Winner of Saul Bell Award

Recently, Valerie traveled to New Mexico, where she was a finalist for the 2017 Saul Bell Award for her original design, “Old World Vines” neckpiece.



At a well-attended celebration dinner held on May 21, during the Santa Fe Symposium in Albuquerque, NM, Rio Grande, Valerie was announced as a finalist.




One of the jewelry industry’s foremost design events, this competition is judged by jewelers and industry leaders who are masters of their craft. They look for originality of design, successful incorporation of materials, wearability (except in the Hollowware category) and quality of workmanship as they examine each finalist piece both by hand and on a model.

Please join me in congratulating Valerie for her impressive accomplishment!


To view more of Valerie’s elegant designs, please visit VOSTENAKstudios


Stunning Piece for Robert Manwell Auction

Have a look at this elegant neckpiece designed and created by VOSTENAKstudios for the Robert Manwell Auction.

In its 8th year, the auction raises funds for a 2019 scholarship to benefit the classmates of young Robert, an Idaho boy who was beaten to death in 2009 by his mother and her boyfriend when he was just 8-years-old.

Thank you, Valerie, for your generosity and support of this young boy and helping to keep his memory alive. Valerie Ostenak-Robert Manwill Auction

The auction will be held at the Payette County Fairgrounds. 310 East Blvd., New Plymouth, Idaho

Floor Jewelry

Last week, we delved into some of Valerie’s wall sculptures, her penchant for water and it’s undulating ebbs and flows.

This week brings you to my favorite of her floor pieces: Making of a Tidepool, 32” x 36” x 18”, forged steel with a crystal center vase suitable for large votive candle or floating flowers.

To me, this resembles an avant-garde water ballerina moving to music not yet composed – unrestrained, free-flowing and feminine.
Simply enchanting.


What do you see in this sculpture?

For more information on purchasing this one-of-a-kind piece, please contact Valerie

Sculptural Art Jewelry for Your Home

We’ve typically discussed the feminine resilience portrayed through the soft curves of Valerie’s sculptural art jewelry, but for the next couple of posts, allow us a brief diversion into another realm of her sculptural art–jewelry for your home.  Each piece represents the freely flowing water found in waterfalls, rivers, streams and oceans.

From the adornment of your private home to the enhancement of a corporate setting, Valerie’s sculptures cause the eye to linger just a little longer. This lingering can be good for business and emotional health. It can offer a respite from the ordinary or pressures of the day.

Most homes and offices have walls adorned with art, but owners often forget that availing a blank wall as a canvas for exquisite sculptures can lend a new dimension to their home or business.

Currently, VOSTENAKstudios is represented with several pieces at the lovely Titus Contemporary Gallery in Carmel. (San Carlos Between 5th & 6th, Carmel, CA 93921)


Breaking Wave, 48” x 72” x 7”, forged steel, apophyllite crystal

Surfer’s Dream, 68” x 41” x 7”, forged steel, flourite cluster
In this series, Valerie describes:
“I seek to capture the power and the energy in the movement of ocean waves. The way it roars toward the shore and breaks into a wild display on rocky cliffs, laps at a sandy beach, or tangles the sea grasses below the surface.

Viewing the flowing steel as one views a mandala or walks a labyrinth, it becomes a point of meditation, perhaps a reference in the discovery of Self.”

If you are interested in either of these, please feel free to email, Mary Titus:
Titus Contemporary Gallery or call at 831-402-1955 for purchasing info.
Contact Valerie for info on the specifics of the pieces. 

VOSTENAKstudios Featured in Sedona Art Prize

Two of Valerie’s paintings are featured in the prestigious Sedona Art Prize Competition and eligible for several monetary awards. Both pieces are also for sale on the Sedona Art Prize website. VOSTENAKstudios entry. Check out her artist page and see her beautiful Corn Maiden in Winter with iridescent and metallic paints over a blending of pastel color within the wintery sky. Available also is Silver Lining in the Storm from her Stillness Within Series.

