Trunk Show features Masterson’s coveted glass art jewelry

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Houstonian Mariquita Masterson has always had the eye of an artist. Thirty years ago, Mariquita was commissioned to design a glass table setting for an art gala. Working with the glass blower, she became fascinated with the chunks and shards of colorful glass and imagined the pieces set as jewelry. Fast forward three decades, and Mariquita’s hand-blown jewels have become a coveted status symbol within the Texas social scene.

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Extending her artistic skills beyond her jewelry line, Mariquita has designed a stained glass window for the chapel at Houston’s non-profit Amazing Place adult wellness center and created an iconic necklace for the Absolut Artists advertising campaign.

ABSOLUT ARTIST Mariquita Masterson

While Mariquita’s designs are immediately recognizable, each piece of glass is one-of-a-kind as they are blown and slumped by hand from recycled materials. The glass is then hand set in custom sterling silver or gold vermeil settings.mariquita masterson ring grp

The incredible color selection of Mariquita Masterson’s glass will be on display July 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All pieces will be 20% off the day of the show in addition to member discounts.

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Feel good about looking great knowing that 100% of Museum Store and Trunk Show proceeds benefits HMNS’ educational programs.

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Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 7/20-7/26

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week! 

speaking in bones

Lecture – Speaking In Bones By Kathy Reichs
Tuesday, July 21
6:30 p.m.
As a practicing forensic anthropologist, Dr. Kathy Reichs brings her own work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. In addition to consulting for medical examiners, training FBI agents and teaching at universities, she aids in the identification of victims at mass graves. Reichs will discuss the highlights of her multiple career–as a forensic anthropologist, television producer, and author. Your ticket includes a hardback copy of Speaking in Bones, which will be released July 21. Book signing after the program.

Museum Store Trunk Show – Mariquita Masterson
July 24  
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Mariquita’s blown glass jewels have been a staple of fashionable Houstonians for 30 years. We are proud to be one of a very limited group of stores chosen to showcase her luminous designs. In-store collection coming soon.

Members’ Night at the George Observatory
Friday, July 24
8:00 p.m.
Enjoy an evening under the stars at the George Observatory inside Brazos Bend State Park. Expert astronomers are available to let Members look at a variety of celestial objects through the Observatory telescopes, as well as privately owned telescopes. Viewing is always weather dependent. State Park entrance fees apply.

 

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Lankford’s layerable styles featured Friday at Trunk Show kick-off

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Raw diamonds, Sleeping Beauty turquoise, South Sea pearls, leather and hand cast metals. The luxe boho style of Houston jewelry designer Rebecca Lankford is immediately recognizable to her fans and collectors. Her delicate styles are perfect for layering and stacking.

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Rebecca started designing jewelry while working as a paralegal in the early 1990s. As her hobby slowly began to flourish, Rebecca was inspired to perfect her craft and enrolled at the Glassell School of Art in Houston. The foundational knowledge Rebecca gained from her work at Glassell allowed her to become a beloved local favorite as well as a renowned national and international jewelry designer.

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Rebecca’s designs were introduced to HMNS in 2002 for the Duval Mineral Collection exhibit. Her unique take on gemstones seemed the perfect fit for a museum with the world’s best gem and mineral collection. A true partnership was born during the 2003 The Nature of Pearls exhibit. Rebecca created an entire collection of unique custom designs with one of the world’s oldest precious gems.

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Thirteen years later and our love of her work has only grown stronger. The Rebecca Lankford for HMNS collection debuted this year. Using gemstones handpicked by our buyers at market, Rebecca has designed a one-of-a-kind collection exclusive to our museum.

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We will be featuring Rebecca Lankford designs at our first trunk show of the summer. All pieces will be 20% off the day of the show in addition to member discounts.

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Feel good about looking great knowing that 100% of museum store and trunk show proceeds benefits HMNS’ educational programs.

 

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New images from Pluto break our hearts, excite our imaginations

Pluto has a heart. A big, icy heart surrounded by a sea of red. It was more of a fluke of photographic composition, a perfect angle for the shot that astronomers and engineers waited for more than nine years to receive, but nonetheless the image has served to anthropomorphize the dwarf planet enough to make us fall in love with it all over again.

