by Lori King-Kocsis
“My great pleasure is the marking of special occasions with my clients. We brainstorm and sketch ideas that can only spark from the creative collaboration of craftsman and patron. And then I bring those visions into the reality of precious metals and gems. It doesn’t get much better than that. “ ~Joel Bagnal, Goldsmith
Entering the quaint workshop which doubles as a storefront on historic Aviles Street in St. Augsutine, one finds exquisite works of art made of sterling silver and real gold beneath the glass cases. Each piece is unique unto itself and was created by the Master Jeweler who owns the shop, Joel Bagnal. Bagnal has been bringing quality craftsmanship to St. Augustine’s locals and visitors since 2001.
A Business is Born
It all began with his love of design and art. Bagnal graduated from Stetson University with a Major in Art. Stetson was followed by a Master of Education from Boston University and a Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from the University of Georgia.
It was after Bagnal received the National Endownment for the Arts Craftsmen’s Grant, at Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA., that he left teaching and opened his first shop in Wellesley, MA in 1978. He began offering distinctively handmade designs in gold and silver, commemorating marriages, partnerships, and any special occasion or relationship with collaboratively designed objects of adornment.
What are Joel’s most romantic or favorite pieces? He couldn’t say just one individual piece. The pieces he enjoys the most are wedding rings. Working with clients to custom design their wedding rings has become his specialty.
It’s no wonder that wedding rings are Bagnal’s specialty. He recalls a romantic story about the first time he met his wife-to-be, Nancy “Hookey” Hamilton, a prominent St. Augustine photographer. He was staying in an apartment in Old Town when, one night, as he sat on his balcony enjoying a nightcap, a woman appeared directly across from him, on her balcony. Conversation ensued and the rest is history.
The Cedar Crest College Mace
A Mace is a large rod with ancient origins symbolizing authority. Bagnal was commissioned to create a Mace for Cedar Crest College as the gift of the senior class of ‘73 to honor the faculty. The ceremonial academic mace was made in silver and rosewood during over 300 hours of work at his bench.
A Collaborative Approach
“The design chemistry between jewelry designer and client is the creative breath that brings the piece to life. With PDFs and JPEGs, I routinely scan my color originals and email them anywhere. So, with the combination of a very old discipline and very new technology, we are not bound by geography.” Bagnal provides progress shots of each stage of the creative process provided to the client and expert advice in diamonds and gemstones.
Joel Bagnal is at heart an artist with an eye for beauty, depth and history. Just like the stunning landscapes and photography by local artists that adorn the walls of his shop/workshop, his art is representative of something unique and special that has evolved in St. Augustine over many years, and is a gift to our community.
Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today that award-winning builders have broken ground on the first of six new model homes at Markland, its signature, master-planned community in St. Johns County, FL. The home builders for this community will include Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Cottage Home Company, Riverside Homes, Providence Homes, Drees Homes, and Dream Finders Homes. These six builders are all privately owned and have consistently operated with the highest levels of customer service. Buyers will be able to select from a diverse, yet complementary offering of architectural styles and floor plans. Initial home pricing will range from the $300K’s to over $600K with numerous home plan options by multiple builders available at each price point. “From our experience at Palencia, we know that buyers respond well to choice and value a commitment to quality from their home builder as well as the community developer,” noted Hines managing director, Walter O’Shea. The six spectacular model homes will open in March and the first offering of inventory homes will be completed in the second quarter of this year.
At Markland, the Hines’ design and development team has developed a community theme that will pay homage to the 19th century classic architectural styles of the grand homes of St. Augustine. The Markland Manor House, the amenity centerpiece of the community, will be designed in a classic, Greek Revival style and will be accompanied by formal gardens linking indoor and outdoor spaces at the amenity center and then meandering out into the community through a trail and park network. Formal landscape themes will also accent the classic architectural detailing of the community’s homes to create a distinct and elegant new home community.
Markland will provide residents with resort-quality amenities including a zero-entry pool framed by lush landscaping, cabanas and pergolas, a fitness center and yoga studio, a gathering and entertainment room, tennis courts, an innovative explorer dome playground, and an interconnected network of neighborhood parks. Additional information regarding Markland can be obtained by visiting and registering at the community website, www.markland.com or calling (904) 513-5740.
Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit www.hines.com for more information.
by Casey Chin, Local Admissions Expert from The Tutoring Club
If you’ve got a student who is currently a senior in high school and has been applying for college admissions for the past few months, you’ve probably heard of the FAFSA form! What is FAFSA? FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The FAFSA is a form that should be completed sometime between January and early March and is used to determine the amount of money each family is expected to contribute towards college fees. Additionally, the results of the FAFSA are used in determining awards for certain scholarships, grants, work study opportunities, and loan amounts. Completed FAFSA forms are typically due to the schools by March 15th, but awards are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis which is why I suggest submitting the form in January! Tax returns are helpful to complete the form because the FAFSA questions will refer to specific lines on your most recent tax return, but do not have to be finalized – estimated amounts can be used for the initial form. Many families choose to opt out of completing the form because it can be a long process, and they don’t think they will qualify for aid from the government. However, it is my opinion from personal experience as a former Scholarship Coordinator at a university that ALL families should complete the FAFSA. Academic Administration use the information on the FAFSA forms to award their own scholarships and grants and the criteria for “need-based” could be different at the university level than what is required by the federal government.
Before completing your FAFSA form, contact a financial advisor with college planning experience to discuss asset management in order to maximize your full eligibility potential for federal aid. If you are not familiar with the FAFSA form, or if your advisor has not offered assistance in this area, contact Chris Morrison with Investment Management Group. His knowledge and expertise in the financial business can help guide you through the steps of the FAFSA and beyond with additional financial college planning assistance.
The entire college planning and financial aid process can be very overwhelming! Taking it step-by-step will help alleviate some of the stress! If you have any questions or need additional help, please be sure to consult with a college planning specialist or guidance counselor.
Step by step:
The Heart Chakra
by Nancy Cohen
What is a chakra? The word chakra comes from Sanskrit meaning : “spinning wheel”. In a sense it explains the meaning of the role of the chakras - rotating energy centers of incoming and outgoing energy. They continually receive and transmit energy and other information from the different parts of your body.
During February, the month of love, we focus on our hearts, love and feelings of caring and warmth. Why not learn how to open our heart chakras and bring ourselves into harmony?
The Heart Chakra sits between the breasts. It is the center of your enlightened consciousness and connects yourself to all of the gateways of your other energy bodies (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies). By opening the heart chakra you connect more fully with your divine essence and hold your heart open to all that is.
It is through your heart chakra that you may connect with the heart of your soul and have a more expansive and fulfilling relationship with yourself and others. When open and activated, the heart chakra is the chalice of your joy. You see and hear people through the loving nature of your heart gateway. When your heart chakra is closed you will hear others through judgement and fear.
It is your heart chakra that assists you to open to receive unconditional love and share that with others as well as the rest of your physical body and other chakras. When your heart chakra is closed or out of balance you might experience heart ailments, breathing issues, blood pressure issues, fear, inability to love or unable to love nourish and support the self.
When this chakra is balanced you can experience peace, harmony and love.
Try the following activities daily and keep your heart open to love!
Romantic St. Johns!
YOU & YOUR HONEY.... in St. Johns... enjoy our list of ideas!
St. Johns Magazine
St. Johns Magazine blog features articles written by & about the people, places and events of St. Johns and the surrounding communities.