Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Inspired by Antiquity

ARANUMARAH, a luxe opera-length piece

  In fact, jewelry comes out of a desire to bring light, sparkle and color to clothing that was mostly dark or neutral colored.  I personally have a bias against most colored clothing and prefer either neutrals or dark tones.

What I'm trying to say is that the bedecking of oneself is an ancient motivation that far outdates the idea of matching colors to clothing and in fact, the rage of loud colored fabrics that are available.
Color in jewelry should create a mood and convey a mystique, not go with your socks.
So while I agree that you might not like red or orange, you might own a piece that has carnelian or red coral in it. You like that kyanite necklace, and kyanite is technically a pastel blue, but I don't think you feel obligated to wear matching pale blue with it.  It looks great with white silk and equally great with blue jeans or black velvet. Most great pieces are like that.  It's true of the creamy pearl and light opalescent elements of Aranumarah too.  The pearls are more saturated shade than ivory, and they stand out -  I wouldn't call it loud, but it is luminous, and long.  It's showy.  It was an expression of joy for me and I love it, but I fully admit it isn't something for every day and every style.  Like most of my pieces, I think it's versatile enough to be worn in a very dressy way but would also be interesting with casual unrefined fabrics.
In fact, I design mainly because I see things I want to put together.  Color is one aspect of what I look at - you as an artist know that there are many other characteristics beyond color in the three dimensional objects in a piece of jewelry. So I probably should apologize for asking you about the colors you wanted.  It IS helpful for me to know what colors you like to wear in clothing, but that doesn't translate directly into what you will like in jewelry.  Except, I agree, in the "not crayon bright" description.  Not many stones or gems are "crayon bright" - although turquoise is, and I absolutely, totally, completely am in love with turquoise.  I get why Tibetans and native Americans think it is sacred and has each stone has a unique personality.  There are pieces of turquoise I own that I just love to touch and caress.  But I know that sounds crazy, and admit I didn't always feel this way.  It was observing the passion of others and experiencing for myself the individuality of stones while working with them that roused this constellation of emotions in me. But as you know, I believe that jewelry is amuletic; it doesn't just sit on your body and passively play well with your clothing.  It is meant to stimulate your emotions, and the emotions of others who see it.  To inspire you to view your world with fascination and awe, and take some of the power of Being with you.

 And also, remember that jewelry is meant to be layered.  Part of the beauty of dressing is to find and devise expressive combinations. These go far beyond color  -  this is your daily opportunity to sing to the world.  

I often make a suite of pieces that go together and are designed around playing with a medley of stones and elements.  That doesn't mean I feel that one person should buy all the pieces and wear them at once, but that there is a possibility that someone will have several and enjoy wearing them together and with other pieces.  So there is a feel to what I design and I'm often rewarded by seeing customers wearing several pieces purchased years apart.
And here's a confession: there are some colors that I don't like, well, one in particular, and I always have to push myself to  use it.  And yet pieces made from elements of this color are often outstanding.  I know for a fact you own one.  And there are other colors I consider a huge challenge and yet I am strangely attracted to beads of those odd colors when I go shopping because I suppose I am innately drawn to a challenge.

Every bead is a challenge.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sari Silk Comfort

I made these simple collars with washed, conditioned and colored recycled silk from lovely Indian saris, yes- worn by Indian women and their children and then reclaimed. Sari silk to me is the essence of wabi-sabi perfection-in- imperfection, recognition that the worn is noble.  With those lovely thoughts, it caresses you.

The stones are little haiku poems: each syllable chosen carefully to fit with the ones preceding and to create a lovely meaning  -  limited, like our lives, by finitude.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Attributes we attribute to those we love. Jewelry is an expression of understanding that inner beauty can be mirrored by wearing little arrangements of earthly nature.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I have been making malas again.  It's a meditative experience, transportive, really.  When a touchstone emerges from a mass of unexplored stones and beads, it becomes the focal bead of the mala, which is meant to begin the contemplative experience with its eloquent tactility.

The beads that will make up the mala speak up for themselves.  Their shapes, their hues ask - insist, sometimes, to be included.  Like poetry of limited syllables, great discipline must be used to balance the mala and hold  its focus.

The mala has a message that is spoken in ancient shapes and materials.  It is a message of spirituality through physicality.

I think that beads were created for this purpose: to be a reminder of something.  To stand as a symbol of a promise or a hope.  And to count -  to impart a number to  remembrance and show devotion through repetition.

Today we have a long history of the making of beads in almost every culture, and many wonderful strands of this history hang by my bead table, waiting to find their calling in a piece that will give them meaning and purpose.

The house mala is meant to be contemplated, like the hand mala, and seen everyday as a matter of conscience.  It can be hung on a door  - inner or outer - on a door knob, or anywhere you pass frequently.

It is also meant to be a protector, or a reminder of protection, or guardianship.  A comfort upon seeing.  It marks this familiar space, where you have peace, and make and take your blessings.  It is an emblem of the boundary between your Inner world and the Outer world.

If it is the last thing you see as you leave home, it reminds you that you have power, and a glowing spirit to take with you, which will be nourished and replenished again when you return.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Neolithic Prom Necklaces

That's what these look like to me.  They are full of raw, chunky rocks, subtly color-differentiated.  Bronze Age pallette studies.

Because there are wooden beads (painted with many many layers of mica dust and matte gel medium for permanence), the necklaces are lighter than they look.
But wearing them, I think one should get the feeling of a Stone Age princess: powerful and mysterious.