Red-colored heart-shaped object. And it’s not even Valentine’s Day!

Recently, I was at my mom & dad’s house.

This may not seem like a big deal to you but it is a HUGE deal to me!

 

My parents live more than 4,400 miles
(that’s 7,000 km, my European friends) away from me.

So it’s not like I can just hop into my car and arrive at their doorstep on a whim.

 

Seeing as I hadn’t seen my dad in about 5 years (yeah, crazy, I know!) and my mom in over a year, I had decided to spend the entire month of December and the first week of January  at my parents’ house in Chicago.

I even slept in the same bedroom I had when I was between the ages of 7 – 17!

What memories!

 

I started looking through the closet and drawers.

 

Imagine being able to look through your old dressers and closet!

 

 

While you are imagining, I’d like you to imagine something else.

Imagine the excitement of a little girl, rushing to the living room
on December 25th at 6 a.m.,
and discovering a mountain
of colorfully wrapped boxes
under the Christmas tree.

 

That’s exactly how I felt when I opened the dresser drawers.

Where my old stuff used to be.

What I discovered instead were piles of beads and semi-precious stones.

My mom’s stash of beads.

And she said I could keep them!

Oh, the joy!

 

But…

There was a problem.

Keep in mind that after the holidays, I had to fly back to Spain.
Leaving behind cold and dreary  Chicago weather and exchanging it for sunny and warm Spain.
No problem there!

 

So what was the problem?

 

The  dilemma was that I was only allowed 50 lbs. (23 kilos) in my suitcase.

 

Which meant that I had to decide judiciously what I was going to take with me, and what I was to leave behind.

 

Decisions, decisions!

But…

what a FUN decision!

 

I made up my mind to take the pile of coral.

(I also decided to take the pile of turquoise but that is another story. Oh, and the silver. You can bet I didn’t leave behind the sterling silver.)

 

So here it was, sitting on my studio desk back in Spain.

A bright bunch of coral.

Luscious.

And red.

DSCF4263ok (800x600)

 

 

Grab a closer look.

 

coral beads

So I pulled out my jewelry making tray.

And started to play!

Hmmm, what goes with coral?

 

Turquoise goes with coral!

 

 

turquoise with coral

 

And what goes with coral and turquoise?

 

Why, amber and sterling silver do!

 

 

amber, turquoise, and sterling silver

 

 

I played and played.

And here’s what I came up with.

It’s sitting on my studio desk right now.

rough draft of coral and turquoise necklace

So here it is.

The “rough draft” of my coral + turquoise + amber + sterling silver necklace.

“Still not finished?”, you ask.

Yeah….uhhh…

Still not finished.

Heck.

Ran out of jewelry stringing supplies. Bummer. Whatever.

Had to order more supplies.

Still waiting, semi-patiently,  for the order to arrive….

 

You want to see it when it’s done?

What do you think?

Should I re-arrange the beads?

Take out something?

Add something?

Do you ever wear statement necklaces? Yes? No?

 

LET ME know!

Write your opinion & ideas (heck, or just say HI if you can’t think of anything) in the comment section below!

 

thanks <3

 

 

 

 

 

My Dark Soul

These are highly personal pieces that I RARELY show to others.

found object jewelry found object jewelry found object jewelry found object jewelry found object jewelry

These necklaces were made during a time of my life when I was both incredibly happy yet, inexplicably, also struggling with deep personal issues. I was in the midst of questioning society and its rigid rules; my disenchantment with the consumer culture; and the true meaning of money; all while trying to express myself as a female artisan living in the 21st century.

While questioning the meanings of “worthiness”,”value”, and “price”, I purposely chose to work with the following “worthless” bits and pieces that I found:

  • in nature (common pebbles, plant bits, twigs)
  • around the house (man-made things such as clothes pin parts, broken furniture bits, beads & bits from old broken jewelry, snaps from old clothes, old shoe polish, old tins of paint).

I also added a few things I bought (although spent next-to-nothing on): cotton string and cords of woven leather hand-made in Africa.

I assembled these necklaces while words such as “angels”, “goddesses”, “female consciousness”, “anima” were floating around my head.

I had decided to use a gray/silver/black palette so as to suggest oxidized sterling silver (which is far more “valuable” than the worth of my chosen materials).

At the time, I was also working on very brightly colored, more “commercially viable” necklaces, made with “valuable” semi-precious stones. Placed side by side, these dark pieces definitely looked like they had been created by a completely different artisan.

So there I had it: the “valuable” necklaces and the “worthless” necklaces. But the question remained if some of them were more important than others.

I still have no answer.

Perhaps I created the sombre dark souls of my brightly dressed sisters?

If you are an artisan/writer/designer, have you ever made two completely different pieces of your art in the same year?

I’d be interested to know! Please share in the comment section below!