The Jewelry of Downton Abbey

I am sharing this because I know some of you are fans of Downton Abbey and The Young Victoria (a project I had the fortunate opportunity to work on). This is reblogged from GIA, Carlsbad, CA , a wonderful resource for jewelry information. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. This is the type of work I love to do. KLH


Downton Abbey is one of the most popular shows on television, and its authentic costumes and jewelry are part of its charm.  Continue reading “The Jewelry of Downton Abbey”

Inspiration for Fall 2015 These Pantone Pretty Jewels

When the colors were first posted on-line from Pantone, I thought how am I going to use these colors in my gemstone and silver designs. Will they look good in metal? Little did I realize the answer would be easy. These gemstones are beautiful and I already have several gems in stock. I am thrilled to be working with these new colors. Enjoy the details. I know I am ready to start working on new ideas. KLH image

Help! Carole Lombard Fans, Where is the 152 carat Star Sapphire?

Anyone? After re-creating this beautiful brooch, I am still hooked on finding the original star sapphire. Just for kicks. So if anyone reads this or knows of someone that can help please let me know. Thanks. Kathleen

If only Carole Lombard was with us now. We would ask her what happened to this incredible “goose egg” of a star sapphire.

Lombard 172

We can only speculate where it might be, but perhaps someone that reads our blog will tell us that they have this fabulous star sapphire locked up in a bank vault.

Continue reading “Help! Carole Lombard Fans, Where is the 152 carat Star Sapphire?”

Climbing Ears at the Grammy Awards

Ear cuffs and climbers are the top Grammy jewelry trend. How many of you like these? Please add your comments below. I wanted to reach out and see if this truly is a trend or just a moment in fashion. KLH

Re blogged from Cheryl Kremkow.  Published: February 10, 2015

The top trend at the Grammy Awards, like at many award shows this season is ear climbers and cuffs.  It’s a trend in the real world too, of course, but climbers and cuffs are the perfect way to add a bit of edge to a gown.  Rihanna makes a fairy tale poof of pink tulle look modern? Diamond earrings by Chopard layered with ear cuffs by Colette.


For more pictures… Continue reading “Climbing Ears at the Grammy Awards”

Our Academy Debut at the Hollywood Costume Exhibit!

Three gorgeous pieces of jewelry were re-created for Larry McQueen, the owner of The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design and presented to the Academy. These pieces and the costumes from his collection were on exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, for more details see the article below.



All That Glitters

Hollywoood Costume_ATG FINAL HEADER

What: Hollywood Costume Exhibit
Where: The Historic Wilshire May Company Building
Location: 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile
Cost: $20.00

Unlike some years, I’ll remember fondly how I kicked-off 2015…and that’s in-style. Literally. While most likely spent January 1st curled up on the couch nursing their New Year’s Eve hang-over, we found our way through the easily maneuverable LA streets to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences new home on Wilshire Boulevard. Currently inside the historic Wilshire May Company Building, resides a tribute to Hollywood history. The caveat is that this history is told through fabric and shoes, handbags and hats.

Hollywood Costume creates the rare opportunity of introducing movie-lovers to the iconic wardrobe worn by some of the most legendary actors to ever grace the big screen. The exhibition highlights over 150 costumes spanning the Golden Age of Cinema (the late 1920s) to the present day. Its aim is not only to allow the costumes themselves to step out…

View original post 729 more words

Story Teller’s Ring: the Wax Model

From the maker’s bench…

My client is a professional story teller. Travels the world telling stories. Well one day, love brought him to our studio, so to speak. He and his wife wanted a new wedding ring that told a story. After chatting with him on how he weaves his stories under the stars and moon. We came up with this romantic story teller’s wedding band.

First we drew the layout for the design on the wax. And with the ease of technology today, we quickly recorded the design and had emailed the video for review. In a matter of minutes we received the client’s approval.

Next step was to carve the designs.

Continue reading “Story Teller’s Ring: the Wax Model”

Our Re-Creative Jewelry Designs for Larry McQueen

Re-Creative Jewelry for The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

For the past several years I have had the pleasure working with Larry McQueen, owner of the Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design.

