, $1,498
Oooh, the intense beauty of the Flowering Lotus Earrings, just kill me now! Jennifer was inspired by the glasswork of Louis Comfort Tiffany when she conspired to make this divine creation. I would always prefer earrings like these to a lamp, thank you very much!

Maharani Earrings $800, Occitania Earrings $2250, Lisle Necklace $1720, Ornella Brooch  $728


Regal and ornate 18k gold shields make the Maharani Earrings a mighty classic in my book! I gasped (no kidding) when I first saw the Occitània Earrings in person. They are BEAUTIFUL and the blue is exactly the same as my friend Kyle’s eyes…too bad he can’t wear them! Just try wearing these and not feeling gorgeous, I dare you! I imagine the Lisle Necklace to become the heirloom piece in some lucky person’s family! This long, romantic necklace has the finest natural pearls and an antique brooch from the late Victorian era or Art Nouveau period. Hands down, a clear favorite would have to be the Ornella Brooch made with actual vintage butterfly wings. How cool is that? Real flying wings from long ago treasured forever under three large oval globes with the addition of opulent jewels – a keepsake indeed!

Georgiana Necklace $3800, Artemisia Earrings (sold), Georgiana Earrings $398


So, admittedly at times I am drawn to beautiful and creepy in almost the same proportion. This traditional 1800s Georgiana Mourning Necklace has a working locket made of onyx with a pearl cameo. The locket is to keep an image inside of a deceased loved one for sweet remembrance.

I want some fantastically bizarre-but-sophisticated rocker chick to wear Jennifer’s Artemisia Earrings. These earrings are jam-packed with tourmaline needles, gemstones and jumbo pear-shaped quartz drops. Now, on the other hand, I fancy the Georgiana Earrings as some kind of important period piece. So historical and romantic in feel, I love the subtle color and carved onyx ovals.
Vilma Flapper Earrings (sold), Genievre Brooch $270, Esme Earrings $770, Guirlande Necklace $2250

Really, any time the word “flapper” is used I am already 100% sold, now add to that Peruvian opals and fine 18k gold and well you know I want them really bad! Jennifer took her inspiration from the Art Deco period when creating her Vilma Flapper Earrings. Glowing milkglass, another personal fave, sets the Genièvre Brooch high on the list of coveted items. Lovely blue-green jumbles, moss aquamarine and rubies are sitting pretty on this antique pin. As if that is not enough, how about sapphires in green and color-changing violet on the Esme Earrings? The Guirlande Necklace is Old World beauty with garnets and vivid trillion-cut (whoa, that is a big number!) London and Swiss blue topaz. 

Vinvella Earrings $470, Atlantis Necklace $720

Jennifer gives us a lesson in the power of complementary colors via her Vinvella Earrings with their rich violet step-faceted amethyst teardrops and sunshine-yellow sapphires. Could this name be anymore perfect? The Atlantis Necklace seems like a treasure found at the bottom of the sea. I have always been obsessed with fossils and adore the pendant made of ammonites, an extinct group of marine animals known for their spiral ram horns.

Stanwyck Earrings $238, Sur la Lune Necklace $2618, Ottone Necklace $940, Fonteyne Necklace $1000
Jennifer found inspiration in the film noir genre of the 1940s and 1950s for her Stanwyck Earrings. She named them after Barbara Stanwyck, one of the many actresses who starred in these dark-yet-stylish Hollywood crime dramas. Resplendent and striking, the Sur la Lune Necklace is comprised of the finest grade of pearls. I love the chunky boldness and asymmetry of this piece; it is definitely not your mother’s pearls. 
A massive (100 carats!) heart of faceted rutile quartz anchors the Ottone Necklace. It is also quite appealing for its mix of metals – solid sterling silver, bright fine silver, solid 14k yellow, and pink 14k rose gold. The Fonteyne Necklace seems like this perfect talisman that was created over many years with each gemstone charm having significant meaning to the wearer. I imagine this is a delight to wear and would start many a conversation.

Gatsby Necklace $1398, Parisienne Earrings $700, Pavone Bracelet $398, La Boheme Earrings $424


One of my all-time favorite books – The Great Gatsby! Jennifer takes us back to a more glamorous time with the hand-knotted silk Gatsby Necklace. Smooth orbs of larimar with an antique bee pin. (We love our bees at SCAD!) The Parisienne Earrings are a knockout. The ruby red topaz sparkles like crazy, and then she amps it up further with sapphires and vintage 1970s Soviet rose gold. We do really well with Jennifer’s shaded bracelets like the Pavone at shopSCAD. The gradations of color from apatite, prehnite, peridot, kyanite and turquoise are hard to resist. I featured the La Bohème Earrings in a shopSCAD treasury I did for etsy a few months ago. To say I like this color combination is an understatement. I live for pink and green things as evidenced by my ensemble today – a vintage 1980s hot pink silk dress with green suede booties!

Bette Necklace $398, Ruby Throat Earrings (sold), Fane Necklace $708, Thistle Earrings $428


Bette Necklace is eccentric and wonderful with tiny details, large gems and mixed metals. Look close at the Ruby Throat (Hummingbird) Earrings to see the bright white coral branches peeking out from ruby red garnets and aquamarines – they make these unusual earrings even more spectacular. For something softer and subtler, you might prefer the gem-encrusted Fane Necklace. This would be so pretty for spring. Oh, when will that day ever come? This ombré effect in the Thistle Earrings is achieved through careful selection and arrangement of rainbow moonstone, white chalcedony, gray moonstone, gem-grade labradorite and tourmalated quartz.

M Noir Earrings $448, Aubert Necklace $1080

These M Noir Earrings would seem at home in a smoke-filled jazz lounge in the 1950s. They almost seem like sequins with the combination of glittering quartz and akoya pearls. Totally befitting a queen, the Aubert Necklace features a gorgeous baroque-like marcasite pendant with an extraordinary piece of tourmalinated quartz.

Bonamie Earrings $928, Zinnia Bracelet $948, Christadora Earrings $528, Athena Earrings $758

I have a growing appreciation of tourmalines, especially the slices, thanks to Jennifer’s work. The way the light shines through the large slices of watermelon tourmaline in her Bonamie Earrings is quite captivating. The epitome of luxury is a stack of Jennifer Hallsey bracelets as shown in the shopSCAD catalog but I would feel luxurious even for this one alone. The Zinnia Bracelet is set off by an insanely fuchsia tourmaline with a center diamond. I envision a mermaid in the Christadora Earrings, or at least think that must have been some source of inspiration for Jennifer when creating this lovely combo of shimmering Oregon sunstone and saltwater pearls. The Athena Earrings are fierce! This pair of earrings boasts large baroque pearls, Australian opal, peach moonstone, garnets and Oregon sunstone atop antique Miriam Haskell-inspired posts.