Monday, November 17, 2008


Contact: Amy Higgason, Bassett Jewelers, 715-356-7272

Headline: Bassett Jewelers welcomes three local artists to their showroom

Bassett Jewelers is hosting a series of jewelry trunk shows featuring local designers on Nov. 22, Dec. 6, and Dec. 13 from 10am to 4 pm. "Silver and Bold: A Northwoods Jewelry Designers Showcase" will feature artists Kathy Furda of Rhinelander, Betty J. Christian of Lake Tomahawk and Wendy Powalisz of Land O’ Lakes on three separate saturdays in the store’s showroom. Each artist will be on hand to talk to customers directly about their pieces.
The event was conceived by owner Susan Bassett and marketing manager, Amy Higgason as a direct response to customer inquiries. "We’ve had so many requests for items made locally. We felt it was the perfect time, with the holidays approaching, to showcase some beautiful, hand-crafted pieces made by area residents" notes Susan Bassett. Higgason, who is also an artist, assisted in selecting the designers. "I’ve worked with all three of these ladies and their craftsmanship is first-rate. They each have their own signature style and unique approaches to their materials."
Artist Kathy Furda is first up on Sat., Nov. 22. Furda designs jewelry incorporating glass lampworked beads and fine silver pieces. She makes her beads over a torch. It involves melting glass rods over a metal rod and then reworking the glass into art forms. Furda fuses fine silver wire to some of her glass beads. She also uses fine silver clay to create silver beads that are then fired in her kiln. "I like the combination of smooth glass beads and textured silver. The range of color, style, glass and precious metals that can be utilized is unlimited. It’s a very exciting creative medium." states Furda.
The store welcomes Betty J. Christian on Sat., Dec. 6. Christian began creating wire wrapped jewelry in the late 90’s. Her intricate pieces are formed one at a time using only hand tools and jigs. She works primarily with sterling silver, but also uses 14K gold-filled wire and copper wire in some designs. Most pieces incorporate gemstones or other bead materials, including pearls, glass, wood, bone, clay, and seeds. "When I work with wire it seems to take on a fluid-like quality as it willingly flows into form. Each piece is a fun journey of creation" claims Christian.
Shoppers can meet Wendy Powalisz at Bassett’s showroom on Sat., Dec. 13. Powalisz lists playing with her grandma’s necklaces and big jars of buttons as an "early delight." Her fascination grew as she learned how antique beads traveled across the globe as currency. "Imagine the stories they could tell" she remarks. Powalisz began collecting vintage glass beads from Europe, African trade beads and semi-precious stones from around the world. She combines them with fairly traded silver from Thailand. "I still play with beads and buttons, but today they end up as one-of-a-kind jewelry creations."
"We are excited to share this fine work with our customers. It's a talented group and as a small local merchant, it's our privilege to promote these area entrepreneurs." Bassett ads.
Each artist will be at the store on their day from 10 am to 4 pm. Preview pieces are on view at Bassett Jewelers, located at the stoplights in downtown Minocqua. Please call 715-356-7272 for more information.

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