An Affair of the Art

Color and culture prevail in Serafina’s globally inspired jewelry



Jules Moore

Intricate details and an exotic aesthetic distinguish jewelry by Joshua Tree artist Serafina.

 

Bursting with color, texture, and cultural richness, Serafina’s elaborate, and sometimes psychedelic, jewelry draws you in with details and intricate knotting that defies the possibilities of the human hand.

Serafina, the studio name for the Joshua Tree–based jewelry artist, returns Nov. 9-10 to the Rancho Mirage Art Affaire, where she’ll show new bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.

Preparing for the festival in her 250-square-foot studio, Serafina has stones everywhere — bins of black onyx and African turquoise, for example — and pendants arranged on a table. “It’s organized chaos,” she says. “I have a constant flow of ideas. I was in the studio at 9 o’clock last night, and Dexter [her 5-year-old Dachshund] was staring at me, like it’s time to go in.”

Serafina creates between 10 and 20 pieces at a time, continually re-evaluating, refining, and tweaking. “I keep looking at them to see if they’re going to work,” she says.

Her passion traces back 30 years, when she dropped out of UC Berkeley and traveled to Europe.

“I never made it past Italy,” she says. “I saw a tapestry, and a woman who overheard me talking about it explained that it’s cavandoli.” Cavandoli is an ancient variety of macramé — the art of knotting by hand — used to create geometric and free-form patterns similar to weaving.

“[The woman] took me to an orphanage run by a convent in Florence, and these wonderful children were making cavandoli bracelets to sell for the convent farmer’s market. They taught me.”

Serafina pulls upholstery thread, which is stronger and available in more colors, as well as silk. She weaves in a stunning variety of stones — rainforest jasper, amethyst from Brazil, and African turquoise.

“I get a lot of the patterns and colors from the desert, especially when it’s in bloom,” she says. “I’ll see a color combination that I hadn’t seen before, like gray and lavender, and lavender and green.”

She also uses coprolites from digs in Moab, Utah. “It’s dinosaur poop,” she says. “I get unbelievable greens and reds, or sometimes oranges.”

Serafina’s prices range from $60 for earrings to $100 for a bracelet to between $300 and $500 for large necklaces.

Rancho Mirage Art Affaire is Nov. 9-10 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Whitewater Park, 71560 San Jacinto Dr., Rancho Mirage. Call 760-324-4511.

CREDITS:
Jewelry Artist: Serafina
Photographer/Stylist: Jules Moore
Makeup Artist: Anastasia Braham
Hair: Giancarlo Tenebruso
Location: Las Casuelas Nuevas

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

"Top Rock" Commands Stage at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

"Top Rock" brings a brash, rockin' musical tribute to the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs on Friday and Saturday nights through September.

Palm Springs Horoscope - August 2014

Just persevere through these tough times, and know that the hard way will become the right road in 2015.

Palm Springs Horoscope - July 2014

Entering Leo on July 16, Jupiter ramps up the social calendar. There will be more summer parties than last year — expect an overbooked schedule.

Star Power

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars honors philanthropic superhero Lynda Carter for shattering stereotypes and blazing new paths for generations of women.

Golden Eye

Capitol Records music video producer and desert resident Danny Lockwood lends his Midas touch to top artists.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.