The following members are featured in February:
Thierry Astesano, Jan Hurd, Susan Tornheim
Cambridge resident Thierry Astesano is a jeweler who works in platinum, gold, and silver. His sterling silver earrings, rings, and bracelets at Sign of the Dove have a restrained elegance. His gleaming silver bracelet has a wavy form like rippling ocean waves. An assortment of rings entices the eye; any can be sized up or down to fit. Thierry also creates unique desk accessories such as his graceful bookmarks, money clips, and letter openers. For this collection he uses the technique of forging, giving unique texture to each item by hammering. Thierry accepts custom orders in gold and platinum, as well as repairs. A native of the Mediterranean coast of France, Thierry became interested in making jewelry as a teenager. He later learned to work with fine metals at the North Bennet Street School in Boston.
A former interior designer, Jan Hurd says, “I’ve always been interested in fashion and fabrics. Years ago, I had an encounter with a belt.” She decided “to put my own twist on it.” Her reversible belts are made with colorful fabrics and sport eye-catching buckles. She also makes reversible headbands, cases for reading glasses, and decorative key holders. Perfect for new drivers or new house owners, the glinting keychains feature a variety of stones and beads of glass and ceramic. Obsidian, agate, sodalite, and other beads clink nicely and make it easier to find one’s keys. A new addition is a line of photo cards. A list of the flower associated with each month helps one choose the perfect birthday card. The cards burst with lush, rich colors, and in addition to flower images, there are landscapes and other subjects. The Lexington resident donates a portion of her sales to nonprofit organizations, including local museums, Children’s Hospital, and the Northeast Animal Shelter. Sales of her headbands help Locks of Love, an organization providing wigs to chemotherapy patients.
Susan Tornheim creates hand-felted wool material with special attention to color, texture, and shape. Starting with the basic fiber, she cleans and brushes raw wool fleece, adds colored brushed wool, and incorporates various yarns and other design elements. With hot water, soap, friction, and pressure, she uses the ancient wet-felting technique to make the wool fibers tangle together into a wonderful, warm, strong fabric. “I enjoy using my handmade felt to make hats. My inspiration is traditional ethnic costume, like Peruvian pointed hats. And I love to combine felt with hand knitting in my work.” Susan’s various styles of wool hats are often embellished with antique buttons and embroidery. Her soft, warm scarves usually have embroidery as well. Flower pins look great on hats, coats, and sweaters. A new line of crocheted baskets ranges in size from adorably small to slightly larger and are perfect for holding earrings, hearing aids, keys, and other items.