This collection of film costumes is one of the finest private collections of its kind in the world and consists of costumes worn in films from 1920 to present.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Los Angeles Museum of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum just to name a few. He is an amazing curator and collector!

The following post covers the projects that we created together. Each project shows the initial image from the film, the completed re-creative jewelry and the final project on exhibit.

Project #1 Brooch worn by Ingrid Bergman in the film “Gaslight”

Owned by: The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design
Ingrid Bergman in the film “Gaslight” shown here wearing the brooch.


Kathleen Lynagh Fine Jewelry
Kathleen Lynagh’s re-created Victorian style pendant, fabricated in brass and plated in 18kt gold and rose gold.


Susan Pictures Work 216
Kathleen Lynagh’s hand crafted Victorian style pendant displayed on the costume from “Gaslight.”


Project #2 Pendant worn by Greta Garbo from the classic movie “Queen Christina” 

Susan Pictures Work 220
Image taken from the film classic “Queen Christina”, showing the pendant and the beaded gown.


Susan Pictures Work 221
Kathleen Lynagh’s re-created pendant was hand fabricated from nickel silver and bronze. The assembled pendant was rhodium plated and patinated. Gems are garnets and cubic zirconia.


Greta Garbo's Dress
Gown with Kathleen Lynagh’s re-created pendant on exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Project #3 Star Sapphire Brooch worn by Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey

Susan Pictures Work 219
Image taken from the studio promotional still for the movie “My Man Godfrey”. Carole Lombard is shown wearing her own star sapphire brooch with the Travis Banton beaded gown.


Susan Pictures Work 218
Kathleen Lynagh’s re-created brooch – this brooch consists of a cast yellow bronze frame, with custom fabricated settings, blown glass, rhodium plating and cubic zirconium.


Kathleen Lynagh’s re-created brooch, beaded gown on exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Project #4 Emerald star-shaped brooch from “Valley of the Dolls” worn by Susan Hayward

Susan Pictures Work 222
Studio still taken from the movie, showing the beaded jumpsuit and Susan Hayward’s diamond and emerald star brooch.


Susan Pictures Work 223
The classic star-shaped brooch was carved in wax and cast in bronze, multi layered brooch was finished with rhodium plating and set with glass vintage “emerald” and cubic zirconium.


Costume and our re-creative brooch on display at the Academy of Motion Pictures.

For more information on the creative process, click on each project headline, the link will take you to the full design story.  Thank you for your interest!

















Carole Lombard & Greta Garbo Re-Creative Jewelry Projects at the Academy Museum in LA

Hollywood Costume Exhibit was on exhibit at the historic Wilshire May Company building, the future home for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Los Angeles. Originally, organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), this exhibition explores costume design as an important part of cinematic storytelling.

Here are two of our projects on display.

Kathleen Lynagh Fine Jewelry
First is the Carole Lombard’s star sapphire and diamond brooch. Star sapphire and diamond brooch on the beautiful beaded dress worn by Carole Lombard in “My Man Godfrey”

Continue reading “Carole Lombard & Greta Garbo Re-Creative Jewelry Projects at the Academy Museum in LA”

Susan Hayward at the Academy

To wrap up Susan Hayward’s emerald and diamond brooch project with Larry McQueen, I would like to share some recent photographs from the exhibit in Los Angeles.

Hayward  098
Costume at the exhibit before the brooch was added




If you can go see the Costume Exhibit, please go. You will learn so much about why  and how costume designers are true story tellers.



Susan Hayward’s Star Brooch at the Maker’s bench

After many days of refining design details, soldering, polishing and setting crystal gemstones, the complex brooch finally come to fruition. The emerald and diamond star brooch that was seen in movies like “Ada” and “Valley of the Dolls” was finally finished.

In the following series of pictures we will share the finishing processes needed to complete the Re-Creative Jewelry brooch for our client, Larry McQueen.

