Monday, August 25, 2014

My Inspiration

I am always asked what the inspiration is for all my designs. I have been fascinated by the art of Russian pearl weaving ever since I was a child in Moscow. Through visiting many museums, my education and a deep interest, I have been able to hone my skill on the art of pearl weaving that was popular in the 17th & 18th century in Russia. I have collected many books on the subject, many in Russian and out of print and am more than happy to share my knowledge of Russian jewelry.

Russian jewelry from the 16th to 18th century was abundant with pearls as the rivers were filled with clams. There was such an abundance that even common peasant girls made pearl jewelry themsleves. From necklaces, clothing, church artifacts and  amazingly detailed and lavish kokoshniks, the intricate pearl weaving has always inspired me. Kokoshniks have always been a focal point of inspiration for me as there were many unique designs from region to region. A kokoshnik is a headdress worn by married women. As mentioned the styles varied greatly, embroidered with pearls, gold work, floral motifs and detailed with pearl drapes and netting over the forehead. I have amassed a beautiful collection of images that you can see on my pinterest.

 Unfortunately, no one understood how to cultivate clams and the rivers ran dry of pearls by the 19th century. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Monday, August 12, 2013

See my newest designs and latest inspiration here:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Seed Pearl Restringing and Antique Pearl Restoration

I have been restoring seed pearl jewelry for over 25 years. There is more to reweaving than just restringing pearls. Repeating a pattern is one thing, but dealing with small pearls which are often clogged with glue and horse hair is something else entirely. I have spent years restoring pieces for Sotheby’s and Christies auction houses. Reweaving also deals with something I call the ‘perfect curve’. Antique necklaces or chokers never form a straight line: The human neck doesn’t have a shape of a cylinder; it is narrow at the top and wider at the shoulders. To hug the neck perfectly, the necklace must be curved, meaning that the size of the pearls must be gradually reduced from the outside curve towards the inside curve. This difference in sizes is frequently less than half a millimeter. The ‘perfect curve’ is also one indication to distinguish between the real thing and an imitation.

If you have any questions or want to get a quote please call 323.640.7340




Monday, December 3, 2012

New Creation - Short Onyx Sautoir

This is my latest creation - made of faceted onyx beads and antique clasps. Inspired by the 1920's and artists like Erte.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Trunk Show

One of a kind ornate and elegant pieces, custom made from brooches and centerpieces. Presented images are only a small part of an extensive collection that was created by Marina J. All pieces in this collection are one of a kind designs created around original antiques centerpieces to match and bring out their original beauty.

Marina will be at Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers in Westwood Village for her Trunk Show on December 14th & 15th. For more information, please visit:

If you have a brooche or centerpice that you would like re-imagined into a necklace, please feel free to bring it to the trunk show.

Back from London!

I just came back from London last week. It is such a delight to have my pieces on display in London's famous Burlington Arcade. My new collections were very well received alongside my more familiar signature pieces.

I had a very heartfelt experience in one of the shops that carries a few of my pieces. As I was waiting with Sylvia Ogden of Richard Ogden Jewelers in Burlington Arcade, an older couple came in asking for Robert, her husband. Sylvia explained that he was not in, but more than happy to help them. Over the generations starting from the 1950's this couple had purchased all their jewelry for the milestones in their lives from Robert and his father Richard. Through the years they have bought their engagement rings, wedding bands and gifts for each other and their loved ones from this one store, and it has become tradition for them. In a time when people can shop online, or go to any other place that is more convenient, this couple continues to be patrons to their jewelry store. It was heartwarming to see this interaction unfold before me.

The streets of London, with their bustling crowds are always a highlight for me, as there is nothing like it in Los Angeles. I spent a lot of time catching up with friends and colleagues, and of course I couldn't leave London without buying at least 3 pairs of shoes. Highlights from my trip included; a visit to the Victoria Albert Museum, sipping champagne at the Olympia, an upscale antique show in London, and a quick day trip to Madrid for an important sale. Madrid was quite exciting and must I say very fashionable! I am always fascinated with people watching in European subways and streets. In Los Angels we are always so confined to our cars, that I forget what it is like to be surrounded by people.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Perfect Pair: Pearl & Emerald Necklace and Bracelet

I have created a wonderful new necklace and matching bracelet that uses wonderful centerpiece floral clasps.

They are now available on 1stdibs