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Brooke MacBeth's Profile

About

I'm a retired party girl-turned mom/jewelry designer in Los Angeles. I studied entomology and have a background in high-end retail; those two interests seem conflicting but really dovetail nicely with making jewelry-- working with bugs taught me how to be patient in manipulating really tiny things, and working retail refined my eye for beauty in design. I've always loved luxury, but I've also always loved the natural world, especially less-appreciated animals like insects and snakes. I like beauty with a little edge and a little danger, something rough around the edges and not too sweet, but very well-constructed and beautifully made. That's what you'll get from my shop.

My hometown of Sacramento was the subject of lots of complaining, particularly during my teen years, but looking back it was amazing. When I was little the foothills were nearby and we could look for insects and…

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  • Female
  • Born on August 20
  • Joined May 19, 2011

Favorite materials

Sterling silver, bronze, vintage textiles and charms, hardware, gems, geodes, my amazing tools, PMC, torches, wax

Shop

About

I'm a retired party girl-turned mom/jewelry designer in Los Angeles. I studied entomology and have a background in high-end retail; those two interests seem conflicting but really dovetail nicely with making jewelry-- working with bugs taught me how to be patient in manipulating really tiny things, and working retail refined my eye for beauty in design. I've always loved luxury, but I've also always loved the natural world, especially less-appreciated animals like insects and snakes. I like beauty with a little edge and a little danger, something rough around the edges and not too sweet, but very well-constructed and beautifully made. That's what you'll get from my shop.

My hometown of Sacramento was the subject of lots of complaining, particularly during my teen years, but looking back it was amazing. When I was little the foothills were nearby and we could look for insects and lizards and just be outside the city really easily-- it was fantastic. When I got into my teens there were tons of all-ages clubs there, which is how I got into the club scene when I was 15. It wasn't long before I was going with friends on trips to clubs in San Francisco. Eventually I moved there, but I spent a good chunk of my life going to clubs and underground parties all over California-- and when I was lucky in places such as Paris, New Zealand, and Ecuador.

I've always had a lot of ideas about things I wanted that I wasn't seeing, or I'd see the raw material for something and think, "That stone would look so cool if…" As I mentioned before, I kind of grew up in clubs, and the little goth/punk/industrial girl in me will always inform what I like and what I make. My shop name comes from a William Gibson novel-- in the book it's the name of a secret clothing line; Gibson is one of my favorite authors, and he in turn took it from Welsh mythology-- the Gabriel Hounds are a sort of ghost dog that roam the hills at night. I've always been into fairy tales, mythology, and superstition, so you'll see some of that in my work as well. I also spent some time working for a friend who deals in antique jewelry, where I learned a lot about Victorian mourning jewelry, which I began to collect. I'm also a big fan of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements.

I use a variety of techniques, from PMC to lost-wax casting to wire-wrapping and beading. Some are low tech and some are very labor intensive and time consuming. Even pieces I make that don't require kiln firing, casting, or torch-soldering can be very laborious. I recently made a piece using porcupine quills in which I cut the quills in graduating sizes, filed the ends, and hand-drilled holes in each quill. It took hours, but the necklace came out exactly as I wanted it to. Starting a project with just a little kernel of an idea and seeing it through to the end, a gorgeous and cool piece of jewelry, is incredibly gratifying. I love to add a little humor to my jewelry, and sometimes my sense of humor can be a bit dark. Song lyrics out of context can be great for that-- the "Richard Hung Himself" and "Hi Dad, I'm In Jail" necklaces could both be construed as very dark, but they're both taken from songs that are over-the-top or tongue-in-cheek teen rebellion.

I also make a few hair accessories and sell vintage pieces here and there-- I like to curate a collection with an interesting variety and something for every occasion. Recently I've been teaching myself how to reupholster and refinish furniture, as well as designing pillows and small items of home decor, so I'm considering branching out in that direction as well.

I take custom orders and in some cases can make duplicates of certain pieces; please convo me for details. I ship in gift boxes with a beautiful GH label and tied with very pretty ribbon.

https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/GabrielHounds/policies

I like to tell stories on the blog:

http://gabrielhounds.tumblr.com/

And you never know what you might find on the FB page ;)

https://www.facebook.com/gabrielhounds

And read the interview I did with the gorgeous and amazing Marie of Agentlover.com:

http://www.agentlover.com/blog/2012/06/12/mad-crushin-on-gabriel-hounds-jewelry-and-giveaway/

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