Carol K Blog

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January 2017


Been working and designing......


Finished the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale, and really want to thank everyone who I saw and purchased my work.  It's great being appreciated. 


Now heading to Tucson for the Tucson Gem and Mineral show on Feb 9-12th and then will be back in my studio working and designing some more.






San Francisco,  December 2016


Wonder what happened to November?  It's been work, work, work for Carol K in San Francisco and December has been just has frantic.


Walking around the city this time of the year reminds me of all the things I love in San Francisco, the beautiful view of the Embarcaders lit up for the Holidays, the sunny days and then the rainy storm days that are our winter. In that past years the Golden Gate bridge would close for high winds, but now don't see that much.  The various financial buildings in San Francisco with their Christmas decorations and the most celebrated of them all, the red Christmas tree lights on the Bank of America building.   See photos above of various Christmas decorations throughout the years including other cities I visited at this time of the year.


While there is suffering in the world today, I remember who I will be in my business relationships, my family and all  people I am in contact with.  It's one person at a time going the distance.


Happy Holidays to all.  And what will we create for 2017?


Oklahoma, October 2016


As Elvis said,  Ive  never been to Heaven but I have been to Oklahoma.


From the quaint artifacts of the old Highway 66, see below, the Braums milk bottle building in OKC to the somewhat hip area of Tulsa, the rambling countryside with

The largest amount of Indian tribes in the US, and Quick Trip-QT, Oklahoma is kinda of a marvel.


The Braum's old building in Oklahoma City.


This trip was very warm for October, The US Arabian Finals had gorgeous horses, and the eating was eclectic to say the least, from ice cream at Braum's to the Speak Easy in Tulsa, and the Sand Springs Mexican restaurants with  chicken and mushrooms delicious……


And lets not forget Woolaroc the historical site of Frank Phillips ranch outside of Bartlesville, OK.  Absolutely great art and wildlife.  I can truthfully say I saw paintings that were so detailed and gorgeous of the Oklahoma area.  Here's the link to Woolaroc.


Oklahoma has it's share of great museums,  Gilcrease, OKC Museum, Philbrook, Woolaroc, and Tom Mix were all that I visited on this trip.

The plane that Phillips owned and on display at Woolaroc.

Historical  sign at Woolaroc

Here's David at the Woolaroc lodge.  Great historian, he told me that Mr Phillips was considered more of banker and spent time on Wall Street.  And by the way, all of the preserved animals are from the Woolaroc grounds.


At the Cherokee Indian Art fair met great artists with innovative designs, check out

these sterling silver toothpick holders from Richard Casey.


And what trip wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Tom Mix museum in Dewey.  Just charming!  And the gear, oh my die for!  Here's the link to more about Tom Mix

Tom Mix museum, Dewey, OK


 Met folks in Tulsa, who paint and sell Indian jewelry and then folks who just live and play there.


Looking  forward to my  next trip to Oklahoma probably 2017.




When I first began in the jewelry world I was interested mostly in the basics, 14kt and 18kt gold, coins, pearls, colored stones and watches.  Throughout my years in the jewelry and design world  I have experimented and come to love ethnic work like Native American, African, Indian and more mostly due to the quality of being handmade as well as passing down a spirit or style that is their work and culture.


Now, I am seeing more ethnic pieces in clothing and jewelry crossing over into the market today.


In almost all of these collections below you can see the use of color as well as a tradition is almost ingrained in the piece, all are pieces of art, art to look at, art to wear, art to collect.


For the most part the colors are warm and inviting and would spruce up my black wardrobe, but the design and difficulty of the beading, and jewelry making is worth knowing about and owning.


Some images from pinterest, Carol K and google





Musings on trends and style......


While Carol K looks at “trends” in jewelry her philosophy is she would rather start a “trend” than follow it.


Carol K can remember  having “Big Stuff” necklaces she designed for Texas quite awhile ago and over the last years Carol K has seen those designs become “ statement necklaces”. Vintage jewelry, pearls, Native American and religious adornments have become very popular with all ages.  Looks come “in” and then “go”.  But Carol K’s philosophy is once you have found that look you love, or the stones you really like, make that “your look”. 


Whether you like to layer pearls and turquoise, chains with genuine stones, or wear an assortment of metals like gold, silver, copper and platinum, why not?  It’s your style, your look and you love it.


