They work, drive carpool, serve dinner
and they create amazing works of art.
BY ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM
issy Spickler looks like she means
Her snappy outfit coordinates
head to toe. Her short hair is perfectly in
place. She looks like the kind of person you
would go to for financial advice — which is
exactly what she offers, as a stockbroker for
But not all the time.
There is a wickedly funny side to Spickler,
and an artistic one, as well. She takes pho-
tos. Some are montages of her sons — as
little boys, teens and young men. Others
show the beauty of nature: a bee sipping
nectar from a flower so vibrantly purple it
makes you catch your breath.
Her friends have viewed these pictures
before, but they are still taken aback when
they see them again.
"This is beautiful," whispers Robin Levine,
holding the bee photo.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRETT MOUNTAIN
"Aren't these women amazing?" Spickler
says. "I mean I don't have any real talent.
But look at them."
Missy Spickler, Suzy Friedman, Barbara
Bonin, Carol Rock and Robin Levine are
friends who met through a circuitous route.
Levine and Rock knew each other thanks to
a children's playgroup. Friedman and Rock
both have daughters who are friends, and
Spickler is the Rock family's stockbroker.
Bonin and Rock met when the latter was
having work done on her house. "She and I
have the same kind of house and I was plan-
ning a renovation," Rock explains. "So I just
walked up to her home one day [though they
had never met] and said, 'Can I look at your
staircase?' We've been friends ever since."
They're also all moms and artists who cre-
ate art for the love of it — not for the money.
"Do this as a business?" Friedman says.
"We're too busy carpooling!"
The artists: Carol Rock, Robin Levine, Missy Spickler,
Barbara Bonin and Suzy Friedman.
Name: Barbara Bonin
Residence: West Bloomfield
Family: Husband, Jeffrey; son. Sam. 15
"When I was little, I never played with dolls. I collected rocks and fossils," Bonin says. She
did love jewelry, though, and antiques. "I used to secretly go out and antique, after telling
my mother I was going to the mall." It was just too strange for most people, she explains.
What teen wants to hang out at antiques shops?
Bonin later attended art school, majoring in jewelry design, though much of what she does
today is self-taught.
After seeing jewelry a friend had created and realizing, "I could do that," Bonin decided
to make her own necklaces.
She favors earth tones — light corals, blues the color of the deep end of the ocean,
turquoise — and many tiny fresh-water pearls. It takes between one and four hours to make
a necklace, and "there are always hidden headaches," like the one pearl with a poor luster
that will have to come off before the piece can be called finished.
Borin's necklaces usually comprise a series of multicolored beads with an ornament. any-
thing from a cameo to a locket to a piece of Bakelite that used to be part of a larger-than-life
earring. All together, her collection is like a jewelry box that would please any woman
because there's such an array: modern and vintage, delicate and bold, bright and quiet.
Some of the items came from a recent shopping trip she took with her sister, also an
antiques buff. "We just went away for three days," she says. "We got up early and antiqued
every day." Others are from bead shows, garage sales, craft shops.
Everything is kept in a dresser Bonin had when she was a child. When she opens a draw-
er, starting work on a piece, she chooses an item for its look, of course, but also for its feel.
"This work is very tactile," she says. "You have to touch things."
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