One of my favorite comments I receive at craft shows is that my work is different. Considering the number of jewelers out there, this feels like quite an accomplishment. But what makes me unique?
I don’t work with gold. I do work with base metals. My gemstones aren’t precious, but they are unusual. For the most part, I even choose each one individually and many times design a piece around a particular stone. I like to take materials that are considered “base” and transform them into something precious.
For the most part my pieces are made completely by me. I design it, I cut and form the metal, I combine the different elements, and I finish it. I don’t cut my own gems and I occasionally will use bought findings or chains to keep the price down on some of my smaller pieces. But I mostly try to make the entire piece myself. The process of making is important to me and integral to my pieces. I like to deconstruct and reassemble. I like using cold connections to show how my work is put together. My work isn’t about hiding the handwork, but showcasing it.
Yes, I make big, huge, hunkin’ pieces of jewelry. Larger than most. Yet, every single piece is wearable – I make sure of it. The muted tones, darkened metal, and rough textures help to lessen the impact of the size of my work. My pieces radiate power in a subtle way. They’re even lighter than they appear. You don’t need a lot of shiny metal and sparkly gems to show the world how powerful you are.
You might argue that there are people out there doing each of these things. But are they doing all of them? Do they have a unified voice in there work? (i.e. does it all look like it was made by the same person) Do they keep their designs evolving?