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Note from Jeanne Seehaver at ArtFest Fort Myers:

I just wanted to let you know, in case you had not heard, that Barbara Cook passed away at the end of October (bone cancer).  She was a wonderful, caring woman who also created the most fabulous jewelry and we were fortunate to have her with us at ArtFest Fort Myers numerous times, over the years. She will be missed and remembered by her many friends and patrons, who grieve with her daughter.

I didn't know Barbara but an online search shows she was still participating in art fairs this fall. Artists are tough!

Can anyone contribute more information?

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If it's the same Barbara Cook, I have her business card with bio and picture of her on it. I scanned her jury slides a few years ago.

Larry Berman

If that is so, Larry, here is an amazing article about her from the ETC newsletter in Spring 2005:

Board Spotlight: Barbara Cook
Meeting Barbara Cook is like being swirled in gusts of positive energy, enthusiasm, and optimism. ETC’s founder, Pamela Carson, got caught up in Barbara’s spell, and from their friendship came much of what ETC is today.

Pamela and Barbara met through a Nepali doctor, who knew both women loved Nepal and wanted to make a difference. After talking on the phone with Pamela about their shared hopes, they planned to travel together to Kathmandu.
In the end, that momentous 1991 meeting took place in an inauspicious venue: a ladies room in the Bangkok airport, where Pamela and Barbara talked about Nepal, their plans, and the future they would forge together. In the years since, Bar- bara has taken the leaps of faith that brought ETC from a small sponsorship program to one of the most-respected small NGOs in Nepal today.
In ETC’s early days, Barbara and Pamela worked day and night to ensure sponsored students were well cared for. Barbara negotiated with school directors, shopped with children for school sup- plies, and acted as troubleshooter extraordinaire.
As ETC grew, Barbara was instrumental in assembling a bright, committed Nepali staff. She recalls when Raju Dhamala, currently ETC’s Senior Administrative Officer, first considered working for the organization as an accountant. "I knew he was the right person," she says. "He was well trained in accounting from working in the hotel industry, but wanted a position where he could make a difference in his country."
Barbara is a silversmith who travels the world in search of unique stones that she incorporates into her beautiful designs. She works closely with Nepali craftsmen who, for generations, have fashioned wonderful jewelry.
Board Secretary Dan Sisler says that Barbara, an ETC Board member since 2000, “has the vision to develop a successful program of assistance. She also has the insight and humanity to anticipate how that program will enhance the lives of impoverished Nepali women and children.”

From her business card

Barbara Cook began designing handcrafted jewelry as a university art student in Heidelberg, Germany in 1970. After her fine arts degree she returned to the US to further her studies in San Francisco under the world renowned metal smith/engraver Roberto Garcia of Buenos Aires. It was the beginning of her love of hand-fabrication in silver. He taught her the old fashioned way of using third world techniques of rolling silver in a mill and drawing wire through a plate to acquire the true feel of the metal itself.

Twenty years later she would once again travel afar to the tiny kingdom of Nepal and onto India to study with two of the great masters learning techniques handed down through families for generations. Through their personal guidance for more than fourteen years she has achieved acclaimed world-wide recognition for her work using the difficult metal techniques of piercing, etching, engraving and die work and inlaid filigree.

Her limited edition and more often one-of-a-kind designs are today a magical blend of intricate metal work and unique collectible pieces influenced by the significance of Indian and Nepali tradition and heritage.

Larry Berman


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