An interesting thing about working in a co-operative studio, and having my work showcased in the adjoining gallery, is sometimes I get requests from clients, whom I never meet. They are essentially complete strangers. I have their names and contact information, but I don't know there faces, and wouldn't, even if I was standing right next to them in a coffee shop.
To think that I have created some intimate jewellery for these unknown people, is quite awing, actually. When I talk about creating jewellery, I'm not talking about things that I've made to put into the showcase, designed for no one in particular. I am talking about pieces that are made while wondering what this person might like, who they are, and why, what I am making will have special meaning to them.
There was one job in particular that I received last year. One of Made You Look's sales staff, Amelia, came to me one day with a job that she thought I might be interested in. She said that a gentleman came in with an envelope full of beach glass. He was hoping to have the colourful pieces turned into a necklace for his wife. It seemed to me that these water worn found objects were quite dear to he and his wife. They were given to me with the instructions "do not drill".
When I opened the envelop I discovered there were about 40 pieces. They ranged in colour and shape. Some where pale, pale, blue, others exotic turquoise, rich emerald greens, and frosty whites. I imagined each piece told a story: a long walk, a sunset, a warm hand, a dazzling smile, a lazy evening, a treasure hunt. Label me a dreamer, because not knowing the story behind these found objects made my imagination work over time, and in turn, that made me care for this process and this piece of jewellery, potentially more so, then if knew where they came from and what they meant.
On the left are photos that document the creation of this necklace and below a photo of the finished piece.
Though many emails have been shared between myself and the couple, who now own this necklace, I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting them in person. When I wrote them to ask if I could share their project on my on blog, I was able to happily discover that my imagination and the truth told a very similar story. I don't know what this couple looks like, but I know if I was to ever, by chance, pass a person wearing this special piece, I would recognize her right away.