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"Aquamarine, translated to 'sea water' in Latin, has the ocean's attributes of beauty, peace, and tranquility. Its energy radiates peace as it calms and balances. It also purifies and aids in the release of emotions, dispelling anxiety and healing the soul. It's even believed that aquamarine aids in communication with angels. Sapphire's soothing blue energy helps in meditation and brings the gifts of inner peace to one's life, while promoting harmony and clarity. Sapphire connects the higher mind to spiritual centers. It brings creativity, understanding, purity, optimism, and joy. Iolite heightens psychic awareness and encourages spirituality and inner harmony. It gently guides one through new beginnings and growth."
Jewelry designer Barbara Bixby began her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City at the age of 16. Although she started out with a focus on sculpture, she soon fell in love with jewelry design. "I love what I do as a jewelry designer. I am extremely lucky to have found my passion early for what would ultimately become my career," enthused Bixby.
After finishing her education, Bixby took a variety of jobs that allowed her to become more familiar with the world of fine jewelry. Eventually she was asked to design a personal collection for an established designer that was the initial inspiration to create her current collections.
In need of fresh inspiration, Bixby spent a year traveling the world and painting. Upon her return, she continued to develop collections for many highly renowned design houses before moving on to create her own intricate pieces. "My current collection is my most exciting undertaking to date. I use the jewelry medium to create a piece of art, with precious metal as my three-dimensional canvas and gemstones as my color palette."
Each piece combines Bixby's distinctive drawing style, her love of symbolism, and the unique attributes of gemstones. Her influences and inspirations come from a variety of sources - some as far-reaching as Asia and Europe and others as personal as her garden and country home. More than anything, though, her love of art has remained the driving force behind her work.
"I love to see people take my jewelry and make it their own. The way we present ourselves is an expression of our greatest work of art, the soul."