At the Sawtooth Building: Earrings for Thirty-Six Bucks . . . And Other Hand-Made Pleasures

Jewelry artist Susan Brooks of Berkeley CA makes whimsical beaded hoop earrings for $36. Photo by BF Newhall

Jewelry artist Susan Brooks of Berkeley CA makes whimsical, colorful beaded hoop earrings for $36. Photos by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Susan Brooks was in her studio selling handmade earrings priced in the three-figures category the other day. I was not tempted. I’m tightening my belt these days.

Jewelry artist Susan Brooks with jewelry cases in her Berkeley ca studio. PHoto by BF Newhall

Susan Brooks has cases full of silver and gold jewelry.

Shopping for a gown, shoes and jewelry for my son’s wedding, also a dress for the groom’s dinner and yet another dress and jacket for the bridal shower in April had set my budget back a bit. So I walked right past the glass cases filled with tiny glinting objects made of gold, silver and pearls.

What caught my eye right away were the open tables of colorful, whimsical dangle earrings — all priced at $36 a pop. Each pair was more charming than the last. And, I noticed, Susan uses titanium in the hooks and posts, so my tender ears were probably safe wearing her handiwork.

A half hour later, I finally chose one pair out of the half dozen that had called out to me from the tables.

That purchase accomplished, I wandered down the tunnel-like halls of Berkeley’s Sawtooth Building, where I found Donna Duguay getting ready for an art quilt show at Berkeley’s ACCI

A pair of whimsical earrings by Susan Brooks of Berkeley with blue and green beads. Photo by BF Newhall

I loved this fanciful pair of earrings, but Susan thought them too heavy for my sensitive ear lobes, so . . .

Black, green and aqua loop earrings made of beads by Berkeley artist Susan Brooks. Photo by BF Newhall

. . . I snatched these up instead.

Cooperative Gallery opening June 21. Donna’s a pretty woman, but too shy to let me take her photo. You’ll have to be satisfied with a glimpse of her distinctive art quilt work.

For more shopping stories go to “Arts and Crafts in Berkeley’s Labyrinthine Sawtooth Building” and “Am I Too Old for Splashy Earrings?”

A colorful assymetrical art quilt and a quilt with black fleurs du mal against a white background by Donna Duguay of Berkeley, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

Art quilts by Donna Duguay. The quilt on the right is named “Fleur du Mal,” after the poetry by Charles Baudelaire. Price “to be determined.” Donna will present three quilts at the upcoming “Threads of Creativity” show at the ACCI Gallery in Berkeley.

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