Monday, August 3, 2009


Today we visit the award-winning Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens near Manchester, England. The Bhutan Pine Drooping Juniper is among the eclectic range of unusual flora living amongst its grounds.

This quiet, tranquil garden comes alive at different points within the year as it hosts cultural and health activities, and seasonal events. England is also home to featured jewelry designer Gail Klevan.

The myriad of splashing colors within Klevan's kaleidoscopic, acrylic jewelry is breathtaking. With an array of design options at her fingertips, she swirls together slight variations of one color base, or blends different color combinations like red and grey, mulberry and gold, and emerald green and blue.

In 1981, Klevan received her first degree from Manchester Polytechnic in ceramics, wood, and metal. Upon receipt of a scholarship from the Royal College of Arts in 1985, she received a Masters of Art in silversmithing, and jewelry design.

Over the years, Klevan painstakingly experimented with acrylic, learning to sculpt it and implement metallic foils and dyes, as well as lacquer, and varnishes, to create beautiful, iridescent patterns.

Her hand formed rings, bracelets, brooch pins, pendant necklaces, and cuff bracelets are divided into five collections--two of which share the name of renowned painters--Matisse, Airforce Blue, Buttercup, Turkish Blue, and Picasso. The artistry and detailing of her jewelry is simply amazing.

In 1983, her polychromatic jewelry won the Bakri Yehia Prize for Excellence, which she received while attending the Royal College of Arts.

Eight years later, the Merseyside Craft Competition awarded her with its first place prize. Notable galleries, including Dazzle, Country Living, and Origin, commission her work that has been compared to the Bakelite jewelry of the 1930s.

Photo 1 (top right): Buttercup Pendant Necklace with Silk Cord
Photo 2 (bottom right): Matisse Bangle Bracelet
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