Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Amphitrite Ring with Silk Threads,
Swarovski Crystals and Wire
Take in the gorgeous coastline of the Paros Naoussa Village in Greece.  

The balmy weather and hot sands of Paros Kolmbithres Beach energize visitors to dabble at windsurfing and then round out the day’s activities with parties into the night.  

Greece is also home to featured jewelry designer Voula Karampatziakis.

It is easy to take for granted what is required to produce a completed piece of jewelry.  It is easy to become so captivated by the luster of 18-karat gold and beautiful gemstone details.

Karampatziakis’ dramatic handmade jewelry of colorful glass beads, gold wire and Swarovski Crystals is a strong reminder to respect the time-consuming, labor-intensive art of jewelry making.

Her elaborate arrangement of tiny beads offset by complex wire work evokes Greek goddesses, in their stately, theatrical style.  Awarded first prize in the Greek Center of Goldsmith’s Gold-Silver 2002 “contest”, the 45-year-old credits both her mother and maternal grandmother for her love of artistry.

“My mother is an accomplished embroidery artist, and her mother is a loom master.  There is something magical about the looming process.  I have great memories of the colorful and embellished weavings of the rugs she made,” recalls the jeweler.

“My mother and grandmother inspire how I work.  I insist on making my jewelry by hand to create one-of-a-kind designs.  I enjoy discovering new elements, new materials.  I am astonished at how different techniques and different materials integrate to produce a final jewel.”
Gold Plated Bronze Earrings with
Glass Beads, Pearls, Sequins and Gold Threads
Karampatziakis mesmerizing visual language encompasses literal burst of colors with vivid reds and translucent whites and blues.  Rings with seed bead and Swarovski Crystal settings, highlight wire shanks covered with colored silk threads. 

They possess a quirky retro vibe.  Necklaces are consummate statement makers that seem to explode in starburst-like outlines, or a cascading waterfall.  It is an ethereal display of strength and femininity.

In addition to my mom and grandmother, I am inspired by Greek culture—the uninterrupted continuity between prehistoric, ancient Byzantine, post-Byzanite and modern Greece,” says the graduate of Athen’s Plakas Center for the Arts.

“I studied Art History and attended seminars for textile and embroidery and that is reflected in my jewelry.  Each single element of the jewelry stands out on its own as if they are independent pieces.  The final design emerges with all its embellishments and ornaments.”

Gold Plated Bronze Necklace of Europe
with Glass Beads, Wire, Gold and Silk Threads
2014 Jewelry Trend AlertThe components of Karampatziakis’ grandiose creations place it on trend as premium costume jewelry. 

Her remarkably, intricate bead work, reminiscent of mosaics, puts her on trend for Byzantine influences; and earrings with lots of crystals round out the style points for the year.
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