If you’ve visited MUSE boutique downtown, you might have noticed a local line of handmade jewelry they feature – Vashti’s Jewels. In fact, a couple of the heirloom quality necklaces from that line were included in the Style Sessions Favorite Finds
list earlier this year. Today, we have the pleasure of meeting the artist behind Vashti’s Jewels - Carole Manley. Carole’s attention to the jewels she incorporates, the decorative fasteners, and special crafting techniques are what make the pieces such great heirlooms.
See some of her current pieces below, perfect gift ideas for Mother's Day.
How did get started in jewelry design?
I have been interested in stones since I was a young girl. My mother was a diamond buyer for DeBeers and she and I would go to diamond auctions together. It was fascinating to me then and now that such beautiful crystals were produced by the earth. I incorporate semi-precious stones in all of my jewelry. Jewelry making techniques that I use are wire wrapping, bead knotting, and intricate beading. I like to work with copper, sterling silver and gold filled/plated wire, and silk thread. I learned my jewelry making skills from Adele Gomero, and I am very particular about quality workmanship.
How did you decide on the name of Vashti's Jewels?
Queen Vashti is a Biblical name from the Old Testament book of Esther. Queen Vashti was beautiful, independent, mysterious, and true to her convictions. I envision Queen Vashti as having many precious jewels. I want whoever is wearing or giving my jewelry to feel the spirit of Queen Vashti.
Tell us about your Memphis.
I love the flavor of Memphis. I enjoy the adventure of frequent travel, however, it is good to come home to Memphis. I have lived in Memphis most of my life, and for the past 12 years, I have had the excitement of living in downtown Memphis. I love to go to the Orpheum, Grizzlies games — My favorite player is Mike Conley, and I love his mother's taste in jewelry — and visit museums.
What are some of your signature pieces?
You can find my signature " Pics and Pearls" earrings at STAX Museum. I do take custom orders for "Pics and Pearls" earrings. MUSE Inspired Fashion also carries my necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. I have just started beading bracelets and earrings. This technique is fun, but very time consuming. I enjoy visiting MUSE to see all the new fashions and creating strong statement jewelry pieces to compliment the fashions. Or maybe the fashions compliment my jewelry designs! My earrings will soon return to Delta Groove Yoga Studio*.
*Carole also teaches private yoga lessons, and is in RYT-500 hr. Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training at Delta Groove Yoga Studio.
"I am very grateful for all the many positive moments in my life. It is rewarding to create and design jewelry art, and know that someone selected my jewelry to add beauty to her/his life." - Carole