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Identified by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 as the ninth planet from the sun, Pluto fell from grace in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union contentiously demoted it to a dwarf planet, but it never fell from our imaginations. Pluto occupies the same region of space as peers of similar or greater size, including the more massive dwarf planet Eris, and now that we see it has a heart, we imagine it breaking.

Pluto is a lonely wanderer, its elliptical flying well above and below the main plane of the solar system and within the orbit of Neptune. Tuesday morning, the historic images from NASA’s New Horizons space probe revealed its pockmarked face, wrinkled with valleys and mountains, and blanketed in sheets of ice, supporting the character we have imagined over the past 85 years. No less an idiosyncratic body than Jupiter, Saturn, or our own life-supporting Earth, Pluto’s face, now lifted out of obfuscation, reminds us of the magic of other worlds and reignites the spark of possibility.

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Clyde W. Tombaugh. Wikipedia Commons.

Not only have we become closer to this famous (and infamous) planetoid during the nine-year journey of the New Horizons, we have also succeeded in slinging a piece of engineering three billion miles at speeds greater than 30,000 miles per hour, maintained control through the veil of a four-hour lag time, and captured high-resolution photos. The images of Pluto represent the scientific precision of which we are now capable in 2015. Dr. Carolyn Sumners, Vice President of Astronomy and Physics at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, explains this feat in terms of scale using objects familiar to Houstonians.

“If the sun were the Astrodome, the Earth is a ball the diameter of a tall person in Pasadena, and Pluto is a ball about a foot in diameter out close to Amarillo. We aimed, and we hit it,” she said, adding that space is a very empty place.

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HMNS hosted a flyby watch party in the Burke Baker Planetarium Tuesday, with streaming images from NASA.

To further complicate the logistics, engineers had to compensate for the movement of Pluto, looking into the distant future for the point of interception. They also factored in a slingshot around Jupiter, using its intense gravity to accelerate the probe to speeds much faster than it was launched.

“There’s a lot of very complicated, solid geometry and physics that went into the mission. That, to me, is the most impressive,” Sumners said.

Due to the four-hour delay, engineers had to send a command and cross their fingers for eight hours every time a button was pushed. Four hours out, four hours back. They could only trust in their math and hope that the spectrograph and camera were aimed at Pluto at the right time.

“We got our science right,” Sumners said. “That we can do something this technologically advanced that far away is amazing.”

Starry Night Express to Pluto banner

HMNS hosted a Pluto flyby watch party in the Burke Baker Planetarium, with guests including Fox News and KHOU. Beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson made a cameo appearance over the Internet from his seat at the American Museum of Natural History. Visitors watched via live video stream as New Horizons came within 7,767 miles of Pluto at 6:49 a.m. CT. Houston Public Media highlights the significance of the event to our city and to the United States.

As the data from New Horizons continues to stream in over the next few months and areas of Pluto become more visible, scientists will begin the process of identifying and naming features of the planet’s surface. A day after the flyby, with the first close-up images sent by New Horizons, NASA has discovered ice mountains 11,000 feet high, comparable in height to the Rockies, and now we know it snows. Imagine that.

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Ice mountains on Pluto.

At HMNS, the Planetarium has altered its Starry Night Express programming with a new major focus on incoming images and data from New Horizons. Guests can now get updates on the latest information about our famous dwarf planet during Starry Night Express: To Pluto! Visitors to the museum’s George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park on Saturday nights can see several planets with their own eyes and maybe even Pluto through the Gueymard Research Telescope if the night is perfect.

HMNS will host a lecture by Dr. Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute on the exploration of Ceres and Pluto Tuesday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m. Schenk, who is currently assisting NASA with Pluto research and was a participant in the Dawn mission to Vesta in 2011, will review the unprecedented explorations of the inner and outer solar system and share the top questions scientists hope to answer with the data they gather. Tickets $18, members $12.

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