The most sensational necklace of Holiday 1999, the Umba Sapphire Teardrop Necklace featured in the December issues of Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, Architectural Digest, Mirabella, Harper's Bazaar, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Playbill, and other publications, and the enticing Seamix shown in Lustre - helped to affirm Talisman Unlimited as one of the top jewelry design firms in America.
In Fall 2000 we showed new Umba Sapphires, and Pink Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Emerald, Apatite, Red Spinel, Peruvian Opal, and Ruby, and as always, new pearls. The Holiday 2000 collection, RENAISSANCE, featured Fire Opals, Corals, spectacular Autumn and Midnight mixes, and a exceptional 64 color selection of new Fringe, Cascade, and Teardrop Hoop Earrings. Several of these designs were prominently featured in Elle, InStyle, Glamour, and Modern Jeweler.
In 2001, AMBROSIA explored new proportion and coloration - Turquoise, Golden and Pink Opal, Chrysoprase, yellow Sapphire and Morganite enhanced the palette, along with multihued new Sea, Ethereal, and Sedona mixes. VERDIGRIS. for Fall, added fine Amber, large Ruby, unusual carved Aquamarine and rare Tourmaline to the landscape, in addition to the evocative Wintersea and Verdigris mixes. For Spring 2002, FLAMENCO added the rarest of pearls, new metal finishes, and exquisite new mixes in Moss, Moonlight, Sunset, and Spice . STARDUST (Fall 2002), with new Skyberry, Biscay, Moonrise, Twilight, and Raspberry mixes, and reimagined workings in Pave diamond, Blue Topaz, Keshi Pearl, Amethyst, and Iolite, generated gratifying attention, and the deep satisfaction wrought from continued inspiration.
ALCHEMY, for Spring 2003, evoked the timeless - with larger scale Goldwork influenced by ancient cultures, unique treatments of exquisite Sapphires, new Pinks (Eleuthera, Lucaya, & PinkRose) and Greens(Spruce, Forest, Lichen), as well as Seafoam, Rose Quartz, and of course more long earrings (Tassels, Grapevines, Chandeliers, & Pagodas).
We were most grateful for the enthusiastic response and the editorial coverage in Town & Country, InStyle, Vogue and Elle.
RHAPSODY(Fall 2003) explored the ineffable beauty of the rarest palette of multicolored Sapphires, Cognac Citrines, the magic of new Charcoal, Rouge and Capri colorations, the bluest of Topazes, Rhodolite Garnet and, as ever, the most wearable of earrings. UTOPIA, for Spring 2004 summoned new mixes - Carnivale, Meadow, Corfu, and Dawn - meshed looks, more rare and wonderful Pink Tourmaline, Rose and Lemon Quartz, and multihued Aquamarine, and more than a few wonderful new earring silhouettes.
For Fall 2004 PALMILLA, showed striking new amalgams in Sonora, Mojave, Peony, Circus, and Slate - delicious wearable new rainchain, grapevine, diamond and pearvine earrings, and more new necklace profiles, including multistrands, Festival colorations, and lots of new all gold work. Style editors and retailers were most pleased, as were we. For Spring 2005, NIRVANA inspired new colorations - SpringTide, ArcticMoon, CyanSea, Goa and AppleGreen - as well as Mint Quartz, amazing new Turquoise, Coral, Moonstone, Celestial Diamonds, and lots of new earring profiles.
SATORI (Fall/Holiday 2005) conjured more color inspiration: Baja, Earth, Autumn, Lagoon and Vineyard, exotic woods, sparkling Jet, celestial Rubies and Sapphires, wearable Diamonds, and, as always, irresistible new earrings. SANCTUARY(Spring) made a substantial commitment to "everyday" white and Cognac diamonds, more handmade goldwork, new neutral colorations (Palomino, Pastel, Mammoth Ivory), Keshi and cultured Pearls, and alluring new earrings. The designs for HARMONY(Fall/Holiday) included collaboration with the transcendant beauty of Tahitian Pearls, the subtle sophistication of Cognac Diamonds, and Opals, the wonderous variety of Garnets, and again, everyday diamonds, unique goldwork, and enchanting new earrings. FORTUNA (Spring) explored white SouthSea pearls, more handmade chain configurations, celestial diamond and gold lockets, special everyday diamonds, and of course, the most wearable and exciting earrings. MOSAIC(Fall/Holiday) rethought the juxtaposition of fancy shaped diamonds, the scale of long, hand wrought chains and exotic SouthSea, baroque Geisha (white) and Keshi pearls, and yet more innovative earring silhouettes. MAYA investigated bangles and earrings with fancy diamonds, the interplay of geometric shapes, and some exotic combinations of very rare pearls. ASPIRE continued to explore the interplay of form and color, mixing diamonds and pearls, and opals and rubies, and new earring silhouettes. PEONY expanded the palette, and the wearability and interplay and desirability of warm colorations, particularly pinks, and reds, and roses, and amethysts. The work goes on, and the interaction of inspiration and creativity and originality proceeds.
Founded by Lisa Ruskin and Michael Pitkow, Talisman Unlimited began at a dining room table in the Spring of 1989. Twenty five years and 55 collections later, the synergy of expertise, tenacity, extraordinary resources, creativity and good fortune has put (and kept) Talisman in the company of top jewelry designers world. The work, including many one of a kind treasures, start trends that draw attention and acclamation from fine retailers, astute fashion editors, and customers alike, and have helped reinvigorate the interplay of color in fashion, and excite the discriminating and perceptive.
Lisa graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Television and worked for NBC. She participated in the creation of and was National Sales Director for Freeway, one of the first boutique jeans companies. She helped start Barney's sportswear company, Basco. She wore ten hats for designer Gary Worth. She was National Sales Manager for the hugely successful design firm Force One for David Dart.
After earning a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A. from Brandeis University, Michael Pitkow co-founded a theater company in Boston. He was Creative Director of Music Promotions, an advertising agency. He has worked as a writer and designer, and started both Aleph Records and Stone Age Communications. He has not yet be able to convince a television network to make EARTHSHOW (the rock generation's version of 60 Minutes).
After their marriage, Lisa bought some antique silver charms and beads at a fashion market in New York and designed a pin for herself. Retail buyers admired it and asked where they could buy them, and how soon. For Chanukah that year, shortly after the birth of their son, Michael gave her a box filled with antique chinese beads and silver charms. The first year, Talisman Unlimited designed and sold more than 600 original, one of a kind pieces. So it began.
Each collection includes wonderful bead and gem colorations, and rare pearls, and both round and fancy shaped diamonds inspired by travel, the tribal and nomadic, patterns of nature, and the majesty and splendor of starry desert skies and ocean oases. The creative journey endures as a never-ending exploration of the essence and process of inspiration, originality, and ageless design.