Susan Pictures Work  236
Top level of the brooch cast in yellow bronze
Susan Pictures Work  237
Soldering the top and second level together

Susan Pictures Work  238

Susan Pictures Work  247
All three levels were soldered to gather next phase is to have it plated to look like platinum

Susan Pictures Work  244

Susan Pictures Work  254
Right out of the box from the plating company, our next step was to add the cyrstal gemstones
Susan Pictures Work  253
Each stone needed to be cleaned in alcohol and glued into place
Susan Pictures Work  255
The center emerald was hand set, then we added the crystals starting with the lower level 4mm “gemstones”
Susan Pictures Work  273
The back of the brooch was finished with a soft diamond texture brush
Susan Pictures Work  261
The final product was stunning.
Susan Pictures Work  271
Wonderful packaging
Susan Pictures Work  286

Susan Hayward’s dazzling brooch can be seen now at the Hollywood Costume Exhibition in LA. October 2 to March 2, 2015.


Creating the Star Brooch for The Collection

Counting and placing diamonds or crystals for this design project is painstaking slow work. We selected varies sizes of crystals ranging  from 1mm – 4mm to re-create the Pave style setting for Susan Hayward’s Star brooch.

Stone layout
Crystals and glass “emerald”
Having created the initial design drawings for the brooch on the computer enabled us to have the flexibility of getting the design exactly the way we waited without moving an actual gemstone. A wonderful time saver in the gemstone layout process.

Gemstone layouts
Gemstone layout

Susan Pictures Work  222
Ready to drill the holes for the crystals
Using the print-outs from the computer we overlaid them onto the wax carving and hand drilled the location of each stone. Once complete we removed the paper and proceeded to shape and size the openings to fit each crystal specified. The better the wax carving the less time you will spend in metal during the finishing process.

Susan Pictures Work  227
Here we are making certain that the crystals fit in the design layout before shaping the drill holes
Susan Pictures Work  226 Susan Pictures Work  229

Next step was to ship them off to our casting company. Each component is sprued to a “tree” then placed in a flask, plaster is poured into the flask, dried then burned out in an oven, leaving the hallow forms to be filled with liquid metal. The end product will be yellow bronze castings. We selected yellow over white due to the fact that yellow casts better then white in details castings like our star brooch.

Susan Pictures Work  232
Faux pave wax details are carved in the wax before casting

Susan Pictures Work  231
Final waxes are assembled one last time to check the design before being sent to the casting company

Susan Pictures Work  234
Here are the waxes after they have been sprued to the base

Designing & Carving the Model for Susan Hayward’s Star Brooch

Finding an emerald cabochon within our budget was not possible. Even a good Chatham emerald eluded our means. So my client Larry McQueen searched the internet and found a vintage glass cabochon that looked like it was made for our project. It was a beauty.

Susan Pictures  204
Here is the green cabochon placed on a polished background plate of sterling silver. We did this to determine the best way to present the stone, so it would maintain the rich color. Should we have a plate behind the stone or not?
Susan Pictures  203
Here is the same stone resting on a matte sterling silver plate. The green color glass gem was surprisingly close to the real emerald gemstones (shown in the picture)

Having finalized the drawings the next step was to carve the multi level star brooch in wax. This is our specialty.

One has to be careful not to carve too thin a plate, the casting metals will not flow properly when being cast if the design is too thin and too large. This brooch was one of the largest multi level casting we have ever made.

Susan Pictures Work  216
Using our drawings from the computer as templates, we carefully cut the wax layers


Susan Pictures Work  218
Each layer had a slight curve to it

Susan Pictures Work  217

Next step was to drill the holes for the gemstones
Next step was to drill the holes for the gemstones

Susan Pictures Work  220Once the holes were drilled then each diamond needed to be measured and placed on the wax. The diamond layouts took a few hours to create. We will continue the story continued tomorrow.


Final stages for the the Lombard Star Sapphire Brooch Project

Lombard   177The yellow bronze castings came back to the studio and we were very pleased with the work. We then shipped it out to the plating company for a rhodium finish.

