Hi, my name is Jackie and I am the artisan behind Arhyonel Designs.
I discovered beads in 1997 when friends took me to General Bead in San Francisco. I left the store with two packets of beads and a pattern for a Christmas ornament, and was immediately addicted. In my quest to combine my new passion for beads with my love of knitting and crochet I soon discovered bead crochet as well as both bead and beaded knitting, all techniques used to produce the antique beaded bags of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1999 I started my business Arhyonel Beadwork and Antiques to promote the preservation and restoration of beaded purses and antiques, as well as the methods and patterns used to make them.
In 2006 I started taking jewelry classes in an attempt to improve the metalworking techniques that I need to repair antique purse frames. I found that I enjoy making jewelry so much that I have continued to learn new techniques that go far beyond metalworking. My jewelry incorporates a little of all of these, including precious metal clay, wire wrapping, chain maille, fused glass, beadweaving, and my two newest passions: lampworking and enamel.
I had a very artistic mother who shared her joy of crafting with me. I don’t think I’ve found a craft yet that I haven’t fallen in love with. Besides jewelry and wire wrapped gifts, I also make miniature wire bonsai trees and Pult-style miniature cottages out of aluminum cans. I restore antique purses, and love to wire wrap, bead, knit, crochet, kumihimo braiding, lampworking, enameling, jewelry making, metalwork, and combining all of the above! I enjoy baking but am indifferent to cooking. Luckily my husband is a fantastic cook.
A 5th generation Californian, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband Gordon and our 3 Border Collies. We have 3 grown children, as well as a daughter-in-law and an almost son-in-law. And we have 3 rambunctious grand-dogs and a grand-kitty. All six dogs enjoy chasing each other around our house and garden. Below is a rare instance when I got them to stop and pose. I must have been holding a ham over my head.
Gordon and I enjoy the outdoors. We have an extensive garden, and with our usually lovely California weather, we spend a lot of time in it. Gordon grows grapes as well as fruit and vegetables, and makes excellent homemade wine and beer, while I make jam from our fruit. My other hobbies are my koi pond and growing bonsai. I am a retired CPA, while Gordon keeps promising me he will retire any day now. Besides regular hikes with our Border Collies, we backpack, snorkel and scuba dive, and love to travel. And at least once a year we go our separate ways, he to ski with his friends, and me to go on bike tours with mine.