All posts in category Inspiration

Do You Love Color on Metal?

You are in for a treat if you stop by Taboo Gallery. The works of Brooke Marks-Swanson and Helen Shirk are being featured, two talented designers who use color on metal. I “met” Brooke online when I arranged to include her work in my book on designing contemporary art jewelry. Of course, I didn’t want […]


I have not made this public up until now. Three years back I started writing a book on the jewelry-making topic I love the most, design. Self-doubt, a lack of discipline, and an easy slide into feeling overwhelmed with the prospect, kept the beginnings of my book tucked away quietly in my file drawer. Months […]

Design Talk Interview – Joan Tenenbaum

As promised, here is my November, 2013 interview with Joan Tenenbaum. Not only will you gain insights into her development as a jeweler, you will discover how Joan’s interactions with the native Alaskan people and the environment influenced her work. Connie: Many of the jewelry makers I encounter discover this path as a “second career” or after […]

Design Talk – Joan Tenenbaum

I decided to be illogical. Commonsense told me to introduce you to Joan Tenenbaum via my online December interview with her. But, power convinced me otherwise. Nothing speaks as clearly about the heart of this talented woman than her work. Joan’s jewelry, along with the stories her pieces tell, captivated me from the start. Her […]

A Checkered Past

I know this is a juicy title and with today’s star-studded scandals you might be anticipating nothing less. However, anything I have done in my life may be momentarily entertaining but far from titillating. On to the issue at hand. I am sharing with you how a jewelry technique has eluded me for years, and […]

Ugly, Pretty, And Political Slogans

I am finally fully unpacked and close to sleeping with the rest of the west coast. I got up at 3 am and I consider this progress. During the last few days I realize it is easier to write when I am visiting fabulous museums and having daily adventures. Do I really need to hop […]

Rome’s Gift

My last post was, well, supposed to be just that, the last post of this journey to Italy. But, there was one more story to tell. I am writing this at 5 am, street sweepers and commuters waking up Rome, with just several hours before we leave for home. We knew it would take a […]

Will Rome Ever Rest?

The contrast between Tuscany and Rome is both dramatic and jarring. It is midnight as I write my last blog installment from Italy. Why so late? The city is abuzz as if commuters are retuning from their work day and I am buzzing right with them. Entering Rome was easier than we anticipated. Life is […]

Say Good Bye To Tuscany

Today is a travel day. We leave our quiet Il Castillo in Tuscany and head to Rome. Oh my, I am bracing myself for an entirely different experience. Entering Rome promises to be hair raising – Jan, an excellent driver, will get us to the car rental office Italian style and I will be navigating. […]

For The Love Of It

Many of you know her. Linda Darty is the author of “The Art of Enameling” and was the head of metal design at East Carolina University in North Carolina. She now directs the University’s Certaldo program in the heart of Tuscany. The program provides students with college credits and acquaints them with Italian language and […]