Carole Lombard Brooch

Adding the Swarovski gemstones went quickly. We decided to channel set the crystal baguettes. We left the setting of the glass “Star Sapphire” to the end.

Lombard   181

Creating the “star” effect was the most difficult part in making this piece. We had tried several methods from engraving the star on the backplate in the brooch to painting the star effect behind the glass gem.

Here’s our final effect and we are very pleased to see it come together.

Lombard   182

s   186

s   185

s   187
Next stop, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Along with Larry McQueen, owner of the Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design we delivered this “star sapphire and diamond” brooch to the Academy in Los Angeles. It is now on exhibit with the “Hollywood Costume Collection“.

The Hollywood Costume Collection Exhibition at the Academy runs from October 2-March, 2 2015. Go see it!


Looking for the 152ct Star Sapphire owned by Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard Brooch

Carole Lombard’s “goose egg” of a star sapphire was an outstanding gemstone. How would we ever find one to represent the lost gem?

After searching for weeks we decided to recreate the gem in glass. Figuring out the size of the sapphire was tricky due to the fact that several of the newspapers reported different carat weights for the star (anywhere from 150-157 carats). We used a gemstone calculator and determined the size of the gemstone from a scaled photograph of the brooch. With our best estimates in diameter and height we were able to come to the agreement that 152 carats was about right.

Continue reading “Looking for the 152ct Star Sapphire owned by Carole Lombard”

Working with Glass Artist, Kathleen Mitchell to Re-Create Carole Lombard’s Brooch

Making a re-created jewelry design for such an incredible Hollywood legend has been journey in itself. When Larry McQueen asked us to re-create this brooch, we were intrigued. He wanted us to remake the brooch that Carole Lombard own and wore in My Man Godfrey without spending the fortune it was worth. The beaded gown would be on exhibit at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Little did we know that between our resources in the East and here in the US there were none to be found that would even come close to the gem she owned. Like the iconic movie star this star sapphire was rare and unique, 152 carats. No one could make us one and no one could find us one. So we had to decide to have the next best thing and commission the creation of a new star.

We contacted a San Diego glass artist that worked closely with us on this challenge, Kathleen Mitchell.  Kathleen carefully experimented with glass working over several weeks to create the star we needed.

Here are some of the samples.

Glass Samples 155
Could we re-create the star in glass?
Glass Samples 151
Color was important
Kathleen was able to add thin threads of glass to the inside of the molten glass to create a star inside.
Glass Samples 160
Four different ways to show the star

Glass Samples 157

What we discovered is that this was REALLY difficult. Image an artist in front of a hot kiln, rolling the glass, adding color and then adding fine threads of glass to create the star. Only thing we could say is that Kathleen Mitchell is a true artist and did a wonderful job.


Wax Models Ready for Casting

We have been working with a wonderful casting company in Northern California for almost 15 years. They do beautiful castings in a variety of metals. The day we finished carving was one of the hottest days of the summer. And I worried that the waxes might be affected by the summer heat during transportation, but the gods were with us and they arrived intact.

To cast in the lost wax method, waxes are carefully attached or sprued to a treelike structure of wax that will eventually provide paths for the molten casting material to flow and for air to escape. The carefully planned spruing usually begins at base with a wax “cup,” which is attached by wax cylinders to various points on the wax models.

The sprue is not hollow, as it will be melted out later in the process. Shown below are you will find our waxes sprued to the trees. This is done right before they are placed in a flask and made ready for the plaster pour.


Queen Christina Wax work  137
Greta Garbo and Susan Hayward waxes on the trees

Continue reading “Wax Models Ready for Casting”

Greta Garbo’s Pendant: Researching Historical Jewelry – Made Easier at GIA

How fortunate we are to be located so closely to GIA, better known as Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California, is a nonprofit gem research institute dedicated to protecting the public by providing education and objective, unbiased gem evaluations.

Swedish Wedding Crown - Walters Art Gallery
Swedish Wedding Crown Walters Art Museum

Continue reading “Greta Garbo’s Pendant: Researching Historical Jewelry – Made Easier at GIA”

Up ↑