With summer temperatures rising, we’re dreaming of beach vacations almost daily. But if a Caribbean getaway isn’t in the works, at least we can fantasize about the new handblown glass jewelry in the shop. Available in vibrant caribbean colors or jewel tones flecked with gold, Penrose Design offers fun, easy to wear, stand-out summer accessories – and unlike that Caribbean getaway, this kind of summer splurge will last for more than a week! Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches from $25-135.
Penrose Design jewelry is handcrafted by Massachusetts artists Elisabeth Cary and Ricky Bernstein. The remarkable color and depth of Penrose glass beads is achieved through an intricate glass blowing technique of layering clear glass over a core of pigmented glass. Ricky forms these layers of 2200 degree hot glass on a blowpipe, then stretches the hot glass into 25 -foot long pencil thin rods called “cane”. Once cooled, the canes are cut into small individually shaped beads and tumbled for 20 hours to soften edges. Think of beach glass that has tumbled in the waves and sand. Next the beads are fire polished in a small oven at 1250 degrees. Fire-polishing transforms the dull matte beads into smooth glass with brilliant clarity. Finally, the handblown glass beads are ready to use in Elisabeth’s wonderful jewelry designs.
Partners for over 30 years, botanist Elizabeth Cary and glass artist Ricky Bernstein grow family, gardens and art in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of western Massachuesets. Ricky Bernstein is an internationally recognized glass artist. His work can be found in major collections of art throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, and the Corning Museum of Glass.