Funny how life works – you get inspired by something, a book, music, a piece of jewelry, a conversation, something delicious, a place…and you think AHA! That’s what I want to do with my life, it’s going to be wonderful. The more you work and learn and connect and strive, the more knowledgeable, professional and experienced you become. You also discover a flip side, the underbelly of the profession, or craft. It has never ceased to amaze me that even in mundane, milquetoast work, there is a jockeying for position, even sabotage. Petty nonsense that makes one wonder about human nature.
Last year I decided to resurrect my jewelry career. My Aunt Lydia’s death the year before made me reevaluate many things, including that I needed to do something else. To quote Leonard Cohen (from an interview): “In your work, you locate your self respect”. I love to get lost in the pieces, in the craft, in the symbols of love, wealth, healing and spirituality. I love the gemstones, and I like to pay attention to the details. Like the derriere. The underbelly. I want my underbellies to be beautiful. Practical, because they make the foundation and support the piece, but still have their own beauty.
Originally I would put a circle in the back, to let light through, and to keep earrings light, I also tried using wire as a bezel base:
One of the best compliments I have ever received came in an email from Mary last week:
“I am LOVING your pieces. They’re lightweight, beautifully made, one-of-a-kind, elegant and tasteful, but just a tiny bit whimsical. The wirework is delicate and lovely and they’re solidly constructed pieces, Love how the stones are set – both the front view AND how they’re supported in back. In an odd way, you might even be tempted to wear them reversed so the back shows – because that’s a gorgeous, solid, statement-kind of construction they have.”
Mary isn’t just a “buyer” of my work, I would put her in the “collector” category, and I am very flattered that she’s “collecting” me! Merci Mary!
I have always thought that the “underside” of things was important, I want to show that there can be no hidden agendas, no dark seamy surprises. The way you thought life would be when you were young and naive. Unfortunately, I am guilty of neglecting to photograph the unseen side of things very often, and I cannot show you Mary’s pieces, but I am thrilled that they have found a good home.
There is nothing more disappointing than picking up a piece of jewelry or a beautiful dress or, anything really, and finding the innards were dismissed as not important.
I am delighted that handmade jewelry is becoming sought after again. I also found it amusing (and sad) to read an interview in a jewelry trade magazine: An owner of a supply company boasting that his company had machines & equipment “that can make jewelry look handmade”. I wonder what the underbellies look like?
Shameless plug: You can check out the FRONT of some of these pieces in my etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LedaJewelCo
A very thoughtful article.
Thank you Anne.