Rockaway Beach

Even though we drift ever so slowly toward summertime and road-trips to the sea, I am of the mind that it is never too soon to make a seaside journey if only by design. 'Rockaway Beach' a piece which reminds me of the many day trips I used to make with my grandmother to her former home by the sea in Northern California. We would leave the hot suburbs east of San Francisco and head toward the city, bypassing S.F. for the shortcut to the Pacific Ocean and the town of Pacifica. On our way, winding down the steep highway along the coast (and before urban sprawl came down to the sea at Pacifica), we would tuck into a tiny corner of the world called 'Rockaway Beach.' It was not big enough to be called a village. It was not a marina. It was just a handful of old buildings from the 1920's and 1930's (as if from the prohibition days) set against a cement breakwater where waves crashed in and raised up in a watery rage that was at once frightening as it was exhilarating. Grandma would have packed tuna fish sandwiches and a few bananas and some milk and we would eat our lunch in the car, with our windows down beside the breakwater, listening to the rage & powerful roar of the ocean. I was quite young and it always felt like such a spirited adventure requiring us to be full of courage & might - to go sit beside such a tempestuous Pacific meeting at last at the land of the west coast.

As such, 'Rockaway Beach' is yet another of my newer designs from my Simple Luxe Collection. This piece is a premier lampwork, gemstone 'wrap' bracelet. That is, two strands of lampwork beads made of German or Italian fine glass in a studio setting by skilled artists and created bead-by-bead with amazing detail, color & texture. 'Rockaway Beach' also includes stones, gems, sterling (925), a hand-wrought hammered sterling heart connector and a handsome rouge toggle by a local, gifted silversmith. She uses the old wax casting technique and her sterling pieces add an other worldly & edgy feel to my designs. Stunning organic lampwork beads make up 'Rockaway Beach' in shades of aqua, green, teal, sea & topaz blue, ink blue, turquoise with icy shades of smooth, clear quartz nuggets, radiant Keishi & splendidly plump, elegant Baroque pearls some of which are capped in strong sterling caps. You will also find dainty faceted teardrops of light green aquamarine stone, discs of blue-fire moonstone, nuggets of blue iolite (navigational stone of the Vikings). Myriad studio lampwork beads (*at least 24 individual lampwork beads) were created by nine or ten esteemed lampwork artists living here and abroad and make up 'Rockaway Beach.' You will find a spare sea-blue hollow round (looking like a vintage fishing net floater), rough, sand-colored rounds peppered with sterling specks, a teal-blue bubble bead (with trapped O2 making for an H2O sort of alive look) and a rich sky-blue encased round bead with dapples of sterling encased inside the clear glass layer, as well as dainty, slim lampwork discs in pale aqua and two sculpted shell lampwork beads. My favorite are the lumpy, luminous organic rounds, handformed while the glass is still hot. The encased core of colors under the textured, bumpy clear is so striking, edgy & elegant at the same time. Bright coils of sterling silver rope made into beads and looking like sea-twine or netting add only more interest to the design along with many other sterling rings and beads & findings. The addition of a few charms (schooner under sail, a wax-rendered sterling sailboat button-bead, a tribal sea turtle charm and a tiny silver star makes 'Rockaway Beach' especially fetching along with the magnificent collection of lampwork, sterling and the earthy & beautiful stones & gems. The focal of 'Rockaway Beach,' is an incredible piece of glass art in and of itself. Made by a gifted lampwork artist in Germany, she creates a large focal that is the alive & trembling sea moving and at one with the beach & sky and including the tideline and tidepools, cluttered with shell, sea-grass and sand. That bead alone reminds me of the eclectic art galleries of famous seaside villages both here and abroad, where artists capture their muse amidst the sun's raven beauties and the ancient old towns of beautiful people. 'Rockaway Beach' measures about 8.25 inches on the outside and 8.5" on the inside. The two strands criss-cross each other to both restrain and allow the piece to drape elegantly without being too loose. However, if you have a petite wrist and need the strands taken in a bit, I can certainly adjust it to a tighter fit and without compromising the spirit and design of the piece. Conversely, if you need some length added, that is an option as well. All that said, please consider that this style of wrap is meant to be worn somewhat loosely and playfully, but not to the point where it could slip off your wrist.* For those unfamiliar with 'lampwork' beads - these are individual works of glass art created by gifted artists using rods of glass and a torch. There is a whole collectors' world of lampwork bead enthusiasts along with designers who use them in their jewelry work. Although some lampwork beads are now made en masse in China and beyond, my designs use only lampwork created by top-flight, well-known studio glass artists.

Dimensions: 8.25 inches

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