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Crystal jewelry exhibit brings art to Flushing

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Now that snow crystals have dusted the city’s streets, the time is ripe to visit Flushing for its crystal jewelry and sculpture offerings.

Shoppers with holiday loot burning holes in their pockets can peruse the Liuligongfang crystal art collection, while those who would rather spend less to create their own crafts can attend a crystal amulet jewelry workshop at the Voelker Orth Museum.

The Liuligongfang exhibit at The Shops at Queens Crossing, which includes the “Now and Free Mind Guan Yi” sculpture exhibition through Jan. 15, features jewelry and sculptures handmade using a technique called pate-de-verre, which loosely translates to “glass paste.”

This technique, which dates to about 206 B.C. during the Han Dynasty in China, is a special means of glass casting that involves applying a crushed-glass paste to the inner surface of a negative mold, which is then fired to create a unique, highly detailed piece.

Pardis Partow, a career and personal adviser, traveled from Brooklyn with a friend to visit the Liuligongfang exhibit last Thursday, where the two purchased gold-colored crystal amulets in the shapes of money bags, which she says are traditional Chinese symbols of good fortune.

“I felt in awe because by looking at the workmanship you can see a lot of work went into it,” Partow said about the exhibit. “It’s absolutely gorgeous, compelling, inspiring and almost magical.”

The “Now and Free Mind” exhibition features sculptures representing Buddhist deities, animals and abstract images as well as decorative utilitarian items such as intricately carved goblets.

For those with a creative streak, the Voelker Orth Museum’s course, the second in a winter series, offers an opportunity for craftsmen and amateurs alike to delve into the making of crystal jewelry.

The next course, to be taught by Voelker Orth board member Lynn Hanousek from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, will cover wire-wrapping techniques that are useful in creating crystal jewelry.

For $3 attendees of all ages will have access to a large number of beads provided free to the organization through the city Department of Cultural Affairs’ Materials for the Arts program.

All supplies will be provided, although participants are welcome to bring their own beads and everyone will go home with a piece of wearable art.

“We’re doing wire-wrapping techniques using beads, stones, crystals and other small objects that can be used in wearable art and crystal jewelry,” said Voelker Orth Director Debby Silverfine. “We do encourage families to come. At the end of class they will be able to take something they can wear away.”

For more information on the Liugongfang exhibit, visitqueenscrossing.com/en/art or liuliusa.com. The exhibit is located in the Crossing Art gallery on the ground floor at 136-17 39th Ave. in Flushing. For more information on the Voelker Orth course and others to come, visit vomuseum.org. The museum is at 149-19 38th Ave. in Flushing.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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