Anita Ghaemi of Deerwoman Designs at a show.
Anita and her husband, Mahmud, have been friends of the family for decades. If you have been to one of the bead shows in the Chicago area or to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, you may have run into them helping out at the booth or just visiting. Anita has been a jewelry designer for many years and sells on several online venues. You can get a full list of her shops and social media pages on her blog, Deerwoman Designs. Her jewelry designs cover a range of styles, from contemporary to tribal. She has often used Afghan beads, mixing them in unique ways with pearls, metal findings and beads from other parts of the world. Here is one example:
The carnelian centerpiece just pops in this combination, adding richness to the silver, jade and lapis. All of the stones in this necklace are Afghan. This one has a more contemporary feel even while it uses the ancient Roman glass, which we also carry:
The gold really adds warmth to the watery, cool colors of the glass.
Anita talks about her background, influences and aesthetic on her Facebook page:
“I make jewelry from gemstones, pearls,organic materials,metals and am interested in networking with others with similar interests or interest in beads, rocks, minerals, gemstones etc.
I am a jewelry maker and designer and live in the Chicago area. I began over 15 years ago making jewelry. I started with seed bead earrings, and after learning wire wrapping branched out to jewelry made from gemstone beads and precious metals. I have a background in art history, archaeology and museum work. I have been fortunate to see and touch some of the world’s most magnificent jewelry. I worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY and then for the Empress Farah Pahlavi in Iran before the revolution.
I am passionate about the beauty of gems and stones. In my work I want to emphasize the beauty of the stones themselves. I look for unusual types of material to work with. I prefer to work with only natural materials but do use gems that are normally treated and enhanced in some way such as citrine, carnelian, aquamarine and blue topaz, or irradiated, dyed or stabilized materials such as freshwater pearl, coral and turquoise. However, I choose colors that are natural, and stones whose appearance remains natural.
About my name Deerwoman: It was given to me by my teacher Buster Yellow Kidney of the Blackfeet in Montana many years ago. It also expresses the closeness I feel to mother earth, and the love and appreciation I have for her and her gifts. (All rights reserved.)
Each piece I create evolves as I work on it. I begin by choosing stones and combinations to enhance the beauty of each element. If I try to make a piece similar to one I have made, it always comes out different because I cannot resist trying new combinations and ideas. So if you buy my work it will be one of a kind. I use hand-made beads from all over the world. I appreciate the size and shape irregularities of the beads and like the hand-made look they give. I love using beads that are essentially the natural crystals turned into beads, inclusions and all.
Prices reflect quality, workmanship and rarity of materials, as well as time required to make. In general I price my materials at lower prices than comparable pieces in the market. Also, I often will price a piece at a lower price so that it will be much more affordable, and those who might not buy my higher priced items can still purchase something of a very good quality within their budget.”
Gorgeous piece by Deerwoman Designs using beads and a vintage pendant from Afghanistan.
And, here we see the richness and beauty of lapis lazuli, Afghanistan’s signature stone:
Many thanks to Anita for all of her years of support and friendship! She is family to us and we hope that you will also explore her links and give her some love!
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