Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google Search.


Antiques Roadshow With Magnetic Jewelry?

Nicole McCring of Covington hopes
that people will buy her hematite magnetic jewelry.

Want to find that perfect piece of furniture for your living room or maybe find that antique that might be the big hit on “Antiques Roadshow?” Then you should have been in Olde Towne Slidell last weekend for the semiannual Slidell Antique Street Fair. Despite overcast skies, hundreds of antique lovers and bargain hunters walked the streets of Olde Towne for two days looking for that one antique treasure.

Sponsored by the Slidell Antique Association, the street fair attracted antique dealers from all over the South. They set up their wares under bright white tents. Everything from armoires to turntables, (which are now considered antiques) could be had at the event. There were even antique toys, dishes, jewelry and magnetic jewelry to be found.

Of course, if a shopper wanted something a bit newer, there were artists and craftsmen vending their creations from hematite magnetic jewelry to colorfully-painted birdhouses.

And let’s not forget the food. Food booths representing the best of Slidell’s restaurants were serving up delicious dishes, and for the kids, there was the ever-present popcorn and corn dogs.

If you missed the Slidell Antique Street Fair last weekend, do not despair. The event will be held again from Oct. 24-25 under the cool autumn skies.

Read More Magnetic Jewelry Clasp...


Hugo Kohl, displays silver bracelets that use powerful magnets

Hugo Kohl, owner of Custom Jewelry Design in Harrisonburg, displays silver bracelets that use powerful magnets to lock them in place on the wrist. Kohl has become renowned in the jewelry world for using decades-old steel stamps to create antique-looking pieces.

Hugo Kohl makes a bracelet by rolling a stamp over a strip of silver. He found the stamps earlier this year and added them to his collection of more than 3,000. His Harrisonburg shop on Federal Street is now open to retail sales.

HARRISONBURG - Hugo Kohl's growing collection of decades-old steel stamps has recently taken a "spin." For the last dozen years, Kohl, the owner of Custom Jewelry Design, has used thousands of steel stamps to make antique-looking jewelry.

He makes rings, cuff links and pendants of all kinds out of the hand-engraved metal stamps. They look so real, he's become one of the dominant manufacturers of that type of jewelry, experts have told the Daily News-Record.

This spring, however, Kohl stumbled upon a totally new kind of stamp. These were different, like nothing he'd ever seen.

They were large wheels, about the size of a doughnut. And like the rest of his collection, they were old - really old.

Although he's not sure exactly what the steel wheels were used for, about a month ago Kohl figured out how to make bracelets with them by spinning the wheels across a strip of silver.

All it took was a few months of tinkering with some old machines - the guys at Kreider's Machine Shop helped with that part - inventing a sturdy hinge and magnetic clasp and he was set.

Now, you can see them, too.

Thanks to a recent addition to his shop on Federal Street, Kohl pulled all 3,316 stamps out of his old drawers and displayed them on several homemade shelves.

It looks sort of like a mini-museum, but it's still usable and profitable. Starting now, his shop is open to the public for retail sales.

"This is three-dimensional hand engraving at its zenith," said Kohl, 48, of Harrisonburg. "You can't find a mistake if you tried."

How It Started

The story of Kohl's unique business began almost two decades ago when he literally found treasure from another man's trash.

One summer day in Providence, R.I., Kohl watched as warehouse workers tossed 300 tiny metal objects into a trash truck.

Curious, he waited for them to leave and then dived in after the objects. The plunge paid off.He later learned that the objects were called stamping or "die-striking" molds and would later make him wealthy.

Here's how it happened.

During the 1920s, European craftsmen hand-carved thousands of these unique molds. Craftsmen used giant machines to literally punch out jewelry from gold sheets. Then, they bent the stamped gold into rings or brooches.

By the 1940s, however, the labor-intensive process was replaced by a cheaper method called casting and the stamping molds were thrown away, lost or melted down into other products, explained Peter DiCristofaro, president of the Providence Jewelry Museum.

So, for folks like the warehouse workers, the molds were nearly worthless.

But that didn't stop Kohl.

In 12 steps, Kohl figured out how to use his old stamping molds to make casting molds. Kohl's stuff looks stamped but costs thousands of dollars less to make.

Kohl's collection of stamping molds has grown from 300 when he started to 3,316 today. According to several jewelry vendors, the collection is possibly the largest private holding anywhere.

Kohl estimates his collection took 30 to 40 lifetimes of work to make.

"I just bask in them all the time," he said. "It blows me away."

These days, more than 40,000 pieces of Kohl's jewelry are floating around the country, each with his initials and the word "H-burg" on the inside.

"I get to see them every day and I want other people to see them, too," Kohl said.

Check It Out

Visit Custom Jewelry Design Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's tucked away at 311 S. Federal St. in Harrisonburg. For more information, call 564-2755

Read More Magnetic Jewelry Clasp...


Magnetic Clasp Mongolian Artisan Jewelry

Mongolian style filigree and enamel jewelry is handcrafted by artisans using traditional Mongolian art forms, that reflects Russian and Chinese influences from the past 1000 years. This jewelry was made for the Mongolians originally, and then filtered into what is now China. During the 1700s, it was made exclusively for the Empresses and manufacture was very limited.

Beautiful Abalone Shell Handcrafted Necklace. Abalone in a filigree setting of 24k gold over sterling silver. This necklace features a magnetic clasp for ease of use. Pendant measures 2" long by 1" wide. Necklace measures 17.5".

Many unusual stones such as Chrysocolla, Rhodochrosite, Chrysoprase, Water Sapphire, Black Star of India, as well as semiprecious stones like Garnet, Lapis, Amethyst, Madeira Citrine, Onyx, and Turquoise are used in these designs.

Each artist has been extensively trained in the basic techniques, and over time they become considered Master Craftsmen. Because the filigree and enameling skills are so totally different, an artist is trained in only one or the other. As a result, some items require two artists to complete one piece.

Each design of enamel and filigree work takes several days to complete, and it reflects the artisans' training and the art of their culture. The technique is similar to that used to make the original Faberge Eggs, which were made of gold, silver, and precious gemstones.

Read More Magnetic Jewelry Clasp...

Magnetic Superior Watch exudes futuristic style, snobbery

Kyle Cherry's "Superior" timepiece adds a touch of Wonder Woman style to the wristwatch. Made from solid tungsten carbide, the band is extremely durable, but it makes one wonder how you get the sucker on your wrist. Cherry actually has an innovative solution for that: a magnetic strip that connects the two halves of the watch together. The novel clasp concept is actually way cooler than the dots on the top that purport to tell the time… really just a ripoff of those Tokyoflash watches we see all the time.

Of course, the Superior is just a concept, and an ambitious one at that (each dot/LED is supposedly integrated with a flush-cut diamond — good luck with that one, Kyle). Even if it doesn't become the chic style statement of the future, we'd like it if some manufacturer were to adopt the magnetic-clasp concept. Hit the Continue jump for some more views.

Read More Magnetic Jewelry Clasp...