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Why I make jewellery #2 ( Sept 2013)

Reason #1: Because everything that’s smaller than us is potentially jewellery waiting to happen...

So, yes, reason number one. The limitless scope of what defines ‘jewellery’. Technically anything that we can hang around ourselves, however fleetingly, can become jewellery. It’s a beautiful and cohesive understanding of the world. It’s also very compulsive and once I began to see everything laid out as necklaces I simply couldn’t stop....

If I’m at the beach I’m fidgeting little arrangements of stones and seaweed into extravagant ‘dress’ necklaces. In the garden (I’m afraid) its flower heads and leaves. I’ve had some of my best times with random, discarded items I’ve found in the street (although that’s generally the best in other countries where other people’s miscellany is fascinating in its difference). And now, with young children, as trips to other countries close down, there’s a whole new world of interesting design puzzles open to me now with the shape shifting ferment of toy build up in my house.

It’s somewhat like that fantasy that certain men have about football: The idea that it’s open to anyone. The story of the poor kid discovered playing in the dusty lot and transformed. And so it is with jewellery. I’ve seen beautiful pieces of work made with twigs, beach plastic, gravel, stones, wax, glass, plastic bowls, buckles, zippers, bottle tops, cardboard, newspapers and so on. You too lowly gravel shall go to the ball.

But transformative it is. Even the act of taking the object out of its context and wondering how to wear it lends a whole new dimension. This change of status is exaggerated further when it is combined with other materials and worn.

It’s also transformative for me. I find it restful to find patterns and potential in the world. Amidst the chaos and loss of all personal space involved with having very young children (not to complain) quietly shuffling twigs into a loop (bracelet!) during a frenetic trip to the park will quieten and refocus me: A much more powerful version of taking a deep breath.

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