Some of the stones that Carol K consistently designs with are labradorite, rainbow moonstone, pearl, rock crystal, aquamarines, sapphires, earth stones like turquoise, agate, quartz and other materials like bone and horn. All good stones for colors, and make you feel good.


Repurposing of vintage pieces has always been in her collections. As Carol K says jewelry can easily be a sentiment and the repurposing of vintage pieces has always been in her collections.  Saving early jewelry from her Mother’s jewelry box, and digging through all kinds of jewelry over the last 30 years has provided Carol K with an eclectic sense of design that only she can create.


And for the Spiritus or Religious aspect of Carol K’s designs, using antique relics, medals and religious symbols of all kinds are easily incorporated into necklaces that can provide meaning as well as an edge in the design world for the faithful.


A master at developing a style was Coco Chanel.  Her early costume jewelry is still amazing.  Take sometime to check it out.


It takes a little courage to develop your look and style, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

So why not “start the trend” as opposed to “being the trend?”  


Or as Iris Apfel said:


"When you don't dress like everyone else you don't have to think like everyone else


NYC Trip August 2016

My latest travels to NYC……


Went to NYC for some business and inspiration and here’s where my travels took me.


Accessories show with all the usual suspects, saw Jenny and several other vendors there I do business with that was nice.  My latest loves are 2 tone fox keychains and oh did I mention that chokers are the be all and the end all for this season?  If you have any gorgeous 9 strand pearls with emeralds you are going to be a hit!


Went to Bergdorf Goodman for a walk around the jewelry sections and asked a salesperson for the Native American section and she told me…..”We don’t have any, Native American it isn't considered fashion.”  I guess they forgot about Iris Apfel and her style, including the window they did with her items.


The documentary on Iris Apfel called Iris is wonderful.  What a great stylish woman she is! I love the homage as she says of a “senior celebrity” that makes me feel really good and I totally respect her work over the years.  As she said, “I had clients in the interior business who didn’t want what others had”. I especially liked this short video on missing the Dior show in Paris.  Here’s a link



I raced to the Neue Galerie that houses my favorite painting of all time, Klimt’s Adele Block Bauer, only on display until the 16th of September.  This is a must see. There is just something about gold that is amazing. While you are there go the café and get a real Viennese pastry, just perfect for the demanding hustle of NYC.  Kinda of another world.


As a collector of most things from roosters to microphones I visited this museum in the Bowery called New Museum at 235 Bowery St.  My friend Ann, had sent me a clipping about the museum but also saw the write up on my digital New York Times . The founder, I was told by the docent, (here’s her picture below), wanted to have a museum that was not about permanent collections but have collections  that would change. I admire this as I am sure this takes a lot of work.  Currently an amazing collection of people’s collections is on display including, art from a mentally challenged individual in South America who had a vision of what should be made for when God came to call (paraphrase), a collection of black and white photos that have teddy bears in them, and boxes that were made in the camps during the holocaust holding valuables of those making the box. It is truly an amazing museum and one worth going to.


See below are some pictures of my guide, the jacket that was made from the South American who took strips of material and embroidered the jacket and the box

from the holocaust.







Maggie the docent at the New Museum
Sealed box from Holocaust

I was kinda of amazed at the number of small shops that are closed on the east and west side of New York, could it be that people are tired of minding the store or could it be that the internet is taking it's toll?


Back home now creating interesting new pieces of jewelry.....

For the Love of an Earring- July 25th, 2016

We know from Biblical references that earrings were worn by both male and females and

In several shapes, discs, circles, balls, crescents and pendant shapes, mostly out of gold or other earth elements.  These earrings were adornment but also were amulets or had some special meaning for the wearer. Earrings in primitive cultures, were believed to keep evil from entering the body and throughout the times were either banned or were used for this belief. Earrings were also thought of as "curative" to many ancient cultures. Piercing the ears was recommended to strengthen weak eyes, especially gold earrings set with emeralds. Gold earrings were often "prescribed" to help cure headaches.


Over time earrings have come in and out of fashion depending on the hairstyles and rulers, think Queen Elizabeth the 1st, and era of the clothing, i.e. bonnets, not good for earring wear.


It wasn’t until the early 1970’s that pierced earrings came in a huge force, before that it was basically screw back (1894) and clips, (around 1930’s) as piercing ears was thought unsanitary and tradition ruled.


