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Meet Jeweler Jennifer Walker

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

This post is another in what is becoming a continuing series on the wonderfully talented and creative people who run small businesses in the Central West End.

Jennifer Walker occupies a 160 s.f. studio at 449 N. Euclid—a space not much smaller than New York apartments where she both lived and created jewelry. Her jewelry-making equipment, shown above, was tucked under a sleeping loft. The artist studied Product Design at Parsons School of Design in New York and received a BFA in Metalsmithing/Jewelry Making from the Maine College of Art. After graduation she moved back to New York (she grew up in Yonkers & in Maine), and, as she laughingly said, "I went to swing dancing classes. That's where I've met all the important people in my life," including her future husband, and a teacher from Parsons from whom she took a casting class at the 92nd Street Y. That class confirmed how much she loved working with her hands, and is where she found her niche. She soon started selling her rings in Nolita and the West Village. 

Four years ago her husband Anders was offered a position teaching Legal History at SLU, and the couple happily moved from a cramped apartment in New York to an old house in Benton Park. She has since become a mother–her daughter is now three–and opened her studio in the neighborhood in February.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

When Jennifer moved into the studio, she amazed me by renovating the space herself. Do you remember a snippet from the nursery rhyme, "Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy"?…well, that's Jennifer…and much more (be sure to read to the end of the post). She sanded the floors, faux finished the walls, hung the lights, and even built the furniture. Bar Italia has enlisted her to make decorative ironwork, and she is currently fabricating planters for the restaurant's outdoor dining area.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

Nature and memories of landscapes from Jennifer's childhood in Maine contribute to the shape, textures, and colors of her jewelry. When she first moved to St. Louis she took a space in the Lemp Brewery where, inspired by fabrics of the '70's like Marimekko, she cut out flowers made of vitreous enamel, precursors of the ones seen in the photos above and below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

Jennifer's jewelry made out of sterling silver, brass, gold, and vitreous enamel, is priced from $48 to $400.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

Limoges enamel pendants, above, are available in sterling silver and gold, $70.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery

The "Wonder Woman" bracelet, $60 to $80, upper left, is one of Jennifer's newest designs. This cut-out cuff, which fits right over the wrist bone, has been extremely popular with women of all ages. How about this for Mother's Day? There are a lot of super moms out there!

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Ziezo P.S.:Gallery in Columbia MO Jenny Walker Jewelry Christiane Danna Jewelry Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Adam Foster Gallery   

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Walker


During an interview with Jennifer earlier this week, her phone rang and the caller had a household plumbing problem. It seems that in order to support herself in New York, Jennifer joined Plumbers Union Local #1 in Brooklyn. She completed a 5-year apprenticeship and worked as a journeyman plumber for ten years. (No wonder she thought of the Wonder Woman cuff.) She said that her specialty, because of her jewelry-making experience, was soldering copper pipes together. She loved working in large New York buildings…just soldering away from floor to floor. So if you need a new water heater…or a pair of earrings, call her.

Next Saturday, April 30, Jennifer and Christiane Danna, whose jewelry studio is in the same building, are having a pre-Mother's Day Show. Drop by to shop, get a henna tattoo, and enjoy Jennifer's handmade chocolates. (If you've tried making chocolates, you know we're talking tempering and the whole nine yards.)

Jennifer Walker Jewelry, 499 N. Euclid, Mons. 10 to 1:30, Thurs.- Sat. 11 to 4, (347) 528-3210. Don't know why you would travel outside the neighborhood, but you can also find her jewelry at the Adam Foster Gallery in Clayton, P.S.: Gallery in Columbia, MO, Ziezo in UCity, and Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, IL.

 


The CWE’s Boutique Calla Lily for Prom Dresses

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Sherri Hill Dresses Dana Mathers Boutique Calla Lily Alisha Hill Shoes

It won't be long before we will start seeing formally-attired young couples heading into one of the neighborhood restaurants, or posing for pictures at the fountain on Maryland Plaza, before going off to their high school prom. It may be a surprise to you that there is a boutique right here in the Central West End that caters to the prom dress market.

Boutique Calla Lily has occupied a small shop space at Euclid and Washington for the past three prom seasons. Mother and daughter team Loretta Waheed and Dalila Spencer's original boutique was on N. Boyle near the West End Grill. When the pair decided to close that shop they got so many pleading calls from friends and sisters of former customers urging them to re-open somewhere, they decided to forge ahead and opened Boutique Calla Lily at 4900 Washington, above.
Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Sherri Hill Dresses Dana Mathers Boutique Calla Lily Alisha Hill Shoes

According to boutique-owner Dalila Spencer, shopping for a prom dress is one of the most important clothing decisions a young woman will make—other than choosing a wedding dress of course. Most of Calla Lily's customers from neighboring areas, Illinois, and West County have heard of the boutique through word of mouth. Fashion-saavy customers find Calla Lily after googling their favorite designers like Sherri Hill and Australian Dana Mathers. Most dresses are in the $300 to $500 price range.

Shopping for prom is definitely a mother/daughter activity. In fact, Loretta Waheed said that a group of high school girls may shop together but will wait to make a final decision until their mothers, who would feel more than left out, weigh in.

