First Friday on May 3 will feature the jewelry of Linda Turco at the Tehachapi Museum.
Turco has been fascinated with the artistry of jewelry, and bead work in particular, since childhood. Her background as a graphic designer helped to shape her color and design ideas, and after she and her husband retired to Tehachapi, her love of bead work flourished. Turco’s designs range from hand-woven beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings, to focal stone cabochons surrounded by elaborately beaded bezels, and rope necklaces. Her pieces often highlight natural minerals and fossilized rock, including jaspers, agates, boulder opals, geodes and ammonites.
Turco uses a variety of techniques: Kumihimo (an ancient Japanese braiding art) with fibers, seed beads, specialty beads, and crystals; bead weaving stitches such as Peyote, Right Angle Weave, Herringbone and Netting; as well as Dutch Spiral and Duo Bead tubular stitches to create decorative ropes. Most of these techniques are labor intensive, as the beads — even the tiniest size 15s (roughly the size of a few grains of sand) — are braided or stitched into each piece one at a time. She frequently uses pearls and lampwork (blown glass) beads in her designs as well.
Turco’s knowledge of bead working techniques comes from many sources, including books, online tutorials= and expert classes. Her favorite source for beading materials as well as inspiration is right here in Tehachapi: The Spirited Bead & Klews Gallery. She lives with her husband, Rich, and two dogs, Lucky and Willie, in Bear Valley Springs. She has been a volunteer docent at the Tehachapi Museum and Errea House for the past seven years.
A continuing exhibition of the California Carvers Guild is in the Community Case. Some of the most popular types of wood carving includes chip carving, relief carving, carving-in-the-round, whittling and treen (carving small, functional household objects from wood). Closely related is “Love Spoon” carving, which was practiced in Wales, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe in the 1600s or even earlier. Examples of all these types of carving done by local carvers are in the exhibit.
Join us on May 3 from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Tehachapi Museum for the special viewing of Linda Turco’s jewelry. An exhibit of Pez dispensers from local collector Harold Cox also continues in the Textile Gallery, along with an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Tehachapi Community Theatre. Wine, champagne and appetizers will be served.
For more information, call the museum at 822-8152. The museum is at 310 S Green St., and the Errea House Museum across the street at 311 S. Green St., are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 pm.
Charles White is a Tehachapi resident who volunteers with many local organizations to preserve and improve the quality of life in Tehachapi.