Home > Artists > Marco Polo Designs-Jane Barthelemy
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Since 1994, Marco Polo Designs has been producing spectacular high-fashion fine art glass jewelry, for your every need and desire. We delight in bringing you all the colors of the rainbow, captured in luminous jewelry designs that showcase our Marco Polo-designed exclusive handmade lampwork jewelry beads. Our jewelry collections span the range from playful and eclectic pieces for everyday wear, through subtle and sophisticated pieces that are fit to grace your every special occasion. We're glad you found us! Our Special Little Company Marco Polo Designs has unusual roots, and a colorful history. Founder Jane Barthelemy is a talented artist who sang opera as a prima donna in Venice, Italy for several years. While in Venice, Jane developed hand made glass jewelry designs to enhance her singing attire. To create her designs, she partnered with several of the uniquely talented leading glass-working families in Venice and Murano. Out of these partnerships came the ongoing artistic relationships (and the lifelong friendships) that Marco Polo Designs enjoys and leverages to this day. In the time since Jane retired from the opera, returned to the United States and founded Marco Polo Designs, the company has evolved into a pioneer in contemporary glass jewelry. Today, Penny and Claude Cruz are adding to Marco Polo's beautiful jewelry collection, and we are reaching out to new markets. We are fortunate to have hundreds of contented customers worldwide. Our Marco Polo Designs retailing partners serve the needs of customers in a large and growing number of communities. For those not fortunate enough to live near a Marco Polo Designs retailer, our Internet web site provides access to our full jewelry line. All of the contributors to our beautiful hand crafted jewelry--- founder and owners, studio staff, extended staff, and our artisan partners--- have several things in common: a genuine love of beautiful glass, and a commitment to uncompromising quality and service. This shared focus welds us into a caring "family" with common goals and beliefs. Our customers often remark on our sense of satisfaction in our mission, which is especially noteworthy in today's often impersonal world. Marco Polo Designs is a happy place, and we love to share our enthusiasm with our valued Customers. Marco Polo Designs! Glass artistry is the heart of Marco Polo Designs' magic. We have mastered the subtleties and technical demands of creating memorable fine-glass lampwork jewelry beads. We "frame" our breathtaking custom-designed beads with a supporting medley of sparkling Swarovski crystals, Czech beads, pearls, precious-metal findings, and other artfully-chosen materials. These world-class skills have made Marco Polo Designs a font of inspired jewelry designs. Claude and Penny have honed their artistic vision and technical talents through a long and intensive apprenticeship with Jane. With other talented Marco Polo Designs artists, Claude and Penny are now extending our existing hundreds of compelling designs. Our design "palette" now includes dozens of bead-making innovations that are exclusive to Marco Polo, featuring both exotic ingredients and novel glass-working techniques. During two extended annual design and bead-prototyping trips to Venice, Claude and Penny work intensively with our artisan bead-makers to create the building-blocks for the numerous new designs that we introduce during our several annual design launches. This continual (and demanding) stream of creativity is the "fuel" that keeps Marco Polo Designs at the forefront of the contemporary fine art-glass jewelry world. Quality is Our Business Our niche is focused on delivering jewelry of unrivaled beauty and quality. Each piece that we offer remains hand-made with loving care, from beads through finished jewelry. We use precious-metal findings (sterling silver and custom-plated heavy gold vermeil), resulting in hypo-allergenic heirloom-quality pieces that provide years of trouble-free wearing pleasure. We exercise second-to-none care in the production, shipping and customer responsiveness for every item that leaves our studio. Through the efforts of the dedicated and talented staff in our Portland, Oregon studio, we are able to produce our hand made glass jewelry with no-compromises quality, at prices that are within the means of most, and at a volume that satisfies the many discriminating and appreciative lovers of our "wearable art".