Continued from Helen's Home Page.
clients began asking to have the ancient amulets mounted to wear as
jewelry. She recalls resisting initially: I felt if something
survived 3,000 years, it should be left intact, not tampered
with. Upon consideration that the amulets had been created
originally to be worn on the body, Helen decided to create mountings
which would act as environments for the ancient pieces; she wanted to
bring the culture of the object to the present, yet not damage the
object or its integrity. Creating my own jewelry allowed me to
combine everything--my love of history, art, ancient objects and
sculpture. It enabled me to bring my musings to life.
To date, Helen has created 315 one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry
incorporating ancient elements such as Egyptian amulets, Chinese jade,
Greek and Roman intaglios. They are part of private collections
throughout the world. Helen designs these rare pieces only on occasion
now, due to the scarcity of fine-quality ancient elements.
In 1968, Helen closed her
Madison Avenue store to design jewelry for Georg Jensen on an
exclusive basis. By the late 1960s, Helen was one of only three
young designers who were working under their own names along with Elsa
Peretti at Tiffany and Aldo Cipullo at Cartier.
When Georg Jensen was sold in 1974, Helen left the
company to design for other prestigious retail firms such as
Peacocks in Chicago, Caldwells in Philadelphia, and
Gumps in San Francisco. While working with these larger stores,
Helen missed the sense of continuity and family she had experienced
with her collectors in her first store.
This realization prompted her to open her second
store on Madison and 65th Street
where she remained for ten years. In 1988, Helen moved to Fifth
Avenue and 57th Street, her last retail home. It was an elegant
atelier with floor-to-ceiling French doors overlooking Central Park,
fireplaces, and beautiful art. The ambiance allowed Helen to greet her
collectors in a peaceful and intimate environment.
In the spring of 1994, after 30 years of retailing, Helen decided
to close her atelier. Now her jewelry is sold exclusively at the
prestigious James Robinson, Inc., in New York City. She is now able to
devote her time to what she loves best--creating new treasures for the
Today, working with 18K gold,
intaglios and unusual stones, her contemporary designs incorporate
antique crafting methods, such as granulation and bezel settings, that
evoke the classic sensibilities of bygone ages. Her design concepts
and techniques have been widely imitated, but Helen continues to be
unique. Her objective is not to produce technical reproductions, but
to breathe life into her jewelry by drawing from the spirit of past
Helens desire to place
something of value and beauty into the world remains the motivating
force behind her business. Quality is of paramount importance to her,
a belief clearly evident in the extraordinary craftsmanship of her
creations. For more than 25 years, Helen's creations have been
brilliantly brought to life by her master jeweler John Chirinian.
Helens work brings to
mind the mysteries of mythology and dynasties, and the grand majesty
of Renaissance courts. She joins the past with the present in a way
which is undeniably original. By carrying forth the creative thread of
ages past, Helen continues her modern legacy of fine jewelry.
The Helen Woodhull Collection is
sold exclusively through James Robinson Inc.
James Robinson Inc.
480 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
To order direct, please contact James Robinson Inc.
© 1998 Helen Woodhull All rights reserved.
Images may not be copied or reproduced without written permission.
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