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Barbie Koncher
Art Clay Level One Instructor

Jen Bethmann

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Studio: Contact Information:

Barbie Koncher Studio
1110 Saint Andrews Drive
Discovery Bay, CA 94505

Email: koncher@msn.com
Phone: 925-634-2474
Art Clay Classes Offered:Areas of Specialty:
  • Introductory
  • Specialty
  • Art Clay Silver
  • BronzClay
Biography: 
Third generation Hawaiian born, the Far East and other exotic places have had a great influence on my designs. I began designing jewelry over 40 years ago and went on to study silversmithing, stained glass art, enameling, ceramics, Raku, bead stringing and design, polymer clay design, wirework and art clay metal. I am a founding member of the National Polymer Clay Guild and a certified instructor of Art Clay Silver. I also spent 26 years working for the Department of Defense and capped my career by working at the Pentagon and the State Department as a political appointee.
Many of my ideas for jewelry come from having lived in Vietnam, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Switzerland, such fascinating cultures! I continue to travel for inspiration and spend quality time in art galleries where I am inspired by Klimt, Picasso, Monet and other impressionists. Books also inspire my work and I did an entire Geisha series for the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC) based on Arthur Golden’s “Memoirs of a Geisha.” I created a jewelry series based on Julie Taymor’s “Lion King” for the same museum.
For a number of years I designed jewelry for Saks Fifth Avenue, the Cunard Cruise Ship Line, the Seabourn Cruise Line, boutiques in the Bahamas, St. Martin and San Juan as well as shops and galleries in such diverse places as Old Town Alexandria (VA), Annapolis, New Orleans, Palm Beach, San Diego, and Mendocino. I have sailed on Cunard’s World Cruise, designing jewelry aboard the Sagafjord as we sailed from Bali to Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. I also sailed on the Seabourn Pride to Alaska as a guest designer and speaker.
My designs go from simple to elegant and I feel that each piece is a miniature work of art. I don’t believe in production work, and each piece is painstakingly crafted and fired in a kiln. Experimenting with Art Clay Silver and BronzClay is an endless joy to me and I am always creating new things. I also do torch fired enamel.
I have sold my work at juried art shows, elegant trunk shows, and at exclusive boutiques around the country. My work has been carried by the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC and my beads have been featured in Lapidary Journal and the American Style Magazine.
My permanent art studio is in my home Discovery Bay, California and I also have a small studio in Kona, Hawaii. I do a lot of volunteer work with the local art groups in Brentwood and am in charge of the Artisans’ Garden at the annual Art, Wine and Jazz Festival, a major fundraiser for all of the arts in the Brentwood area.
Awards: 
Rings & Things Artist of the Year (art clay silver cuff bracelet)  $500 cash award

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