Soaring with Dragons

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Our beloved bearded dragon, Show Off, died this January. He gave us great joy, was our Marty Magic mascot and will be sorely missed. He came into our lives when John was in 4th grade, a pip-squeak of a lizard. He … Continue reading

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Sneak Preview of New Designs for 2015

Marty has just completed the wax carving for a new Wave Ear Wrap. We are taking pre-sale orders for the sterling silver version that will be availalbe in late February. A powerful and graceful wave crests over the top of the ear and another gentler wave caresses and cradles the bottom ear lobe.

Marty's new Wave Ear Wrap in wax. Visit our Facebook  page for more information about how to enter to win a free bronze version of this ear wrap.

Marty’s new Wave Ear Wrap in wax. Visit our Facebook page for more information about how to enter to win a free bronze version of this ear wrap.

Our favorite part of the year is the off season when we have time to create new designs – so here’s a sneak preview! Each year, Alisha and I make a list of design ideas that inspire us.  First on my list will be a Chameleon Charm. 7 years ago, our son, John, carved a Chameleon Charm that has a primitive charm and I have hesitated to create a version of my own….but John’s Chameleon will soon have a new friend.

I’m excited to sculpt a dramatic Bird of Paradise Flower pendant.  I have not added any flower designs to my collection recently and this exotic flower will make a stunning, slightly wicked pendant. Also on the horizon to add to my “Monster Collection” will be Big Foot and Cyclops pendants. Can you feel the ground trembling?

Sasquatch, image by Rowdy Robert

Sasquatch, image by Rowdy Robert

Cyclops, photo by Ray Harryhausen

Cyclops, photo by Ray Harryhausen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alisha is already working on a series of one of a kind, Sea Turtle Pendants. These Sea Turtles will be cast in sterling silver and each will wear a unique Australian Boulder Opal for it’s shell.

Alisha's Sea Turtle in Wax - Australian Boulder Opals

Alisha’s Sea Turtle in Wax – Australian Boulder Opals

I have a growing collection of remarkable opals and fire agates and this year hope to design many one of a kind pieces that incorporate these intoxicating gemstones. Alisha, and I want to attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral show in February of 2015 but unless we use many of the stones that we have been hoarding, we will not have the excuse to go and buy more. If you’re so inspired, you can help me downsize by commissioning a Custom Piece!

The current state of Marty's Opal and Fire Agate Collection

The current state of Marty’s Opal and Fire Agate Collection

 

Alisha has plans to design a Cuttlefish pendant that will incorporate a dichroic glass bead as the Cuttlefish body. Sculptural tentacles combined with sleek iridescent dichroic glass will make the quintessential cuttlefish. She hopes to pusuade Wayne Robbins to custom make the dichrioc glass beads with scalloped edges to mimic the undulating body of the cuttlefish. Her new Cuttlefish design will be available in the summer of 2015.

This design will be a companion piece to her Fossilized Ammonite Pendant which has been a big hit!

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Ring in the New Year!

A Bob Winston ring in the modernist style from Marty's personal collection. Solid sterling silver set with semiprecious stones.

A Bob Winston ring in the modernist style from Marty’s personal collection. Solid sterling silver set with semiprecious stones.

Happy New Year Everyone!

For us here at Marty Magic, the cycling of the seasons and the “ringing” in of the New Year brings rings to mind! We celebrate these beginnings and endings with our January ring sale. This time around we thought we’d also take a moment to look into the history of rings, their symbolic meaning in Western culture, and the specific designers who have influenced Marty’s ring designs over the years.

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2015: The Year of the Sheep

Year of the Sheep

It should come as no surprise that here at Marty Magic we’re interested in all things mystic and astrological! Back in September of 2014 we wrote about the Sign of the Scorpion and its history, symbolism, and meaning in Western astrology. Heading into the new year, we thought we’d take a closer look at a related system of beliefs – Chinese astrology – and its predictions for the coming year.

Like Western astrology, Chinese astrology is built around a zodiac, or calendar wheel, that provides predictions for the future. In both systems the wheel is divided into twelve “animal signs” which align with the months of the year and are said to determine the temperament and luck of people born in each month. Chinese astrology takes this idea a step further however, and applies its zodiac to a twelve year cycle as well, meaning that every year has an associated animal sign that provides insight for the entire year.

So what does this mean for 2015 – the Year of the Sheep? Astrologers say that the Sign of the Sheep (or Goat or Ram, depending on your translation from Chinese) is associated with qualities of peace, kindness, loyalty, gentleness, and compassion. People born under this sign may also be timid or eccentric, however, and may tend to rely heavily on others for support. Looking ahead to 2015, astrologers predict a year full of healing, resolution, and peace – both on an international and personal scale. Ultimately, the sheep is a “calming sign,” that should provide a period of relief everyone.