One part of the competition is to gather views and hearts. If you like her work, please go to the site and click the heart at the top of each painting to save as a favorite. It is easy and free to register to do this on the site . Every heart counts!

The Sedona Art Prize is an international online painting contest open to all painters anywhere in the world who are over 18 years of age using traditional painting media: oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, pencil, or mixed media. Produced through a partnership between The Sedona Arts Center and, its mission is the support of artists and art education projects as well as our Peace Through Art initiative, “Make Art Not War.”

Tools of her Trade

These well-worn gloves that daily bend hardened steel rods into angles, twists and circles, protect the delicate ivory skin within and meld with the heartbeat of the artisan. What dreams and longings do they hold beneath their etched and blackened exterior?


With the fluid ease that stems from years of practice, the artist uses metal tongs to pull a glowing hot rod of steel out of her makeshift forge and places it carefully on her anvil.


Then Valerie, selects her hammer and begins to strike the steel, her blows ring throughout her workshop, softening what was once impenetrable. Her short, milky hair tousles in the air as blow after blow forms the steel into the lacy flowing designs of her imagination. Whether she creates loosely woven earrings or the twists and turns of a neckpiece cupping a precious gem, each is uniquely feminine, resilient, yet elegant. This is the realization of unspoken dreams.

Flying Above Your Fears

Remember seeing those small fuzzy creatures crawling along the pavement, when you were a child?

Caterpillars. As a child I saw them, creeping along, quite frequently on our sidewalk. I always look for them, even now.

Often, we see monarchs, Black-patched Crackers, Empress, Fritillary varieties, Checkerspots and more, flitting about, here in the butterfly state. As I watch them float through the air, I think about the transformation of the caterpillar as it turns into an amazing butterfly.


It’s quite a change to go from crawling on the ground to growing wings to fly. The process of their metamorphosis is a mystical wonder that takes place within the confines of a cocoon. Only the caterpillar can bring it into being as he works hard to spin a cocoon and then, when the time is right, goes through more work to break loose from inside its dark cavern.


Interestingly, the caterpillar must go it alone—if anyone tries to help by cutting it out of the cocoon, it won’t survive. The process of its transformation is a gift from God.



Just as the caterpillar turns into the butterfly, our soul’s transformation can be equally as wondrous. Whether you believe in God, the Universe or Mother Nature or a higher power, when our hearts become enlightened with the knowledge of change that is needed, we notice the convictions of right and wrong in that area of our lives.

The issues vary from one to another and are what keeps us trussed like the cocoon of a caterpillar. God’s process to set us free is tender and constant; however, the work we must do as we face the truth about our attitudes, fears and actions can feel uncomfortable, like the caterpillar emerging from the cocoon.

One we face these issues and begin to make a change to overcome them, we fly with the freedom and weightless burden of the incredible butterfly. We then function at a higher level of thinking and see things differently than before. We can face the pain in our lives and overcome it. Just like the caterpillar emerging from the cocoon, we are free to fly fearlessly and free to be what God had in mind at the start.



Blue Morpho Butterfly, courtesy of


Live from the last day of the globalDESIGN Show!

The place to be in Baltimore this week is the Baltimore Convention Center where the American Craft Council Show meets the globalDESIGN show. Thousands of visitors have descended upon the Center to purchase one of a kind crafts and exquisite hand-made fine jewelry.


Here you see, Valerie, owner of VOSTENAKstudios, chatting it up with customers at her booth in aisle 400.


Looks like a very successful show! Way to go, Valerie!

Live from the globalDESIGN Show

The Baltimore Convention Center is buzzing with excitement! Jewelry designers are preparing their displays for the thousands of buyers that will descend upon the Center over the two-day exhibition. The globalDESIGN show within the American Craft Council Show begins tomorrow.



Our own Valerie of VOSTENAKstudios spent the day preparing her beautiful sculptural art jewelry display down aisle 400. As you can see, her enthusiasm is contagious. Join me in wishing Valerie a fantastic show!



Perhaps a bit overwhelming, but all is well! Breathe Valerie!



We will be sharing more of this great event over the next few days.