Black neoprene dress Arethe Stolkholm
In interviews people always ask the question, “Name one thing that people might not know about you?” What you may not know about me, because aside from earrings I do not wear it often, is that I have always loved jewelry, most specifically silver jewelry. My mother, who before having me traveled extensively through Latin America, had a beautiful collection of Mexican silver. As a child having the treat of foraging through her jewelry box, I would go directly to the silver, bypassing gold and more precious stones as being uninteresting. Perhaps I always experienced silver jewelry as more sculptural and therefore more animated and alive. That being said, starting as a teenager I started collecting silver jewelry; some given to me by my mother and other relatives and some being purchased by me. My hunt for unique silver led me to flea markets and craft shows, the Southwest and over to Europe where I discovered Georg Jensen. In this process I met talented silversmiths, some of whom created unique pieces (especially rings) just for me. Sometimes I would daydream about designing and making my own pieces. Along the way of course when you deal in silver you become knowledgeable about stones of the non-precious variety. By the time I hit 50 I had an incredible collection of silver earrings, rings, cuffs and pendants.
While it was a momentous decade in many ways, such as finishing my Ph.D, my daughter getting married and my father passing away, it was also the decade where in all my years of living and working in the city, I was the victim of a crime. Never before, never since. Our loft was broken into on Christmas day while we were away and though we lost some electronics the biggest loss for me was my silver collection. Irreplaceable. Never recovered.
After some time, in a burst of optimism and inspiration I decided to take a course in jewelry fabrication at FIT and perhaps re(vision) my silver collection and create my own. Though I learned the range of basic skills such as sawing, filing, soldering, drilling and stone setting, I also came to understand that attaining the vision I held in my mind would take days and years of practice (as does any skill) and that given my life circumstances was not something I could do easily. So it became a dream deferred. And like you do after the end of a love affair I kept silver at a distance.
Several months ago you may have noticed I started wearing silver again. First a ring, then some bracelets and a pair of sparkling earrings. By way of the magic Accidental Icon has brought to my life, I was contacted by a woman who somehow knew that if we met, talked and got to know each other, there was a way to realize a dream. That if we worked together and brought both our vision and skill to a project that I could hang on to a dream. So my muse and angel Elena Kriegner suggested rekindling my affair with silver and proposed that we would design and make a piece for the “Woman Who”. A woman who might hang on to a dream no matter what.
I missed most my silver chains and pendants which I used to layer with abandon. First Elena sat me down with a pencil and paper. Then boxes and boxes of colorful stones of different sizes and shapes appeared. Then a seat at a jewelers bench with a piece of silver where she had me hammer, bend, forge and shape a sculptural charm, albeit somewhat crude. It disappeared into her magical hands and became what I had seen it could be in my mind though my hands could not quite get us there. Next I had to cut some silver wire that through Elena became the open cage design I have always wanted to create for a pendant so I could always touch the stone. In the photo above and below there is a dream realized.
When I wear this I remember first that I am the “Woman Who” . The “Woman Who” has unfinished business, is able to express uncertainties and fears and is open to serendipity, letting go and accidental occurrences. I also remember that there will always be someone to help you find a way to realize a dream. Elena and I are so happy to share our dream with you by giving you the opportunity to design your very own “Woman Who” pendant. You can pick your own stone color and shape, let me chose it for you after telling me about your dream, or choose from some we have already created. Join a community of women who share and support the realization of dreams deferred. For more information email me and Elena at firstname.lastname@example.org.