Jewelry artist Carolyn Tyler is fascinated by the power of color, so much so that she "went wild" with vibrant hues in every room of her new home in Bali, where she designs and produces her elaborate body of work.
A gemstone specialist whose interest in art stems from pure and "playful" artistic vision rather than a sense of profit, Tyler transforms Karats of Vail into a rainbow of sparkles with her necklaces, rings, earrings, pendants cuff links and bracelets from Dec. 26-30. The California-born artist frequently implements precious objects such as ancient coins and pearls into her work, but lately has been inspired to experiment with the affect of colors in her recent pieces, each of which is unique and handmade without molds or wax carvings.
"When I was in advertising 20 years ago, I studied the effects of color on the psyche and mood, mostly to figure out what kinds of packaging compelled people to purchase one brand over another," she explains. "It's really true that different hues have different emotional affects on us."
Take blue, for instance. Tyler said this color is connected to creativity and has "a restful, contemplative effect." Also a yoga enthusiast, Tyler points out that blue represents the throat chakra, which is related to truth and personal expression.
Thus, in her new home, her studio is painted in blue Venetian plaster, resembling a cloudy sky. This sparks Tyler's imagination and allows her to lose herself in the focus of her art.
Vivid colors of all variety appeal to Tyler, who typically encases her precious gems in 22-karat gold, but coral, periwinkle blue and acid green are her favorites and she has used them to design huge Cabochon rings and drop earrings that can be detached and the colors mixed and matched.
Of stones that come in multiple colors, the Ammolite is the standout for Tyler. They originate from the shells of Ammonites that occupied Alberta, Canada more than 100 million years ago. Opals are also at the top of Tyler's list of most cherished stones, and she will be bringing an assortment of necklaces and pendants made from opals from a newly discovered mine in Ethiopia.
"I make what tickles my fancy and hope someone else falls in love with it enough to take it home with them," Tyler said. "I never think about what's going to be marketable or trendy. I want people to feel they have something really unique that they will treasure for a lifetime and pass down to their loved ones."
Over the years, Tyler has amassed a group of avid collectors, many of whom cannot wait to catch a glimpse of her latest creation when she tours and attends trunk shows. Some larger clients have also become fans of her work - Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus carry it regularly. Showcasing her work at independent galleries, however, is especially satisfying and she relishes the fresh challenge of custom orders and fulfilling a client's vision for his or her own dream item.
"The most rewarding part of making objects of beauty is when my client wears them and people compliment her jewelry and she feels pretty and special," Tyler said.