Sounds like a good year to us! That said, Marty has a bunch of new designs in the works already, but won’t be designing a sheep charm at this time. We certainly have designs for you dragons out there, though!

新年快乐! Happy new year!

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Anglerfish Lurks Beneath Monterey Bay

Black Sea Devil Anglerfish - Photograph by the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Black Sea Devil Anglerfish – Photograph by the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Black Sea Devil Anglerfish is a fearsome critter that lives deep in the undersea canyons in the Monterey Bay. Aptly named for its monstrous fangs, it becomes a little less scary when you realize it’s only a few inches long. Back in November of this year, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) recorded the first video of a live female Black Sea Devil, and the news spread quickly throughout local and national media.

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Holiday Reflections from the Magic Crew

the lizards celebrate the holidays at marty magic

A Christmas Tradition at Marty Magic

There are a few distinct signs that the Holiday season is approaching in California: the thermostat registers slightly below the 80s; people begin to wear jeans and flip-flops instead of shorts and flip-flops; and our local markets are stocking certified organic, free-range, vegetarian fed, heritage breed turkeys (the folks at Portlandia hit it on the head). Though this might be laughable to those of you who live in the frozen tundra of the Midwest and East (seriously, how do you survive?), we Californians still follow most of the Christmas and Thanksgiving traditions.

This in mind, we thought that it would be fun to have each of the Marty Magic Crew share some of their favorite Holiday-related memories:

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Counterfeit Marty Magic Ear Cuffs

Today, most of us cannot imagine life without the internet and Google available to answer our every question and shopping need. Just five years ago, internet shopping was in a fledgling state and consumers spent most of their holiday budget at brick and mortar stores. Today, online sales account for a significant portion of retail shopping, a trend that has changed the Marty Magic business both for good and for bad.

On a positive note, I no longer rely solely on sales from Art and Craft Fairs and Renaissance Festivals. Today, sales from www.martymagic.com and our Etsy Shop account for nearly 60% of our sales. Many of my contemporaries without e-commerce websites are struggling as they grow older because although the Art Show and Renaissance Fair circuits can be exhilarating and exciting when young, they are exhausting and limiting when one gets older.

On the negative side, the internet has made artists and designers extremely vulnerable to plagiarism.  All of my work is pictured online for the world to see and to be inspired by. I write “inspired by,” because throughout time, art and culture have been influenced by what has gone before allowing for the natural evolution of art, design and innovation. Unfortunately, not everyone has creative ideas of their own and there are people and companies that have no qualms in stealing the intellectual property of another if the design or concept is likely to turn a profit.  Whereas the United States has strict laws governing I.P; the emerging markets of China and other parts of the world don’t have the same regards or laws governing intellectual property.

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Storybook Tales: The Owl & The P-Cat

storybooks - photo by marty magic - books by original authors

Selected titles from Marty’s collection of classic storybooks

This month we’re celebrating our Storybook Collection. In light of this, we’d like to share some interesting stories about the stories, including a comparison of famous story books vs. their movie counterparts, and  the account of how Marty once ran (innocently) afoul of Google’s profanity filter.

Classical children’s stories were a significant influence in the jewelry Marty creates. As a child, her parents read to her from Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Mother Goose and Arabian Nights….just to name a few. As Marty grew older, she became a voracious reader. She devoured Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Jules Verne’s Fantastic Voyages, and adventured with Rudyard Kipling and Mowgli of The Jungle Book.  Her imagination was fueled at an early age.

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The Graveyard Monster Mash!

Frankenstein Pendant - Sterling Silver

Frankenstein Pendant – Sterling Silver

Dracula Pendant, Sterling Silver

Dracula Pendant -Sterling Silver

 

 

 

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

― Bram Stoker

 Have you noticed the daylight dimming, and the shadows growing? How the warm air is cut by a sudden, chill breeze? Autumn is here: withering our gardens, bringing death to mind, and setting the stage for…Halloween! And what better way to mark this day of spirits and fright, than with a look back at some of the great gothic monsters of yore: Dracula and Frankenstein.

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Scorpio Rising

Scorpion Pendant by Marty Magic

Scorpion Pendant by Marty Magic

In August we wrote about Marty’s childhood spent in the Mojave desert of Southern California, and how the critters she encountered there have inspired her jewelry. Scorpions were common in the desert by her family’s adobe cottage, and their strange, angular beauty is the inspiration behind this   “striking ” Scorpion Pendant.

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