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Why I make Jewellery #3 Oct 2013

Reason #3: Because jewellery is a tangible thing (that leaves me and leads its own life...)

Frequently, when I’m doing a show and people visit me on the stand I’ll experience a flash of recognition for the necklace, a physical memory of the weather, the studio environment at that time or (most often) the audio book I was listening to when I made it....attached to that will be random bits of information about the person who bought it, and then gradually the whole memory will drop into place. We will often, then, have a conversation where the wearer of the necklace will fill me in on everywhere they’ve taken it and I get a sense of the new layers of association attached to the piece that supercede and separate from mine. Because of the peculiar intersection that takes place in certain pieces of jewellery where it is both a physical, tangible thing and also a potentially sentimental object, it can sometimes feel like something I make with elements, that I can hold, wear, measure and so on transcends all that when it moves out into the world. Whenever I gave talks in the past I always emphasised how much I felt that what made a piece finished was it moving on from the maker....

It brings me great pleasure to see them out and about, as in my world they’ve only existed in the studio space and then disappeared into the void. And lordy, do they get about....They go to India, to Australia, to Italy, to Iceland...they fly, they cruise, they tour, they hike, they go to work, they go on TV, they stunt ride, they get lost and come back, they go out at night......

NONE of which I do these days. In fact, the disparity between their lives and mine appears to continue to grow. I have always felt that the jewellery is having somewhat of a better time than I am. That the pieces are definitely glad to see the back of me and the boring studio and get on with things. The jewellery /jewellery maker divide continues to grow as my life is possibly at its narrowest ever in the close focus zero mobility era of the pre-school years. I love it, but I really, really do none of the above. When someone sent me the posted photograph recently I actually wept with laughter at the idea that at the exact moment that the necklace was hobnobbing with the leader of the free world in Washington I was stationed at the sure start playgroup sandpit in the rain encouragingly making vehicle back up beep beep beep beeps....And later, at the very moment that the necklace linked arms with Michelle, I was coaxing a gasping, sobbing someone off the floor because toast had been cut the wrong way. Which if you’re two, appears to be a cataclysmic thing. So yes, necklaces, live on and live it up for me!

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