Although Janet has a background in molecular biology, it’s clear that jewelry is her passion. She generously spent time showing me her one-of-a-kind, completely hand-fabricated designs, many of which were years in the making. Explaining to me that, “Just like in cooking, you need very high quality ingredients,” Janet uses only the finest quality gems and pearls in her work.
Take, for instance, these earrings from her “vintage” collection featuring pink tourmaline cabochons and Biwa pearls. I learned that Biwa pearls come from Lake Biwa in Japan, but unfortunately the lake has become so polluted it hasn’t produced pearls for over 20 years, making this pair of earrings even more of a rarity.
I couldn’t help but admire this necklace, with expertly carved aquamarine flowers. Janet uses gem cutters in Idar-Oberstein, home to some of the most talented stonecutters in the world. Each flower has a platinum foundation on the back. You can see the deep color in the natural African aquamarines with diamond accents shining in the center of each flower.
One of her recent pieces is this “Off The Grid” necklace, with a diamond and green tourmaline pendant on an 18K omega necklace. She said, “It’s an oval stone in a square peg!”
Janet popped into the back of the shop and brought out her latest project, a stunning amethyst tassel with a rose gold and diamond cap. She plans on making both a 30-inch chain and a collar, so the wearer can get two completely different looks. I like that idea!
When asked if she designs with a particular client in mind, she explained, “I design what I HAVE to – what’s inside me.” Her creative talent isn’t just limited to jewels. She also designs scarves, jackets and capes, which are all sold in her store and in her online shop. Janet started sewing her own clothes at age 12; she set up a space in her bedroom and made garments without using patterns.
Here’s Janet next to her net cape with a peacock feather border – all completely hand-sewn by her.
She also has one of Madonna’s former seamstresses making some of her garments, such as these sequined jackets.
Thanks to Janet for the tour of her store – loved discovering a gem in the heart of Marin County!
Deleuse Jewelers is located at 55 Broadway, Fairfax, CA 94930 phone 415-459-3739 deleuse.com
Amy Roseveare is a veteran San Francisco-based wardrobe stylist and personal shopper. She has been sharing her passion for jewelry through her blog, JewelryFashionTips.com since 2011.