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Modern Art Inspired Snowflakes for the Peabody Essex Museum Gift Shop

Modern Art Inspired Snowflakes for the Peabody Essex Museum Gift Shop

During a trip to the Czech Republic one autumn, an alluring assortment of glass beads arranged in a snowflake pattern caught my eye and an idea was born. I discovered that I could create festive snowflake holiday ornaments by repurposing the thousands of beads I’ve collected over 2 decades of jewelry making. Many of my extra beads are lovely, but just aren’t being incorporated into my current jewelry collections and so I consider them fair game for creative projects just like this.

My studio employees and I have created beautiful, sparkly holiday snowflake ornaments classic color combinations like winter white, holiday red and mixed metals—these have been some of the most popular. But we’re also making these shimmering glass decorations in deep royal blues, and beachy wampum shell inspired color palettes that I call “wampalyke” (more on that here TB1sWA, and ocean inspired teals, blues and greens.

The Museum Shop at the Peabody Essex Museum asked if I’d be willing to create some beaded snowflake ornaments to display in their shop during their Hans Hofmann exhibition. In just so happened that Lynn, the shop director, had noticed some of my most bold and colorful snowflake creations from the previous year.


 Above: Some of the snowflakes I created for the Peabody Essex Museum Shop

One evening in the studio when I was experimenting with some new audaciously colored jewelry that featured a bright orange teardrop flanked by other punchy geometric glass beads, I took a moment to diverge, turning my attention to snowflakes with these materials in hand. I had soon whipped up a collection of crazy funky glass snowflake ornaments in geometric shapes and primary colors. NOT your typical holiday color scheme nor aesthetic. NOT your typical Christmas ornament.


Above: Having fun in the studio with bright and bold snowflake ornaments.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the Peabody Essex Museum, or PEM for short, is an award-winning gem of a museum on the North shore of Massachusetts. Their gift shop is a dazzling array of color and textures and carefully curated vignettes. They feature many textiles, books and décor items that are created and produced especially to coordinate with their museum exhibits. Their product assortments are enticing and inspire artistic expression and appreciation.


Above: Here is one of the snowflakes I created for the Peabody Essex Museum Gift Shop.

I have been honored to have my jewelry featured in their Museum Shop since 2014. They even hosted a special artisan trunk show for myself and a few of their other featured artists in their shop. Truly an honor.

 Stefanie Wolf Jewelry Artist Featured Peabody Essex Museum Shop PEM

Above: Here I am at the Peabody Essex Museum Gift Shop during the Featured Artisan evening that they hosted for me, truly an honor!

So of course, when the museum store director asked if I would be interested in creating a custom assortment of snowflake ornaments inspired by Hans Hofmann’s paintings, in honor of their upcoming exhibit, I was in. Hans Hofmann, a German-born American artist, is renowned as both a teacher and an abstract expressionist artist from the first half of the 20th century. The PEM exhibit of his work is a wide but comprehensive journey along his innovative and prolific artistic career.

Hans Hofmann (1880–1966) is celebrated for his exuberant, color-filled canvases. Renowned as an influential teacher for generations of artists—first in his native Germany, then in New York and Provincetown [Cape Cod]—Hofmann played a pivotal role in the development of Abstract Expressionism…His voluminous output—powerfully influenced by Matisse’s use of color and Cubism’s displacement of form—developed into an artistic approach and theory he called “push and pull,” which he described as interdependent relationships between form, color, and space. From his early landscapes, to his “slab” paintings, and his abstract works at the end of his career, Hofmann continued to create boldly experimental color combinations and formal contrasts that transcended genre and style.  – from

The Golden Wall - Art Institute of Chicago - Hans-Hofmann-Peabody-Essex-Museum

Above: Hans Hofmann, The Golden Wall, 1961, at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In reviewing Hans Hofmann’s work in preparation to create new snowflake ornament designs, I was struck by his use of color as well as his choice of colors. At first glance many of his paintings appear to be cheerful in color and include angular shapes. As I looked further I noticed some deeper, darker tones as well as many instances where his shapes take on forms. For me, the most memorable colors in his work were the bright bold colors, especially orange and green. It’s almost as if the Czech glass beads I use in my jewelry were made for the very purpose of translating Hans Hofmann’s painted colors into jewelry or adornments for the home, like my snowflake ornaments.

Stefanie Wolf Beaded Snowflake Ornament Hans Hofmann Inspired Peabody Essex Museum

 Above: Some of the snowflakes I created for the Peabody Essex Museum Shop


Once I got to making I couldn’t stop! Here are a few pictures of my snowflakes in the PEM Shop.

Peabody Essex Museum Stefanie Wolf Hans Hofmann Beaded Snowflake Glass Holiday Ornaments for Christmas

 Above: My Hand Hofmann inspired snowflake ornaments featured on display in the Peabody Essex Museum Gift Shop.

Here are some images from my studio of the snowflakes I created for the Peabody Essex Museum Shop, as well as some more of Hans Hofmann’s work.

Hans Hofmann Indian Summer Above: Hans Hofmann, Indian Summer, 1959, University of California Berkeley Art Museum.

Stefanie Wolf Holiday Snowflake Ornament Hans Hofmann Inspired Peabody Essex Museum

 Above: Some of the snowflakes I created for the Peabody Essex Museum Shop

Capriccio by Hans Hofmann

 Above: Capriccio by Hans Hofmann, 1955.



Ornament Making Stefanie Wolf Hans Hofmann Peabody Essex Museum Shop


 Above: Making a glass beaded snowflake ornament in the studio for the Peabody Essex Museum Shop

Stefanie Wolf Peabody Essex Hans Hofmann Beaded Snowflake Ornaments

Above: My beaded snowflake ornaments proudly on display at the Peabody Essex Museum Shop

I loved the ornaments that I created for the Peabody Essex Museum Shop so much that I decided to make a few extra for my own shop and I'm selling them in sets of three. See them here.

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  • Rita

    These look so unique and beautiful!!!

  • Katherine Schneider

    I’m inspired to visit the PEM soon.

  • Katherine Schneider

    I’m inspired to visit the PEM soon.

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