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Carol Barrett's Profile

About

I began designing and making jewelry in 1989 after I discovered an interest in antiquities during a trip to Hong Kong and China. After purchasing an assortment of unusual expertly carved jade pieces, I returned to the U.S. and creatively incorporated them into necklaces. My sphere of influence as a jewelry designer quickly grew as those around me took notice of my unique jewelry designs. So, when the jewelry buyer from I. Magnin in San Francisco wanted to purchase my entire line, I knew I was on to something special. Within a few months Saks Fifth Avenue was also carrying my jewelry.

I have since branched from my original company, Gemini to create Carol Barrett Jewelry, a company that offers a fresh approach to my timeless, unique designs. I design and make all of my creations, including components from several cultures and beading them with unique and high quality gemstones. This…

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  • Female
  • Born on April 18
  • Joined April 14, 2010

Favorite materials

Jade, mammoth ivory, antique Asian silver and semiprecious stones

Shop

About

I began designing and making jewelry in 1989 after I discovered an interest in antiquities during a trip to Hong Kong and China. After purchasing an assortment of unusual expertly carved jade pieces, I returned to the U.S. and creatively incorporated them into necklaces. My sphere of influence as a jewelry designer quickly grew as those around me took notice of my unique jewelry designs. So, when the jewelry buyer from I. Magnin in San Francisco wanted to purchase my entire line, I knew I was on to something special. Within a few months Saks Fifth Avenue was also carrying my jewelry.

I have since branched from my original company, Gemini to create Carol Barrett Jewelry, a company that offers a fresh approach to my timeless, unique designs. I design and make all of my creations, including components from several cultures and beading them with unique and high quality gemstones. This truly makes the piece a multicultural and unique piece of jewelry. All are one-of-a-kind designs with the exception of some of the earrings being limited editions. I also design and make custom pieces for special occasions or using a special piece collected while traveling or an inherited piece.

In my travels around the world I find many interesting treasures to incorporate in my jewelry designs. I buy jade that is carved in China by expert craftsmen. Some of the jade pieces are older and have a great patina. Jade comes in a variety of colors and translucency, green being the most familiar. Lavender jade is the most rare. Jade can also be milky white, red, golden, brown or black, as well as, a several colors in the same piece. Some of my creations incorporate multicolor jade that the carver has used to colors to determine the design of the piece. These are very unusual.

I am always searching for intricately carved mammoth ivory pieces that are unique to include in my jewelry. They add a whimsical touch. Most of these I find in China. . Many of the mammoth ivory pieces are signed by the artist in China who carved them. Some of the carved mammoth ivory pieces are netsuke.

Mammoth Ivory comes from the extinct mammoth elephant that roamed the Earth during the Pliocene era from around 4.8 million to 4,500 years ago. Because they are extinct they are not endangered and therefore, are legal and save the African elephant. The artisans that carved elephant ivory are now carving mammoth ivory that is recovered in Siberia.

The netsuke is a miniature carving, usually less than two inches high, created by Japanese and Chinese artists for over three hundred years. They portray every aspect of their life and culture. These carvings were traditionally used to prevent the cord attached to a gentleman's medicine box or tobacco pouch from slipping through the belt of his kimono. Today, they are highly collectible works of art. Often signed by the artist, they are getting harder to find as the detail in each piece takes patience and time and the younger Chinese are not so interested in pursuing this art form.

The older silver pieces that I use are from ancient tribal jewelry from India or Tibet. Many are quite years old. I obtain them from a scholar, Tony Anninos, who is an expert on antique Indian and Tibetan silver. His museum-quality pieces are sought after both by museums in Europe as well as the United States. Many have been worn as ornamentation. I also use silver components that come from Indonesia and China. I incorporate both in my jewelry.

I work with several re-known glass artists, Tom Boylon, and Keith Kreitter, who create original glass beads that I use in my jewelry. I am always looking for good quality and unusual cuts of semi-precious and ethnic stones to incorporate in my designs. I use sterling silver, 18k gold vermeil and 14k gold findings.

As all of my pieces are one-of-a-kind or limited edition pieces, to see more of my work please visit my website: carolbarrettjewelry.com. Thank you for visiting my shop.

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