Van Gogh's Ear celebrates Valentine's Day with jewelry show

Van Gogh's Ear gallery on Whiskey Row will celebrate Valentine's Day early - and with style.

Jewelry artists Chelsea Stone and Alex Horst and metal sculptor Adam Homan will unveil a new body of work at a jewelry show opening Friday and running through March 3 at the gallery at 156 B Montezuma.

The gallery suggests attendees should wear something red for the 6 to 9 p.m. premier.

Stone, co-owner of the gallery, combines cast glass, colorful enamels and textured metal to create wearable artwork with a twist.

Stone says her cast glass pieces are a big hit because not many jewelry artists know how to cast glass on a scale small enough for jewelry.

Stone first makes a clay model, then creates a mold, which is filled with ground glass and fired in a kiln to 1,500 degrees.

Because the original mold must be broken to remove the casting, each piece is guaranteed unique and one-of-a-kind.

Her enameled pieces integrate a copper base design with powdered glass that's sifted over the surface.

The pieces are often sifted and fired over 10 times to attain unique color patterns and gradations.

Stone's work is sold in more than 75 galleries nationwide, and she has taught at Yavapai Community College and NAU.

Alex Horst, co-owner of the gallery, learned gemstone carving from his father and combines hand carved gemstones with gold and silver, creating modernist sculptural jewelry.

A metal frame of gold and silver holds Horst's carvings, to which he adds gemstones for texture, brilliance and balance.

Horst will unveil new architectural pieces of mokume-gane (a Japanese metal laminating process giving metal a wood-grain appearance) and gemstones for the show.

He has also created forged metal hearts with a hinge-pin that allow the hearts to enlarge or compress in size.

Horst has taught at Yavapai College and currently teaches workshops out of his studio.

Adam Homan, a metal artist from Boulder, Colo., combines ancient armor-making skills with modern welding and finishing processes to create a new breed of steel sculpture.

Stone invited Homan to apply at Van Gogh's Ear after viewing his work at the Tempe Festival of the Arts.

Homan begins his work with various sizes of steel sheet and rod. A skeleton is fabricated and the steel skin is hand-sheared or plasma-cut into the desired form and welded into place.

Homan's sculptures include fluorescent fiberoptics, providing the pieces with an ethereal glow.

Homan's work is included in the collections of Pixar Animation, Industrial Light and Magic and Clint Eastwood.

Homan has created an array of robots, creatures and femme fatales for the Valentine Show.