While you only see dreamy short dresses in the photo, Boutique Calla Lily stocks glamorous long dresses as well. Apparently the decision to wear short or long is evenly split among the shop's customers.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Sherri Hill Dresses Dana Mathers Boutique Calla Lily Alisha Hill Shoes

The boutique also carries Alisha Hill shoes, $125, (visible in the first photograph) and a sparkly selection of jewelry shown on the mannequin above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Sherri Hill Dresses Dana Mathers Boutique Calla Lily Alisha Hill Shoes

Dalila Spencer, right, and Loretta Waheed are ridiculously busy women. Both are teachers at an Imagine Charter School, Loretta in elementary school, and Dalila in junior high. That's until 3 o'clock when they come to the CWE to open Boutique Calla Lily until 6 or 7 p.m. Dalila also has two adorable young children and an understanding husband.

During the month of August Loretta and Dalila go to market to select the dresses they will carry. There are plans afoot to stay open year 'round selling not only prom dresses but cocktail, special occasion dresses, and now dresses for the "pageant market," which has become another source of business for Boutique Calla Lily. 

 

Boutique Calla Lily, 4900 Washington Blvd., 3 to 6-7 p.m. Tues. thru Sat., (314) 367-6353, info@boutiquecallalily.com.

Addendum: While I have been working on this post I've been trying to remember what I wore to my senior prom. I've come up blank. In fact the only part I remember, having attended a Catholic girls' school, is the trauma of finding a date. When my children were that age it was refreshing that they didn't see the need to pair off. They got dressed up and went to the prom as a group. I wonder if high school students still do that.

Do you remember what you wore to your prom?

Brewington Art & Interiors Moves to Loft Space on Washington

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Shop News  Steuben bowl Rosenthal glass Ray Meibaum Jim Pegg Bill Mund A. J. Brewington

Please bear with me while I mention one of the first video games my children played, called "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" No matter how hard I tried, I could never find Carmen. Some might say the same about A. J. Brewington, wondering where in the world she is. Until recently A. J. ran businesses from a couple of different locations on McPherson. She moved there from the DeMun area in the mid-90s, and opened Geronimo's Cadillac which specialized in Mid-Century Modern. Eventually she combined Geronimo's with Brewington's, which specialized in traditional furnishings.

In December Brewington Art & Interiors opened in a spacious light-filled loft space on the second floor of The Pierce Arrow Building, on Washington just east of Euclid. As A. J. is fond of saying of the new space, "It is so big city…and I am just where I want to be." You won't spot A. J. in these photos either, she would have none of posing for the camera. "It's not about me," she said, "it's about the  merchandise."Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Shop News  Steuben bowl Rosenthal glass Ray Meibaum Jim Pegg Bill Mund A. J. Brewington

Having been in business for more than 23 years, A. J. knew exactly the look she was after in her new space. Her merchandise is organized and displayed in vignettes, which serve to divide the large space into a series of small rooms. Three photographs of The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, shown propped on the east window above, are by Webster Groves native Bill Mund, $500. A photograph by Kirkwood native Ray Meibaum hangs on the wall beneath, $425. A pair of contemporary candlesticks, $80 for the pair, sits on a vintage red lacquer low console, $1200. 

 Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Shop News  Steuben bowl Rosenthal glass Ray Meibaum Jim Pegg Bill Mund A. J. Brewington
Shown in the foreground, a tooled leather-top mahogany game table made in New York is $750. Resting on the table are crystal-handled contemporary salad servers, $45, a dresser tray, $28, and a vintage red hat, $20. Also shown on the table are an example of Brewington's cut-crystal candlesticks, $25 to $95. On the table to the left there are two examples of 19th century Japanese Blue and White pottery, and three bright blue African woven and beaded baskets, $45. A. J. loves to mix elegant to eccentric, antique to modern.

This Friday night there is a dual-purpose opening at Brewington's. A. J. has represented artist Jim Pegg for years, and this Friday's event is her first large-scale exhibition of his work. Pegg's nude, "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," peeks out from behind the column above, $2,000. Friday also marks A. J.'s 23rd year in business, so it's an anniversary celebration as well. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Shop News  Steuben bowl Rosenthal glass Ray Meibaum Jim Pegg Bill Mund A. J. Brewington

A. J. has traveled as far as Southeast Asia, and all around the U. S. on buying trips. She has also purchased items from St. Louis estates. The fine antique Japanese cloisonne vases shown in the cabinet above came from a local collector. The antique ivory necklace and link bracelet from the 30's and 40's are $245 each; the opal and amethyst necklace, right, from the 20's or 30's is $145.

  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Shop News  Steuben bowl Rosenthal glass Ray Meibaum Jim Pegg Bill Mund A. J. Brewington

Two more examples of Jim Pegg's paintings hang to the left of the display case above.  A. J. has a wonderful collection of vintage glass, including two colorful Italian pieces and a Rosenthal vase, top shelf left. The middle shelf holds a Steuben bowl, a Waterford powder box, and an antique painting in gold leaf frame.

As A. J. says about herself on the invitation for Friday night's opening , "still crazy after all these years." Come see for yourself on Friday between 6 & 9 p.m. If you can't make the event this weekend, stop by Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 to 6. There is lots to see and you'll have a great time.

Brewington Art & Interiors, 4814 Washington Ave., Suite 230, (314) 361-5373, divaloco@gmail.com.