When Elizabeth Cary met her husband, Rick Bernstein, he was working at a craft shop in Massachusetts. His employer was an eccentric and inspirational woman from an old Quaker family in Pennsylvania: Penrose Worman. Clearly, she made a significant impact--Penrose Design, Cary's jewelry company, is named after this energetic and creative figure.
Cary's jewelry skills are self-taught. She has had no formal education in the arts or jewelry production, though she did spend a summer at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. Bernstein produces the glass beads that Cary uses in her jewelry designs. The partnership works well, each supporting the other's work. Although Cary also knows how to blow glass, she hasn't done so for a number of years.
Penrose Design beads begin with a core glass tube of dense, opaque color, often white which gives the other colors "a lot of punch." For the vibrant colors draped over this core, the couple prefers the transparent glasses from West German manufacturers because of the clarity and "jewel-like" quality of the material.
The intensity of the color depends on the length and width of the bead as well s the size and shape of the hole. The shape of the bead comes from blowing a hole through the glass tube.
Elizabeth Cary and Rick Bernstein live in the Rhode Island town of Foster, where their business is located.
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