Lea Stein jewellery and business cards
Spent all day yesterday designing a new business card, battling with Photoshop which currently refuses to print anything and crashes everytime I ask it to. So fingers crossed that the pdf I've just sent off to the printers is OK when it comes back, hopefully by Friday. The main reason for this flurry of activity is that the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show is looming and I only noticed a couple of days ago that I can't find a business card anywhere in the house.
So... after being told the artwork had to be at the printers by noon today, I franticly set to, first of all searching for relevant images from Sweet Shawlettes. I've always had a penchant for dramatic black, white and red - symbolising birth, life and death, the human condition and the cycle of life, so I quickly decided on Penumbra, a shadow knit cowl with hidden vertical zigzags crossing the horizontal stripes, from the Couture chapter.
The brooch is by Lea Stein, from my collection of her Art Deco-style cats, which I have to admit I love nearly as much as Django and Arlo, my two real cats! A French artist and accessory designer, working in plastic, Lea is often described as the most notable and innovative designer of plastic jewellery of the 20th century.
Her whimsical pieces depict animals, people, celebrities, cars, and household items in her own distinctive textured style, using a technique pioneered by her chemist husband, Fernand Steinberger, involving laminating layers of cellulose acetate sheets with interesting textures and colors such as lace, brocade or, I suspect, even knitting! Each layer had to be baked overnight with a secret component known only to Fernand, then cooled, so it wasn't unusual for a piece to take as long as six months to make.
Although often mistaken for 1920s and 30s pieces, Lea was only born in 1931 and most of her best work was done from 1969-81. My favourite source for her work is our local Antiques Centre in York. Take a look.