Now we see pierced earrings everywhere and why not, they are an easy way to dress, complete a fashion look, and really make a glamour statement.


An earring is a good way to experiment with your style and for sure colors, and will

Allow you to have lots of different accents, especially when your hairstyle changes or just need that “extra punch” of glamour or fun for the day.  I invite clients to play around with earrings sometimes that thought that “I can’t wear that” isn’t always true, take a look in the mirror.

So you don’t think you can wear Native American jewelry...- June 17th, 2016

Those of you who know CarolK know that she designs and makes jewelry and also has various collections, which mean something to her and to each customer. Native American jewelry is one of those collections and CarolK has older traditional pieces as well as Contemporary pieces done by various tribes throughout the US.


A little history----


It was the Navajo tribe that was primarily responsible for teaching other southwestern tribes how to make Native American rings, necklaces, belt buckles, and bracelets.  The Navajo noticed the jewelry worn by the Spaniards and how that jewelry granted them a certain status in society.  They began wanting to make it for themselves.  The influence of the Spanish can clearly be seen by the use of the pomegranate blossom, sometimes known as the squash blossom necklace, which was inspired by the Moorish crescent.


The best estimates are that Atsidi Sani (appx 1860’s) was the first Navajo silversmith and that he learned to use silver in jewelry. Silversmithing is not an ancient art among the Navajo. They did not learn the craft until the mid 19th century even though Native Americans had been wearing silver for many years. They acquired their knowledge of the art from the Mexican silversmiths who lived in villages in the upper Rio Grande valley and at the southeastern edge of the present Navajo reservation. *


To get silver to make jewelry, the Navajo often melted down silver coins.  Although it was almost impossible to enforce the law the government passed in 1890 making it illegal to deface currency, the Navajo often turned to using silver Mexican coins as a resource.


At first, the Navajo concentrated on using silver to create concha type jewelry such as concha belts, bracelets, Native American rings, pins, necklaces, and hair ornaments.  Within the next thirty years, Sani had taught many other Navajo to be silversmiths and use silver in jewelry.  To get the decoration on the silver, the silversmith would hammer it on with a file.  The Navajo then began using turquoise, a stone very in demand and valued by them, in the 1880s.  It was also around this time that the Mexican silversmiths, called plateros, began traveling to the southwest for trade. Their styles also influenced the Navajo jewelry making.


By 1872, the Zuni tribe was making Native American jewelry as well as the Navajo.  They were already working with copper, brass, and iron, so it only seemed natural to being using silver.  Soon one of the Zuni silversmith shared his jewelry making with someone from the Hopi tribe.  Each tribe began to develop its own style as they shared information.  As their technique grew, they started using solder and were able to join two or more pieces together as well as set stones such as turquoise in their jewelry.


Turquoise was the first stone set in a ring and ever since that day turquoise is one of the most favorite stones used by the Native American silversmiths, with coral, onyx, pearl, bear claw, and other genuine material used today in different techniques of work.




CarolK’s  first exposure to Native American work was her Mother’s bracelet, ring, necklace and earrings that her brother had given  her from his military service in WWII when he was stationed in Arizona.  It was beautiful green brown and as a child CarolK  loved jewelry and wore it as dress up and lost every piece except the ring, which she still owns.  Here’s the picture of it:



Some interesting areas for genuine Native American tribal work in sterling and beading can be seen at the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City, The National  Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum also in Oklahoma and in Tulsa, the Gilcrease Museum, and the Heard Museum in Phoenix.



The Indian nations who beaded made the most beautiful pieces and their sense of design, the use of the colors and the technical part to beading are all factors in superior pieces. Good pieces are at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OKC.



If you are new to Native American jewelry, pick a style or a stone you like and  try it on. People say: “I always feel better when I wear turquoise.”  And the ancients believed that turquoise is a good healing stone,  The Stone of the Wise-Connections to other worlds.  Promotes creativity, awaken dormant talents and heal resistance against these qualities.**


CarolK’s most favorite books on American Indian Jewelry are by Gregory Schaaf and Angie Yan Schaaf.***  They have strived to give a good collections of American Indian artists with their works and their hallmarks. There is a whole series, do check them out.


Another good source is The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths by John Adair.  His classic book was recorded in 1930, and reprinted since.  The Schaaf’s book are most recent in 2012’s, a huge project.


