Be-Jeweled in February

A VIVA “Valentine’s Day” First Thursday
After a wonderful Holiday Artisan Market (and the artist members thank all of you who shopped artfully and locally), VIVA Gallery is getting set to mark another special day that falls in February. And since Valentine’s Day is often celebrated with rings and bracelets and necklaces, the gallery has invited two jewelers to be featured artists. The work of Jan Mrachek, Nick Smolen and Liza Paizis can be seen at VIVA’s First Thursday opening on February 2, and throughout the month of February.

Jan Mrachek, who hails from Wabasha, Minnesota, is a self-taught artist who, after 20 years of jewelry making, now teaches the art herself. Bead weaving is the medium that Jan most enjoys. She employs a number of stitches including peyote, brick, branched fringe, square stitch, and Oglala butterfly. Some of the pieces she makes incorporate more than one of these stitches to get the desired effect. She also combines bead weaving with a variety of materials including metals, pearls, stone, fiber, shell, ceramic, and glass beads to create unique pieces of jewelry. Her inspiration comes from the world around her, especially the natural world. It also comes from the shape, color, and texture of the beads themselves.

Liza Paizis is also a self-taught artist, born and raised in South Africa and now living in Mc Gregor, Iowa. For the past 26 years, she has exhibited and sold her artwork and jewelry, traveling and living in England, Scotland, South Africa and Australia. Her love for jewelry design began when she was living in Australia, where she started her own pewter jewelry line made from her original wax carvings. Her unique and exclusive jewelry pieces are her most popular creations and feature whimsical animals, nature elements and Art Nouveau inspired motifs.

Nick Smolen will feature his Mokume work.  See photos below, unique and beautiful.

Nick Smolen

Jan Mrachek

Liza Paizis