Hands of God

S i g n a t u r e  J e w e l r y  D e s i g n e r

"The clear bead at the center changes everything.
There are no edges to my loving now.
 I've heard it said there's a window
 that opens from one mind to another,

but if there's no wall, there's no need for
 fitting the window, or the latch."

Noel In Rajasthan, IndiaIf the story of a contemporary artist in pursuit of her passion was told, Noël Michelsen would be its subject. Signature jewelry designer, photographer, collector of rare antique beads and Vintage textiles, Noël has lived across the globe and made lasting friendships with people of many countries.

A native San Franciscan, Noël has been collecting heirloom objects of art from Africa, India, Asia, and Europe for 55 years; exquisite  eclectic beads of silver and gold, precious stones, and antique buttons - all talismans of beauty, ritual, and protection. 

Graduating from U.C. Davis in the mid ’60s, Noël returned to San Francisco and the creative energy of the alternative years.  I graduated in theatre, and moved to North Beach.  Little did I know that walking into Yone’s bead store on Grant Avenue would spark a journey of the heart, and my dedication to the intricate beauty and wonder of the cultural history of personal adornment.

Noël’s tipping point use of antique buttons as the closure for her bracelets and necklaces originated in 1973. While living on the southern coast of Maine, Noël discovered a rare and personal collection of antique buttons:  I saw the buttons as art in miniature and began to use them in my work as the finishing touch.

 Robert K. Liu, Editor of Ornament magazine, comments:

    Noël Michelsen makes a necklace that converts to a choker by removing one portion which can then be worn as a bracelet; the longer necklace can also be worn as a belt.  Her use of buttons as clasps makes this type of convertibility both practical and aesthetically pleasing.
                                                                           Collectible Beads, 1995

Appreciation for Noël’s jewelry is shared by a family of collectors who value the vision and authenticity of her work.  Her elegant collection spans many exotic cultures, reflecting the living spirit and legacy of family dowry.


Herman Miller Antiques, Mani Lani Bay Hotel, Big Island, Hawaii
Mount Kenya Safari Club Nanyuki, KENYA, E. Africa
Heim America, Fisher Island Gallery, Fisher Island, Florida
Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida
Spirit, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Gallery of Great Things, Kamuela, Hawaii
Noël’s Design Studio, Walnut Grove, California
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, California


Hugo Carey Ltd.: Carey Contemporary, London, England
San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Key West, Miami Beach
Kamuela, Hawaii
Nairobi, Kenya
New York

Anthony Minghella, director
Bonnie Bedelia, actress
Gloria Estefan, singer
Jane Siberry, singer/songwriter
Meg Ryan, actress
Muriel Murch, writer
Walter Murch, film editor
Eleanor Coppola

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Noël Michelsen
P.O. Box 658   Walnut Grove, California 95690

©Noel Michelsen 2010 | all rights reserved