Elyse Karlin of ASJRA
(Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts)
Long-time CJCI members know Erik Yang as an astute costume jewelry dealer with an amazing customer base. He is also fervent collector with exceptional taste and discernment when it comes to buying and selling the best of the best.
His extensive knowledge of both vintage and contemporary designer jewelry make his presentations both entertaining and informative. He previously made a presentation on the topic of Mexican silver, one of his many specialties as a dealer and collector, at a past CJCI convention.
In 2017, Erik will present “The 1980s: The Trends, the Influences, and the Designers” to correlate with the theme for our Lifestyles of the Rich and Fabulous weekend.
Kris grew up in the jewelry capital of the world, Rhode Island, USA, but her interest and exposure to jewelry didn’t peak until later in life. Her course of studies at the University of Rhode Island in Textile Science planted the seeds of appreciation for all things fashion. But her interest was slanted to the creation of fabrics – manufacturing the thread, weaving the cloth and assuring that the stitching held – rather than the end product: a beautiful dress, coat or suit.
After graduation she worked in the Quality Assurance Department for a medical products manufacturer and gathered a strong manufacturing and quality assurance background. That training opened the door to her later work in the Quality Department at a division of Hallmark Cards, Trifari Jewelry, in East Providence, Rhode Island.
During her decade long career at Trifari/Marvella, and eventually Crystal Brands, owner of Monet, Kris was tasked with working with the manufacturing personnel, suppliers, and some of the greatest designers in the world, to create a product that not only looked great, but would stand the test of time as a long lasting keepsake. She traveled world-wide sourcing parts, suppliers, and setting up offshore manufacturing processes. She established quality guidelines and inspection points to assure the art being shipped to the customer was the best it could be.
Kris’ career allowed her to have the opportunity to participate in the creation of some pretty magnificent treasures as they evolved from a drawing to the exquisite, finely crafted jewelry seen today in many collections.
Since Kris left Trifari/Crystal Brands she has expanded into product management for consumer products and even has a patent pending on an automotive product she and her husband collaborated on. Working at Trifari, Kris acquired some of the more unique pieces. Little did she know with her acquisitions, she would become a collector and those pieces would be the foundation for her collection. Her collection, with its strong Trifari and Monet foundation, has some very inventive and intricate designs, because when Kris looks at jewelry, she looks Beyond the Design.
Barbara A. Schwartz
With an eye for high-quality and unusual pieces made in North America and Europe from the 1920s – 1950s, Barbara is an expert in helping women select wearable pieces that are just right for their personal style. She creates ensembles that she publishes on her Polyvore site and often features in blog posts. She recently wrote “How to Wear Vintage Costume Jewelry” for style expert Deborah Boland’s website: http://www.fabulousafter40.com/how-to-wear-vintage-costume-jewelry. The article gives tips on choosing contemporary earrings to wear with a vintage necklace and today’s clothing and accessories.
Barbara is a member of the Costume Jewelry Collectors International, Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts, American Society of Jewelry Historians, Vintage Fashion Guild and Costume Society of America. She is a former librarian, records manager, and information management consultant with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees.
Mary Ann Docktor-Smith
Susan Klein Bagdade
From as early as Katerina can remember art has been a part of her soul. She has been painting, silk-screening, bead embroidering, working on a potter’s wheel and designing and selling couture gowns since the age of thirteen. Her father had a woodworking studio where he would produce the most awesome designs with incredibly gorgeous rare woods, while my Mother painted, upholstered and sewed. Art was a constant in our home….so was Mario Lanza, Beverly Sills and Opera.
The Visual and Performing arts have always been closely integrated for her and she knew that at some point in her future the two would merge. During her performance career in Europe, which spanned over nine years, she would carry her canvas and oil paints to rehearsals. She painted in the evenings and on the weekends while in production. One summer while walking in a piazza in Milano, she approached a woman wearing a colorful necklace and asked her what the material was. It was during this time that she discovered the wonderful medium polymer clay.
