Why Jewelry?4 4 October 2, 2015
Disclaimer: This is mushy.
I went full size with the photos…so just scroll and scroll..all the words are hidden between them.
It is mine and Jewelry’s third anniversary. I’m sitting outside in my yard and considering these last years of 60 hour works weeks followed by 60 hour work weeks, burns and cuts and scrapes, and long quiet days alone in my studio.
At the end of every day I shut down the bench and sit there in my chair awhile. It’s usually dusky outside and I’ll generally drink a glass of water and stare out the window a bit to let my mind come back to itself. When I create, it seems to wander down so many paths. That is my favourite part, when the building starts in the morning and I just let my hands do the things they know to do while my mind weaves a story to tell. In this way…it’s not unlike writing a song where the music and lyrics come all at once, and one informs the other.
But why jewelry, specifically?
There is a crow that sits on top of my chimney in the early morning when I sit outside with a coffee. I can’t see it from where I sit, but I always hear it’s claws making little bell sounds on the metal cap of the chimney. Without fail, it will suddenly swoop off the roof. The sound of the rustle in it’s feathers is the most beautiful thing. That sound is a good way to start the day.
It really comes down to an obsession with beauty. Beauty in all it’s forms. I used to be kind of ashamed of this piece of myself. I considered it to be trite and insignificant. But beauty is the light in the dark, and when I have been in the dark, it has been a constant star. It surprises and delights. It reveals to us something “other”. It inspires and ignites. It can draw us outside ourselves, or knit us tightly to another.
It’s obvious that a gemstone is a beautiful thing. When you hold it in your hand it can cast little slivers of light all over your palm. I’ve held stones and thought about their journey to me…once this stone was in the ground in some far away land, with feet trampling overhead, with communities celebrating, with men going to war. Sometimes it rained and the water seeped into the ground, sometimes nothing happened for centuries…and now I’m holding it in the palm of my hand.
If you think about everything in life that way…you will likely end up in the fetal position in a dark corner.
But, jewelry is where my mind can run fast. There is no audience to please, just a rabbit hole to climb down every morning and see where I end up.
Beauty is the ultimate shape-shifter. It reveals itself differently through every different pair of eyes. It’s in the the raw and unrefined. It’s in the perfect and unblemished. We see it only through our own filter and that filter is made up of every experience we’ve ever had. I don’t try so much to make beauty, but to cultivate a larger understanding of it. It’s about widening the lens, to see more and more of a panorama that goes on forever.
The wonderful thing about the art and craft of jewelry is that it is meant to be beautiful. The wonderful thing about jewelry design is that paper is patient and won’t judge you for a failed attempt. And the history. And the ancient techniques. And the mysteries. And the gold. And the silver. And the sparkle. And the gleam. And the dust and the dirt. And a life of golden threads tied from me to so many people and so many stories.
This is my place in the world.
P.S. If you would like to talk about commissioning a piece, feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org .