Welcome to Anna Perrone Designs. Say “Anna” like “I’m going ‘on a’ walk” – you’ll make me very happy. Anna Perrone Designs is proud to offer high quality hand-crafted beaded jewelry locally in the Seattle area and nationally and internationally online. I am a self-taught designer who specializes in simple yet classy earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Take some time to browse this site and come see me in person at the Fremont Sunday Market.
Hello, and welcome to my info page. To help you better understand how all my designs come about, it helps to know a little about me. The first thing I’d like to share is the pronunciation of my name. Say “Anna” like you say “I’m going ‘on a’ walk” or “hotdog ‘on a’ stick”. I love my name, but I love it even more when people already know it. That being said, you now have keen insight into my uniqueness, outspokenness and creativity.
I live and work in Seattle, WA, now but I grew up in San Diego, CA, in the funky and amazing community of Ocean Beach [add link]. I began making art at a very early age (thanks Mom [add picture link]) and remember making my first necklace well before age 5. I strung glass bugle beads and sequins in an alternating pattern on dental floss while sitting on the kitchen floor. I also got a great design and construction education – although I didn’t know it at the time – by playing with leftover PVC pipes and sprinkler valves over and over and over (thanks Dad [add picture link]). Oh, and Legos [add link] helped, too.
San Diego was a very inspirational place to live – many different people and cultures, rich history, and some of the most beautiful sunsets (thanks smog). One particularly vivid memory of San Diego comes from a picture that my mom took of a sunrise that looks like a sunset. [add scanned picture here] One summer the hills in Mexico were burning and all the smoke and ash drifted north, filling the air. The sunlight coming through made the most incredible reds and oranges, far deeper than any sunset I could remember. That picture was the direct inspiration for one of my favorite necklaces, made with graduated-color carnelian stones. [add front-clasp picture here] The colors of Southern California continue to make their way into my designs even though I only visit a few times a year.
I left San Diego to go to college in the San Francisco Bay Area, at the University of California, Berkeley [add link]. That was a truly amazing experience also. I lived in Berkeley for five years and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering. I was (and still am) fascinated with how the body works. All the thousands of parts working harmoniously to make life as we know it exist is mind boggling. While in school I worked as a picture framer. Between the engineering and artistic design tasks, I’d say I received one of the best unstructured hands-on design educations one could ask for. The knowledge and skills I gained in those five years is strikingly evident in my jewelry designs; from the simple yet functional construction to the color and size proportions in design, my style shows how engineering and art go hand in hand to create sturdy, comfortable, and beautiful jewelry.
After graduation I backpacked around Europe for three months. [add slideshow of Europe photos] It was incredible! If you have the opportunity I highly recommend going. After Europe I lived with friends [add link to Conventry] in Sacramento for a year. If you’ve ever been to Sacramento, you can understand why it was only a year.
I moved to Seattle in late 2003. This is when the jewelry business really began to take root. I got my business license [add link to DOL] and started selling at Fremont Sunday Market [add link]. Although California has a large artistic community, the desire for handmade goods wasn’t even close to the Northwest’s growing commitment to buy local, handmade and earth-friendly products. I quickly built a strong customer base and met lots of other talented crafters. Check out the Links page to see other wonderful handmade products that artists in Seattle have to offer.
In 2006 I bought a house in North Seattle [add house photo] where I was able to set up a permanent studio [add studio photo]. This is now the home of Anna Perrone Designs and Clever Devil Productions, samples here. I try to create new jewelry every day so that you always have a fresh selection and so that I am forced to come up with new and exciting designs. Fremont Market is still the best place to find me and all the new jewelry but I am happy to announce that my work is now available online [add link].
It took time, patience, hard work, and lots of encouragement to get here, but I’m happy to have gone through it all. Without the support of my family, friends, and loyal customers, my dream would not be a reality. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I love making jewelry. More specifically, I like shopping for beads, developing the design and construction necessary to put them together, and the physical act of turning raw materials into something both functional and beautiful.
I was exposed to art and craft at an early age (thanks Mom) and have very vivid memories of drawing, sculpting, building, stringing – the list goes on – to create functional pieces of art. At age four or five I made a mug in a summer ceramics class [add picture of elephant mug]. In kindergarten, I learned the most important yet basic rule that has guided my art through my entire life: Draw what you see (thanks Mrs. Gestra). [add photo of Van Gogh’s sunflowers]
The principal of “draw what you see” is so simple yet it encompasses everything that guides my style today. My designs tend to be very simple in construction but are all durable, easy to wear, and timelessly classy. I let the beads tell their own stories. [add picture of sky blue horizontal rectangle with olive speckles]
I have always been a crafter, whose art is more functional than decorative. Just about everything I create now has a purpose beyond aesthetics. My style has actually simplified over the past few years into the designs you see now [add link to slideshow].
Being self taught, highly motivated and probably over confident, I wanted to master the hard stuff first. Before I learned to wire-wrap (a skill taught in beginner beading classes) I was determined to duplicate a beaded purse I saw at J. Crew. The purse was about 5” x 7” with two handles and was made of netted beads, no fabric at all. Having never strung more than a simple string of beads before, I designed an elaborate grid of thread held in place by tape on a giant piece of cardboard. Each thread was beaded separately, carefully woven together, and tied off at each intersection. The purse took about a year to finish and had to be repaired almost instantly, but it looked exactly like the $600 J. Crew version. Success! [add photo of Sara’s gray purse] About eight years later I learned a true netting technique that used a continuous thread and took 10 times less effort and five times less space. [add photo of green netted purse] Since then I’ve mastered some of the most complicated wrapping and weaving techniques [add photos of complicated stuff] but always come back to the basics for current product lines.
The simplicity of my styles is what sets me apart from other jewelers. Pieces tend to have only one bead or one type of bead in repeating patterns. Even the patterns themselves are simple in design. I love combining colors, shapes, and textures but do so in a group of products, not in individual pieces. [add picture of teal/orange/black multi-bracelet with matching single earrings and necklaces]
I use Sterling silver and 14k gold-filled wires for all pieces with metal, and cabled Nylon thread (Nymo) and steel clasps for all woven pieces. For the most part the beads I use are glass, but I also use semi-precious stones and vintage Lucite beads. Most pressed, or shaped, glass I use comes from the Czech Republic [add link]; semi-precious stones come from all over the world; vintage Lucite [add Lucite link] beads usually come from the US or Europe.
A note on silver and gold: Sterling silver refers to any metal that contains 92.5% silver. The remaining 7.5% can be any number of combinations of other alloy metals. The alloy metals are what cause allergies – the typical allergy is to nickel. Fine silver and Thai silver have higher silver content, usually 98.5%. This results in a lighter color and higher resistance to tarnish. Sterling silver may tarnish but can be cleaned with jewelry cleaner, silver polish, or basic fluoride toothpaste. 14k gold-fill refers to wire that has a solid layer of gold over a base metal. This layer of 14k gold will not wear off like gold plate does. Usually, people with metal allergies can wear 14k gold-fill with no problems.