There is an undeniable romance that informs many of my jewelry designs: the sequined and delicate weave of the Ceres bracelet, the understated metallic braid and silk fringe on the Brigantia, the opalescent, sumptuous beading of the Clio earrings. These details subtly echo the aesthetic of bygone eras, in which fine products and fashion were handmade and attention to detail was the defining mark of quality. We see these traits in Victorian design and Edwardian fashion. The mansions of the Gilded Age are a case study in ornate, hand-made finery, as is the work of great jewelers throughout the ages.
There isn’t a way to replicate that look and feel without the human touch. Mechanization yields precision and uniformity, while we mortals leave our marks in the irregularities and variations visible in the objects we handcraft. It is the very investment of an artisan’s time, skill and effort that we cherish in those pieces, and it is in their imperfections that we see their makers’ marks.
I am dedicated to handcrafting as an art, a tradition, and a distinctly human phenomenon. But along with the romance and tradition of the handmade, I infuse my pieces with another equally important aesthetic: modernity. In scale, heft and color, mine is a collection of statement pieces, proclamations of one’s presence. Far from shy and retiring, as a Victorian woman may have been, they exude a confidence, sometimes subtle, sometimes less so. Most are named for goddesses – beneficent or menacing or both, but all of them powerful. My Dalia bracelet is named for the Lithuanian goddess of fate, who determines each human’s material fortunes (and misfortunes). My Selene necklace is named for the Greek moon goddess, who rides her chariot of darkness across the sky to mark the day’s end.
The German goddess Holda, for whom I have named the ethereal bracelet, is particularly noteworthy. A shapeshifter, she plays so many roles in the lives of mortals – goddess of weaving and flax, ruler of the wild hunt, protector of children, mistress of winter – that we can safely say she is, in a phrase, whatever she wants to be.
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