This article appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Texoma Living!.
When Vicki La Plant saw a collection of pink and beige pearls, she wanted to know how to make them into a necklace, something beautiful and one of a kind. She sought out Georgeann Hurt, a Chickasaw bead worker, and took four lessons in beading. Then, using the pink and beige cultured pearls, and a freeform freshwater keishi pearl for the center, she created her first piece of jewelry. Soon, she was making jewelry for family and friends. When La Plant showed her creations to Mike Williams, he wanted them for his gallery, the Old Katy Glassworks, in Denison.
“Vicki has a wonderful eye for beauty and design. Her home in Pottsboro looks like it came from the pages of Architectural Digest,” said Williams. Now four years later, La Plant makes and sells a line of wearable art. Her necklaces have a trademark pattern reminiscent of past eras of elegance—lots of beads with a pendant dropping from them. She chooses pendants from a variety of first-quality gems, hand-painted miniatures, antique pieces—any unusual object that strikes a response in her.
“I search for natural elements from the earth and sea to make my jewelry,” La Plant said. “Sometimes beauty is hidden in a stone coming from the ground, covered with dirt and rough edges. Eventually, after much polishing, the stone becomes a work of art in its own right.”
La Plant’s artistic searches are aided by her day-today business. She travels all over the United States as a consultant for air-conditioning companies and corporations who have large refrigeration units. She also vacations in Europe and Mexico. Every chance she gets, she prowls antique stores, flea markets, jewelry suppliers and tourist shops, looking for inspiration and materials.
“Beauty makes me shiver,” she said, adding that when she finds a beautiful ornament, she feels such kinship with each stone, pearl or gem that the materials tell her where they should be placed in the design.
No two necklaces, bracelets or accompanying sets of earrings are alike. A strand of lustrous red beads holds a painted lady with a golden crown, her hair blowing in the wind. A dragonfly necklace intertwines five strands of onyx beads of different sizes and shapes, accented with a fine strand of Swarovsky crystals. The crystal dragonfly centerpiece sparkles with lavender lights.
Whether La Plant chooses turquoise and silver or dainty freshwater pearls and seashells, she wants the finished product to be extraordinary. She “wants to make you shiver,” too.
Vicki La Plant will hold a showing of her work at the Denison Fall Art Tour, November 1 and 2, at Old Katy Glass Works, 427 W. Main St., Denison, TX 75020 Inquiries: Vicki La Plant (903) 786-6262 email: firstname.lastname@example.org See Vicki’s work online at www.oldkatyglassworks.com