Thursday, May 22, 2014

'Conversations with Worn Objects' blog series- Jennifer

This is the fifth interview in my series, Conversations with Worn Objects.

This is a series about tracing the life of objects once they have left my studio, so I can revisit and reflect on them from the perspective of the wearer.

1. Why did you choose this particular piece of jewellery?

I went to see Katherine to commission a ring to wear every day. I had a ring with three sapphires and some small diamonds from India that I was sentimentally attached to and I wanted to make use of the stones. I was vague about what I wanted and Katherine was patient as we worked through what I liked. I really liked the idea of the wonky wedder. For me, perfection has always meant balance and symmetry but the earthiness of her fluid lines and the originality of her work spoke to me in such a personal way. This was a big change for me.  

We spent quite a bit of time together and I really could not see the finished ring in my head so I was nervous about what it would look like. I think she was nervous too and I maybe a little disappointed with my initial reaction when she gave it to me. She read me very well though and the truth is I am in love with it and cannot imagine not wearing it everyday. I feel for it on my finger, I twist it around, I look at it and I put up to the light.  I reach for it during the day and night.

While I was looking at different models of rings I was irresistibly drawn to a citrine solitaire ring - it had chosen me. I had no choice I had to have it so I asked her if she could make it for me. The colour is like liquid gold from the sun. I don't wear them at the same time but I always have one on. Now I have two rings to choose from - decisions, decisions.

2. Tell me about the experience of wearing this piece?

The ring that I had commissioned reminds me of very happy times and I wear it most of the time. I have it on now. I feel the ring and move it up and down my finger as I am writing and I write most days. So as I sit at my desk I imagine Katherine at her desk as she patiently worked on my ring, thinking about me and if I would like it. Shape, scrape, polish, ponder at her desk. I can feel her energy through this ring. I sit at my desk today near the window and watch the autumn sunshine hit the diamonds and it sparkles in the light. Katherine added a small citrine and it lifted the sapphires out of the deep dark blue into the light.

My citrine ring is my precious. It is on my bedside table in a small crystal bowl where it waits to be chosen. I wear it for special occasions and then sometimes I wear it to work if I need a positive energy boost. To me it says dark or negative forces don't mess with me, I am only positive.

3. What story does the jewellery piece tell, what is its significance to you?

My commissioned ring tells the story of far away places and times. The setting makes the stones sparkle like the stars in the sky and the citrine is yellow like the desert sands of Rajasthan. The small diamonds remind of a room in the Jaipur Palace. It was pitch black, a match was struck and tiny stars sparkled all over the ceiling. This was where the maharajah took the maharani and if he had been there that day he could have taken me as well.

My precious sings such a happy song, always hopeful. Will she chose me today?

4. What about my practice drew you to commission your piece?

Katherine and I are bound by ancient family blood from County Antrim, Ireland and although we had lost touch I was aware that she was designing and making beautiful jewellery.  I wanted something to connect me with Katherine and I also wanted something that was made just for me-bespoke.
When I wear her rings I can see her patiently working over them, shaping them, putting them into the light, examining her work. I can see her thinking about them and carefully placing the stones. I imagine her fingers on them and the care and creativity that goes into everything she makes.
I think about Katherine at her desk making this for me – just for me. So I feel cherished that she would do this for me and so so lucky.