Cheryl Domenichelli is the owner, designer and creator of Arts Boheme. She holds a Doctorate in Education Leadership and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design with a specialty in balance of design and color theory. Coupled with her studies in earth sciences, and her lifelong passion for gems and natural stones, her three dimensional artisanal skills naturally evolved into art pieces that speak from her background and vast experiences of world travel.
Cheryl is inspired by these unique and stunning corners of the globe and influenced by the stories they tell. She is in global pursuit of social justice, human rights, and the improvement of human conditions through education and the arts.
I am delighted to share the following Naturally Speaking Interview with Cheryl Domenichelli, Eco Jewelry Designer, Arts Boheme:
Q.How did you come up with the name Arts Boheme? What does it signify?
I have always considered myself eclectic in style. I enjoy varied artists and don’t believe in limiting myself to one style. I enjoy so many aspects of this world, so many different people and I believe in letting people and things be who they want to be. The world has a natural pattern. When we are in rhythm with it there is a natural flow and beauty that emerges.
Arts Boheme, celebrates the beauty of creations from the earth and the beauty of creations from artists. I love to bring together components from varied sources that are not always found together. One of my favorite pieces to date was created from African recycled glass beads, Venetian lampwork beads and a glass horn crafted in a California studio. The three components are then accented by faceted quartz crystals! To me, the piece celebrates the beauty of three continents and celebrates what can happen when we come together as one. Rather Bohemian and unconventional.
Q.Describe 2-3 techniques that create your raw materials (ie. How is Venetian glass made)
Individual artists, in studio, create Venetian glass. This is known as lampwork. The artist holds a glass rod in a flame. They twist, turn or blow the glass to create a bead. The artist may use colored glass, add colors to a clear bead or finish the bead using other techniques such as raku. Each lampwork bead is created by hand and each will vary. The work of creating lampwork beads requires great talent and we seek masters of the craft. This ensures the artists sourced by Arts Boheme are creators of excellent examples of this fine art.
We don’t think of stone as the product of artist, however we source stones enhanced by artist. An example would be the hand carved quartz focal stones we purchased that were created in India. An artist carved each stone with an intricate pattern that not only decorates the stone but also enhances the color of the stone by altering the trajectory of light through the stone. Our Tibetan agate necklace is another example. A beautiful piece of agate is enhanced to replicate the now rare Tibetan Dzi stone. The Dzi stones are of significant cultural value to the Tibetans and the stones we choose art exquisite works of art that honor the traditions. The art of carving stone is know as Hardstone carving. It is an ancient art that has been passed down through the ages.
Bali beads are .925 sterling or .999 pure silver beads formed in Bali Indonesia. The artist first creates a plain silver bead and then adds a series of silver strands and silver dots to create the intricate pattern on the beads. They are hand created and also exquisite. Most of our exclusive pieces are formed from lampwork, Bali, fine or rare stone beads. The handwork and quality of stone in these pieces account for their additional expense and dramatic beauty. They are artist pieces with no two exactly alike thus multiple pieces of the same design will show the hand of the artist who created each bead.
We hand select the stone and lampwork in our pieces. We often encounter single stands of particularly beautiful stones and crystals. When we do, we purchase them and incorporate them into our designs. Because we hand select each strand and choose only those with fine characteristics, many of our pieces are limited editions of 1 – 5 pieces. That is part of the uniqueness of our jewelry and also part of the eclectic nature that leads to the name Arts Boheme.
Q.Can you name all of the regions of the world where you sources you materials and which materials?
*Turkey – stones and silver
*Venice Italy, California, Arizona – hand made lampwork beads from artist studios
*Africa- Kenya and Ghana in particular, recycled glass beads and brass.
*Russia – Baltic Amber
*Cuba – Ceramic beads, wood beads, seed pods.
*Bali – Sterling Silver beads
*Antique glass from Rome and Afghanistan
The stones and crystals used in my designs are found all over the world. Stones and crystals are amazing, taking on particular characteristics depending upon the region where they are formed. Just recently, I picked up a stone focal piece at the Tucson Gem and Mineral shows. It is called K2 because the only place it is found is at the base of the 2nd tallest mountain in the world. This piece is composed of beautiful white granite stained with azurite orbs.
Another example is Herkimer diamonds; they are actually quartz with characteristics of diamonds. Quartz is found all over the world however Herkimer diamonds originate primarily in Herkimer, New York and are distinguished from other clear quartz because of their crystal clarity. I source stones and crystals from all over the world because they originate all over the world.
Q.What is your favorite natural stone and why?
I don’t have a favorite stone! I do however love transparent colored minerals such as sapphires, quartz, citrine and a myriad of others that display their beautiful colors and glisten in the light. It is difficult to select only one type of stone. As I think further, I do so love the bands of color in agates. I love color, transparent or solid. I love playing with colors and textures in jewelry to create pieces that are a pleasure to the eyes and a joy to wear.
I think the best answer to this question is I love a variety of different stones and minerals for the beauty they contribute to the world. Their formation is a beautiful gift from the earth and jewelry is a way to exhibit that beauty.
Q.How does your brand help exemplify self-expression?
I see my jewelry as an eclectic mix. I have a particular style that is present in each piece and each piece has its own expression it makes in the world. Some designs are bold and sophisticated; others, playful or romantic and still others express power. When someone chooses to wear a piece of my jewelry, it is an express of how they are feeling at that moment. Wearing a piece of my jewelry is a self expression and vehicle to send a statement to those the wearer encounters about who they are in that moment.
Q.Explain why environmental consciousness and social justice is important to you! With your brand how can you pass this importance on to future generations? Perhaps through education and/or your jewelry?
The environment has always been important to me. I believe we are dependent upon the environment for our survival and that we are caretakers of the planet. When we choose to abandon this responsibility, the environment suffers and ultimately we suffer. I am committed to leaving a world for future generations that will be clean and healthy. For this to occur, we must stand for the environment now and teach our young to do the same. They will become the caretakers for future generations. Our lives depend on it. The pieces I create and the narratives I write help to bring awareness to people about the beautiful gifts of the earth.
It is also important to me that all people have the opportunity to be all they can be. I see education as a path to this goal. Unfortunately, not all children receive the education they deserve. I have worked for over twenty years to help transform our schools so that all children, not just those of privilege, have access to excellent education. I continue in this work even after retiring from the K-12 education system.
Currently I work coaching new principals in leadership through equity and social justice with the Principal Leadership Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. In my work at UC Berkeley I also work with international educators focused on improving education outcomes in their systems. This feeds my soul in continuing to help transform our schools so all children succeed. This is a complicated journey and the work is gratifying. I also choose to donate a portion of proceeds from my company to “boots on the ground” organizations working to make a difference for those students who are historically and persistently underserved.
The need to support people trying to make a difference here in the US and abroad is a passion of mine. You will be able to read more about the efforts we make in our newsletters and blogs.
Q.What kind of vibe can we expect for the Spring/Summer?
This year the vibe will be light and airy, feminine and earthy. I am currently enjoying glass lampwork beads sourced from artist both global and locally here in California. I see the trend of feminine and earthy persisting through the fall. Some pieces will be either/or and some will be both. This summer I am working to release a new line. Stay tuned for updates.
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