Rainforest Design® Cameos: Exotic, Rare, Timeless Heirlooms

Blogging about Rainforest Design® shell cameos: Exotic, rare, timeless heirlooms, the likes of which you have never seen before. The story behind this unique jewelry that has attracted worldwide attention and has Panama in the news.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rainforest Design Launches New Website

Press Release
Rainforest Design® cameo jewelry debuts new site

Panama, January 7, 2014: Rainforest Design® announces the launch of their new website at www.rainforestdesign.com. The site features exquisitely hand-carved original cameo jewelry made in Panama by Wounaan tribal artisans. They could be considered the quintessential green jewelry since the cameos are organic; carved from Queen's Helmet shell harvested in the nearby Caribbean waters. The local artists are self-trained indigenous tribesmen known for their artful creations. The core values at Rainforest Design® support eco-friendly and sustainable practices in every aspect of their production.
The subject matter of the cameos themselves reflects the beauty all around the tropical rainforest in Panama. The carvers turn out delicate flora and fauna motifs native to the region. The various collections are masterfully finished in fine 950 silver or lustrous 18K gold. The result is a distinct collection of sculptural art in miniature to be worn by discerning modern jewelry collectors.

"We are pleased to offer site visitors enhanced features, excellent product photography, and of course expanded background info on the Wounaan tribal culture. The new site also provides a convenient shopping experience for our customers," says Roslyn Zelenka, chief designer, Rainforest Design®. "Also, trade members will now be able to register and login to access wholesale pricing."

For information on upcoming tradeshows, including the Tucson Gem Shows 2014, contact Roslyn Zelenka, at cameos@rainforestdesign.com. To learn more visit www.rainforestdesign.com. ♦


An Invitation-Only trunk show of Rainforest Design® cameo jewelry was hosted Saturday December 14, 2013 at David Nygaard Fine Jewelry, 754 First Colonial Road, Virginia Beach, VA. An open house held there also on December 21, 2013, allowed jewelry fans to admire these treasures once again. Both events were organized by FARLANG.com.

Contact us if you would like Rainforest Design® to schedule a trunk show in your store or gallery.

Cattleya orchid cameo necklace with pink tourmalines and garnet strands, set in 950 silver w/rhodium plating. Artist signed, eco-friendly, fair trade. 100% Made in Panama. US$7000

Have you seen the Hibiscus cameo tiara? Certainly a bride's dream come true for that once-in-a-lifetime royal style wedding. Set in 18kt white gold, with platinum finish, Akoya pearls complementing five delicately handcarved hibiscus cameos. Artist signed, eco-friendly, fair trade. US$35000.

Our latticework cameos truly highlight the unquestionable skill level our Wounaan master carvers. US$2750

Copyright © 2014 Rainforest Design®, All rights reserved.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 6, 2010

Following the Yellow Brick Road

The stories told my previous blogs "From Toilet Paper Wrapping", "From Panama to Tucson", and "Beverly Hills Missed Out" are just the beginning of the adventures of Rainforest Design®. There has been many a day when I have felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, following the Yellow Brick Road. Every encounter has proven to be invaluable in providing some clue as to the route to follow. I always try to pay close attention to the signs I perceive along the way.

After Beverly Hills, it was on to the Big Apple for an appointment with the buyer at Tiffany's. Elaine Rohrbach had made the contact..she had sold to Tiffany's before, so it was reasonable to assume we would have our audience. Not so. Got to the appointment and the buyer said they didn't need any cameos. So we were summarily dismissed without Tiffany's seeing the marvels we had brought with us.

We had another appointment with the Metropolitan Museum which happened to be showing a wonderful exhibit called "Cameo Appearances". The Gift Shop buyer thought our cameos were excellent, but, unfortunately, the Met Gift Shop only sells reproductions. Our Rainforest Design® cameos are all signed, hand carved originals.

With the time remaining in New York, I decided to walk Fifth Avenue on my own in search of a potential client for a New York launch of Rainforest Design®. The best option seemed to be Bergdorf Goodman with their selection of designer jewelry, so I got the name of the buyer and called. She wasn't available for an appointment, but said I could leave photos, which I did, and could speak to her later to get her opinion of them. I think we must have talked on the phone for at least twenty minutes, and the bottom line was that she liked them...but needed to see them on the fashion runways of Paris or Milan first before she was willing to give us space in her showcase, even if on consignment.

So, I came to the conclusion that fashion is not born in New York City, but originates somewhere else. The Yellow Brick Road was leading me to Europe, and the task now was to find a way to get to Paris or Milan. (To be continued)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What is a Cameo?

Many people ask the question, "What is a cameo?"

A cameo is a miniature sculpture that may be made from a variety of materials. Most have striations of color, which allows for the natural contrast between foreground and background. Rainforest Design cameos are carved from the Queen's Helmet shell (cassis madagascariensis spinella), as seen below:

The outside of the shell is the softer carving surface, and the carver starts from the outside until he reaches the inside brown layer which is
hard like glass. Think of it like an Oreo cookie, taking away one side, leaving the soft white part the equivalent to the outside of the shell. As the artist carves through the white portion, eventually he reaches the dark brown part at the base.

Depending on the shell, the brown may be very very brown and graduate to a light beige. Other species of shells have a pink or peach color on the inside, however, the Queen's Helmet shell is considered to be the best because of its translucent properties and striking color contrast. Rainforest Design only uses the best!