Check out CarolK’s collection of Native American which includes Henry Rosetta,

Some unmarked pieces from the early 1940’s, contemporary, Buddy Lee, and more.


*John Adair, The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths

**Renate Sperling, The Essence of Gemstones

***Gregory Schaaf assisted by Angie Schaaf,

Run for the roses! - May 16th, 2016

For horse racing fans the season gets more exciting when a potential Triple Crown candidate emerges. Nyquist the Kentucky Derby 2016 winner had a chance to win the triple crown, but alas, the Preakness was won by another horse.


CarolK wants to pay homage to the horse lovers all over the world no matter if Thoroughbred, Morgan, Arabian, American Saddlebred, Quarter horse and the list goes on….. It is truly amazing that the horse, this creature brought here so long ago by the Spanish, had such an impact on human culture and all they have contributed to the development of America over the centuries. 


Carolk has seen and heard from her travels around horse shows in the US and Europe how owning  horses can contribute to special education for children, learn responsibility for owning and care of  a living animal, especially in teen years, commitment to becoming a  champion and what that takes, and of course the beauty of the animal itself. The love of the animal and riding is true in the culture of Western and English riding.


In 1932 the garland of roses for winner in the Kentucky Derby came into being and  garlands in general as a presentation to a winner of a sporting event dates back to ancient Greek times, when winning athletes would be presented a laurel wreath to wear. 

What started out as a simple wreath of laurel gained complexity over time, first interweaving the laurel with fillets of fine wool braid and flowers, and eventually growing into very elaborate gold wreaths. I think the presentation of a wreath of flowers for winning racehorses  and horse shows is somewhat of a continuation of that tradition.



There are many interpretations of horseshoes  in jewelry—here’s the superstition of why horseshoes are lucky and some special pieces CarolK  has in her collection.  To see more horeshoes click here Every Thing Horse Gallery.


The horseshoe is considered very lucky and used to be hung in many homes to protect and attract good fortune for the family residing inside. As with many superstitions, there are contradictions to be found with the beliefs associated with the horseshoe. For instance, many believe that to hang it with the ends pointing upwards is good luck as it acts as a storage container of sorts for any good luck that happens to be floating by, whereas to hang it with the ends pointing down, is bad luck as all the good luck will fall out. Others believe that no matter which way you hang the horseshoe, good luck will come. According to this superstition, the ends-pointing-down display simply means that the good luck is able to flow out and surround the home. If the horseshoe is hung over a doorway, ends up will catch good luck and ends down will let the good luck spill over the door and stop evil from entering. Perhaps a combination of the two was used so that after a few days, when the horseshoe was filled with good luck, it would then need to be emptied so that residents could benefit from that luck and the process would be repeated until the end of time.

according to folk traditions in many tribes, the power of iron was such that spirits who wished to do harm could not cross it, hence blacksmiths were considered somewhat magical people as they worked with iron.

Irish tradition has it that a horseshoe.


Many folk beliefs were fostered to included beliefs that a young woman on her wedding day was particularly targeted by these forces of evil and trickery to be cursed, or even waylaid along their journey to the churchyard for their very wedding ceremony.  She might wear some jewelry made from iron , So, often a piece of iron was actually sown into the dress itself, making it even harder to be influenced by their trickster ways.

Later, after the invention of the horseshoe and its association with luck, it became a natural thing to add into the very dress. And it also helps the dress hang properly.  So, if your grandmother insists there be a horseshoe somewhere in your wedding attire, you will now have a clue why this may be beyond the merely obvious association with luck.

Another aspect of the horseshoe that added to it's good luck was the fact that it was commonly held in place by seven iron nails. Since ancient times, the number seven was considered very important. Life was divided into seven ages; a rainbow has seven colors; astrology once held that seven planets made up the universe; there are seven deadly sins; a seventh child was thought to have special powers; there are seven days in a week; the moon changes from one phase to another every seven days; and a long-held belief states that the body goes through a radical change every seven years.


Style Videos

What To Wear • Onyx Bracelets and Necklaces



What To Wear • Day At The Races

How to purchase CarolK

CarolK believes that each piece needs to be tried on for fit and style.

 Whether it's a long necklace, short, or opera length semi precious stones, gold or diamonds CarolK  can fit you personally.

Zoom available just email carole, or telephone  415-426-9883  text at this number  for pricing and to discuss your purchase and fit. 


Carole Schurch


One of my favorite artists, long ago.........

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