She began experimenting with FIMO and CERNIT which eventually led to her line of OPERA PURSES, VESSELS and JEWELRY. Most of the pieces incorporate image transfers from her original oil-paintings with techniques she developed over time. Many of the pieces are inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones including citrine, tourmaline, peridot, amethyst, zircon and diamonds.
Today, Katerina works as a couture jewelry designer and applies her passion toward designing and creating contemporary rhinestone jewelry. The jewelry is reminiscent of the bygone days that were filled with everything glamorous and over the top. For the jet-set, she also designs an exclusive avant-garde line. Her one-of-a-kind rhinestone creations are all hand soldered with meticulous attention to design and detail. Swarovski crystal rhinestones are the canvas in which she paints, while incorporating vintage cabochons and art glass from Czechoslovakia, Japan, Germany, Italy and other places around the world. Her pieces are big, bold and elaborate with the necklaces designed to also be worn as angled collars. Most of her brooches are over five inches long with sultry dangle earrings designed to fall to a beautiful mid-neck length. Bracelets can be created in most styles including large cuffs and multiple link designs. Her entire line is plated in 14K gold and bears the “Katerina Musetti Designs” hallmark.
Katerina Musetti, is also the author of The Art of Juliana Jewelry (Schiffer Books). For more information please visit www.katerinamusettidesigns.com.
Anthony (Tony) Angeli
Koral Michael Whalton
Melinda L. Lewis is the author of The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry, Life By Design Publishing, 2013. As a jewelry historian, she has been involved with the online vintage costume jewelry community for the last 14 years, with a focus on The Napier Co. over the past 11 years. She writes a monthly column for Your True Colours magazine on the topic of vintage jewelry.
She is co-founder of Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l (CJCI), an organization for collectors and dealers dedicated to the study of vintage costume jewelry which hosts an online venue for its members. She served as co-editor for CJCI’s quarterly magazine in 2010 and co-hosts annual jewelry conventions held in bi-annually in Providence, RI, alternating in even years in locations around the country.
Melinda has also worked with internationally renowned fashion stylists and publishers to provide jewelry for books and print-base advertising in magazines. Her jewelry collection has been featured in M.A.C., Anna Sui, Pascali, and on the cover of Italian Vogue as well as editorial spreads in the publication. Her jewelry has been featured in Vintage Jewellery: Collecting and Wearing 20th Century Designs, Carltons Vintage, by Caroline Cox.
Lewis is a grandmother, and mother of two grown girls, and resides with her husband in California. Other interests involve studying fashion and vintage magazines, advances in the treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic migraines, and brain biochemistry.
Mike Ruggiero began his career at The Napier Co. in 1978. He started as a skilled model maker in the design department. In the 1980s, his skill and understanding of white metal casting helped Napier with the expansion of manufacturing by using this technique in-house. This expansion led to the establishment of the company’s first model-making facility in Providence, Rhode Island. Mike’s skills went beyond model making and he soon became known for his talent in jewelry design. In 1985, he became vice president of design for Napier and remained with the company through its subsequent acquisitions.
Mike’s designs from 1980s, especially the Napier crystal stone pieces, are greatly sought after. Mike currently serves as the senior designer for IBB/Jule B. Formerly he served as director of jewelry design for Crimzon Rose Int’l., FGX Int’l, design consultant at Easthill Mfg, and design manager at Artist Empire Jewellery. During Mike’s career, he has worked on several private label brands for department stores such as Macy’s, Bon Ton, and small chains.
Currently Mike lives in Rhode Island with his wife, and in his spare time enjoys seeing his grandchildren.
About IBB group /Jule B
The IBB group (International Bullion Brokers) is a privately owned, an international group of companies located in Florida, the U.K., and Thailand.
The U.S. division is a designer and distributor private label sterling silver jewelry to retailers throughout the U.S including Macy’s, Kohl’s. J.C.Penny, Belk and Bon Ton department stores and many specialty stores. The sterling division sells under the name IBB. The Jules B. division is the costume side of the business and is relatively new. In less than two years, Jules B. has gained distribution in several major retailers and is continuing to gain recognition for its unique approach to costume jewelry and successful acceptance by the consumer.
ADDITIONAL PAST SPEAKERS
Marcia Sparkles Brown