*Please note that this section is in the process of being edited and updated, hence the reference to my old shop motto instead of the current one.
I. Because They’re Pretty: A Love Story
When I was a kid, every day when I came in from playing outside, my mother would have to turn my pockets inside out, or risk my new-found treasures clanking through her washing machine later.
“Why do you want to keep these?,” she’d ask as she pulled rocks of all shapes and colors from my pants and jacket.
“Because they’re pretty,” I told her every time.
My love affair with collecting rocks began before I can remember. As the piles built up, so did my knowledge. At a very young age I could identify a wide variety of rocks and minerals, and had begun to develop an understanding of their metaphysical and healing characteristics. On every trip to the witch shops and museums of Salem, Mass., at every beach and park, I’d collect more and learn more. Turquoise quickly became my favorite stone, and thus began my interest in silver and stone jewelry.
Although metalsmithing was a long way off, I learned other methods of jewelry making the second I could craft. Play-Doh rings forced upon family members developed into friendship bracelets made at camp, which gave way to hemp or embroidery floss jewelry woven around rocks and shells. I always wanted to move forward, but never quite knew how. So I continued to collect silver and stone jewelry and study rocks.
II. Knowledge as Inspiration
In 2008, I began my freshman year as the first person in my family to go to college. I studied everything from witchcraft to French New Wave film, and semiotic theory to the philosophy of horror, but I focused on my other lifelong love besides rocks and jewelry: books. I took survey courses and graduate level seminars in all kinds of literature, including mythology, mythemesis and mythopoetics, British Romanticism, and literary theory, and entire courses dedicated to single authors such as Shakespeare, Faulkner, and Joyce. I ultimately majored in Modernist Literature, in love with its mantra of “make it new”, its disregard for traditional rules, and embedding of myth and foreign languages into poetic texts.
After four years of reading, writing, and all-nighters, combined with researching metalsmithing and still making non-metal jewelry and collecting rocks, I graduated with my BA and a white hot motivation to become a jeweler. I spent every cent of my graduation money on a torch, tools, and supplies, and put what I had taught myself to use.
III. Adorn Your Body // Speak Your Soul
As I made jewelry, it became apparent that my creative vision was driven by my other interests, especially my literary and mythological background and stone knowledge. As a soliloquy (a character speaking their mind alone on the stage) allows a character to express themselves for their own satisfaction, yet serves the second purpose of communicating to an audience, so does my jewelry encapsulate parts of me and convey them to those who view and wear my jewelry. Each piece is inspired by a novel, poem, myth, stone information, ancient language or practice, or another facet of my interests, and these contexts are shared in the description of each piece in the hope that they will resonate with others and become part of their reasons for wearing my work.
My jewelry is highly symbolic and conceptual, deeply situated in context and purpose, because I believe that jewelry should be a conscious choice beyond aesthetic satisfaction. It should adorn the body, but also speak the soul of the maker and the wearer, and express some deeper part of ourselves. My goal is to synthesize the artistic and the intellectual to make jewelry that serves this dual purpose.
IV. The Process & The Point
With that mission in mind, I create pieces or collections around a particular concept. Each piece is constructed from scratch, using high quality natural stones and metals, small hand tools, and a propane/oxygen torch. Nothing is cast, and no pre-made components are used.
My pieces are my soliloquy, extending my knowledge, passions, and aesthetics to the world. Each piece I create is a reflection of some aspect of myself. I can only hope that those who buy my pieces feel that they express some deeper part of themselves as well, and in wearing my jewelry are able to find that delicate balance between satisfying their aesthetic tastes and their intellect, between adorning the body and speaking the soul.