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:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Telling Lives

This year, the American Documentary Film Festival's prevalent themes include marriage, parent-child relationships, environment and conservation, mentorship, and equality.

Hot Tickets

Here is our list of must-see films at the American Documentary Film Festival, March 26-30, in Greater Palm Springs area.

A Feast for the Creative Soul

Soprano Renée Fleming joins Paris Opera conductor Philippe Jordan and others to launch a star-studded Festival of the Desert.

In Support of Actors

He often calls himself “the luckiest actor in the world,” but there have been times when Brian Stokes Mitchell has relied upon the assistance of the Actors Fund.

AC/DC, Jack White, Rapper Drake Headline Coachella 2015

Metal rockers AC/DC, alt rock king Jack White, and smooth rapper Drake headline the released lineup for the 2015 Coachella Arts and Music Festival set over two consecutive April weekends in Indio.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 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.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) 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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags