PaperCity Magazine

August 2013 - Houston

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JoAnnWilliams, SEVERE BEADING Cracker Jack charms cast in sterling silver and 18K gold, strung on hand-woven silk J oAnn Williams began designing jewelry a dozen years ago, after a successful career as a photo stylist and art therapist; during that time, she even founded Art Bridge, an arts program for homeless children living in our city's shelters. Today, Williams finds herself drawn to woven items (be they cloth, nests or baskets made by an artisan) and preoccupied with imagery found in nature, from botanical and aquatic forms to rocks, fossils, even insects. Long inspired by the work of the late Tina Chow and Alexander McQueen, as well as Judy Geib, Williams hand-weaves her own designs using silk and vintage metallic threads. She composes her hand-cast silver and gold creations with found objects as diverse as the mouth of a stingray, an amber hand-carved bee and old stones severed from the crowns of Indian maharajahs. This year, she's crafting long mother-of-pearl necklaces based on traditional mala beads, with quatrefoil and hamsa motifs and tassels. $125 to $2,000, at PG Contemporary, Sloan/Hall, Twenty Six Twenty; Joanie Herring JENNY ANTILL Oxidized silver earrings with topaz stones and Tahitian black pearls Hand-carved amber bees on hand-carved horn and hand-woven silk, with pavé diamond charms 18K gold bracelet with diamonds and Tahitian and South Sea pearl Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but pearls are what have stolen designer Joanie Herring's heart. Inspired by the iridescence of freshwater and South Sea pearls, the Houston native (who is also a budding painter) delicately threads these classic gems from beneath the sea with gold, oxidized silver and even stainless steel. She embellishes her ladylike pieces with sparkles of colored diamonds, pyrite, quartz and tourmalines. After 15 years, her collection has taken a decidedly bolder turn, incorporating large statement pieces that require nothing more than a slip of a dress or a white shirt to grab one's attention. From $500, at Kuhl-Linscomb, Sloan/Hall. Halleh Amiralai, HALLEH A fter growing up in Houston, Halleh Amiralai made her way east to Boston to pursue an education, then to try her hand at ready-to-wear in NYC at Chanel and Temperley London. She returned to Texas more than three years ago to focus on her own collection of 18K-gold jewelry. Some of the pieces are textured with hand-hammering; others have a satin finish awash with diamonds and semiprecious stones. Her inspirations include the designs of Ilias Lalaounis and the book Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria. Her own boho-chic vibe, however, draws heavily from her Iranian heritage, with a nod to the seasons and architectural lines. $400 to $25,000, at Sloan/Hall;; Three 18K gold bands — smooth, ribbed and bedecked with 0.37-carat diamonds 18K-gold Seven triangle necklace with full-cut white diamonds and fine chain 18K-gold earrings with natural Afghani lapis lazuli and butterfly fastening

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