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The photographs above are a very small sampling of Designer Baby Accessories by Jean Lee.  Jean's work and that of other artisans can be seen and purchased at the Artisans United Gallery in Annandale. 

(Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.  (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)

MEET THE ARTISAN: Sylvie Kostrzewski

Stunning Paper Mixed-Media Jewelry


Ever since I was a child growing in rural France I was interested in creating artistic objects from items at hand, materials that lay around the house or in nature just outside. At school I would spend more time at decorating and at the presentation of my work than the assignment itself!

My interest in paper really developed when I came to live in the U.S. I would go to bookstores and could spend hours and hours in the craft section, looking at Paper-Mache or paper-making books or any books that would involve creating with paper. I was amazed, intrigued and delighted at all the possibilities that paper offered.

I started making Paper-Mache objects of all kinds, vases, bowls, boxes, etc. I could layer newspaper over an existing object or build a structure out of cardboard or other materials to create a unique shape following my inspiration. The process was always captivating, not knowing exactly how the final result would look. And at the end of that creative effervescence came the decoration of the piece, a process which is so calming and rewarding, kind of a meditation.

For a while I decorated my objects with paint only, but very quickly discovered that I could use all kinds of material to make it even more interesting, like beads, metals, wire, wood, fabric, decorative paper, etc. Anything could become a treasure, so I started to develop an appreciation in my everyday life for beauty in simple things around me, keeping an eye out for any elements that might fit to further embellish my creations. I also collected a vast array of papers that I found beautiful in their texture, design or color. Some handmade in faraway lands, others found in old books or magazines.

At that time I traveled extensively in North Africa and India. The richness and vibrancy of colors, techniques and shape in those lands deeply influenced my fantasy creations and opened a new interest: jewelry.

In my jewelry I love to combine paper with glass, crystals, silver, wire, fiber and precious or semi-precious beads. The result is abundant in color and texture, yet still lightweight, whether it be pins and earrings or the necklaces I fashion from my own hand-made beads. Each piece is created "from scratch,” thus each unique in its composition, appealing to a variety of moods.

I have been a member of Artisans United for over 20 years and my creations may be found at The Craft Gallery of Artisans United.

4022 Hummer Roa
Annandale, VA  22003
703.941.0202   .  www.augallery.org
10-4, Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday

Located in the Annandale Community Park—entrance just two blocks past of Little River intersection with Hummer

The Craft Gallery of Artisans United is a cooperative endeavor, staffed and run by the independent members of Artisans United, Inc.  as well as those individuals belonging to the member Guilds.  On a daily basis, visitors will find the Gallery artisans happy to explain crafting techniques and to share their knowledge of where craft materials may be obtained.  And, too, visitors will often discover impromptu demos in progress as the artists complete their creations.   We are always looking for new craftspeople to join our organization. If you are interested in joining us as a member artist, please ask at the front desk for a membership packet which explains the  process.

If you are looking for gifts, please visit the Gallery where you will find an exceptional range of items appropriate for baby, wedding, mother’s day, father’s day, graduation and housewarming gifts, or a special treat for yourself.

Artisans United continues to look for new areas in which to share their love and knowledge of crafts as they are tasked with taking arts out into the community.  If your organization would like a speaker or demonstrator, please contact them.  Support this Gallery as it is the last home to artisan wares in Annandale.  We should all seek to protect their heritage and survival.

Buying Tip:  Become a member of the Craft Gallery for the small donation of $25.  This will entitle you to a 10% discount on all Gallery purchases for an entire year. AU Friends also receive notice of each new show and special event.  You will quickly make your $25 back in purchase savings while preserving the last Art Space in Annandale

Reproduction of this article or photographs requires the written permission of the author and The ENDEAVOR News Magazine.  Photographs are courtesy of the author with all right of use reserved. (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.  (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)


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