[Tidbits] Goddess of Heaven

Answers to last week:
Vincent Price
Charming Billy

Goddess of Heaven

His clientele numbered the most illustrious of the elite. The Duchess
of Windsor. Lauren Bacall. Joan Fontaine. Gloria Vanderbilt. And on
and on.

He was an interesting man. He was originally a salesman, a manager,
an owner of jewelry stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New

Take this as inspiration… all ye who would like to delve into the
agonizingly ecstatic world of jewelry design and who feel that it
might be a tad too late to start… there are too many years under
the bridge… there are some wrinkles… some gray hair… some no
hair… and who knows what else. And pay heed.

Seaman Schepps began designing jewelry at 48 years old. Not only
that… but he had the unmitigated moxie to start his career in
1929… the year of the stock market crash. While everyone else was
jumping out their windows… he was at his bench mixing precious gems
with materials of little value. He would mix good stones with
terrible stones. He had vision. He cared not a whit for custom. He
did what he wanted. How many in this world out there are able to make
that statement? Except for those of us in the jewelry and gem trade
of course. We always to what we want… do we not?

He scavenged the world for ideas. While on a trip to Hong Kong he
left the tour group he was with and wandered off with his wife to
prowl the Asian flea markets. He searched the nooks. H searched the
crannies. He bought coral and jade and ivory statuettes which became
part of series called the Goddess of Heaven brooches. They were

There were many that imitated Schepps… but he handled them with
ease. A story is told of David Webb–who was then an up and coming
jewelry designer–who used to linger outside of Schepps’s window
looking for ideas. One day he stood there for so long that Schepps
came outside and said, “David, would you like a chair?” Now that–my
friends–is hospitality of the highest order. Hospitality… with a
gigantic pair of nerve endings.

Schepps–in a way–reminds me of Gauguin… who one day told his wife
he was going out to get some cigars and never came back… instead
going to Tahiti to become a painter. This is of course a
fictionalized version of the truth… but I liked the way Somerset
Maugham told it. Moon and Sixpence anyone? Schepps was not much
different. He didn’t go to Tahiti… but like Gauguin… he did
switch careers in the mid-stream of life.

How does one get born with that kind of stuff in them?

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at http://www.tyler-adam.com where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits. Click it… and you will see represented on our
pages… a brooch of a Goddess of Heaven created by Seaman Schepps

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark