I come from a family of fashionistas. My maternal grandmother, Madeline, a diminutive woman of 4'11," didn't know she was short, and never felt limited to wearing petite accessories. My earliest memories of her were going into her crowded bedroom, closets overflowing with clothes, shoes, purses, belts, and hats. Her dresser drawers were filled with silk flowers; leather gloves in all lengths and colors; costume jewelry; colorful cabbage flower hankies. Drawers of silk scarves, still with the aroma of her perfume. A cacophony of colors and textures.
As a young woman, she severely burned her arms while (what else?) cleaning a pair of leather gloves. She was left with severe scarring on both arms, which she never hid. Instead she wore short sleeve tops in the summer, with her arms loaded with noisy bracelets. I loved to see her get off the train when she came to visit us. She was always impeccably dressed, never without hat and gloves. As she aged and needed a cane, she painstakingly adorned it with rhinestones, and silk flowers that she changed with the seasons.
My mother, Madeline, never left the house without her Revlon "Love that Red " lipstick. She collaborated with her seamstress to make beautiful, stylish clothes, often coordinating them with stunning sweaters that she, a master knitter, made to compliment her outfits. Much to my chagrin, she made all my clothes because she hated anything that was "ordinary."
After a career as studio artist, painter and printmaker, I stopped making art in 1983 and became an art administrator, art advisor, curator and art dealer, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
But in 1992 I felt the desire to create again. It began with restringing my old necklaces; then a basic class on beaded jewelry. I discovered that making jewelry was akin to painting and drawing with colored beads and wire. And the woman's torso was like a blank canvas. I work in complete silence, designing and assembling each piece myself. No sketches; just the beads talking to me.
So it is against the background of two bodacious, glamorous, fearless Madeline’s who influenced me to create unique jewelry. I invite you to become one of my beloved collectors and denounce the ordinary.
So, sit down, have fun, browsing my website.
Chicago jewelry designer Madeline Murphy Rabb is an internationally recognized artist with over 30 years of experience as a painter, collector, arts patron, world traveler, fine art consultant, lecturer, curator of private collections and arts administrator. It is against this background that she was inspired to begin creating her unique one of a kind jewelry more than 20 years ago.
Madeline's jewelry designs are wearable art. The collection includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and cufflinks. Her one of a kind creations display nature's kaleidoscope of semiprecious stones, pearls and silver beads from around the world. Her jewelry is not for the faint of heart or the shrinking violet. She advises women to "Wear my jewelry fearlessly, with confidence and aplomb!"