What does a question like 'is it real?,' really mean to you? To me, it means that any item that you are looking at should never be described based on a figment of someone's imagination. In my view it is critically important to keep the description based on reality. But some people describe jewellery using a term like 'authentic' that may be open to some interpretation, and may depend on your own definition for the word 'authentic'. The question really should be - is it as described? I am always as truthful as possible, with all the jewellery that I describe.
I 'm not a bead snob. Most beads that I encounter are candidates for my designs as long as they;
- are in reasonable condition for what they are,
- are not toxic,
- are not dangerous in any way and
- are not just plain ugly! (In my humble opinion)
I have been known to pair plastic components (really affordable stuff) with diamonds (definitely more expensive stuff) when the result produces a beautiful cohesive whole.
Much like people who are all flash and dash -- those with nothing inside are not the kind of people I like to spend time with. Expensive beads are not always beautiful to me. I really cannot tell you what makes something beautiful or useable to me - all I can say is that I know what I like, when I see it.
I love beads, I love metal work, I love fabrication, I guess I just love making jewellery. It doesn't really matter that I use a simple technique like stringing, or much more demanding multi-step techniques necessary when I decide to create something "complex" like metal fabrication, to create a pendant. I just love to learn new things. One of my biggest challenges is that I often learn more than I have time to perfect, so I keep trying to go back over my notes from classes, taken in earlier years, and spend more time on practising ways to improve each technique. The quality of what I produce is very important to me. It does not matter how lovely or edgy or whatever the piece may be, if my work is sloppy or looks hurried, then I am NOT satisfied. Every thing I produce must be able to stand up to the test of time. I want to make jewellery that will last until your children's grandchildren wear it. (or even longer) I have heard and like the term 'future heirloom' and that works for me.
That is why I am always ready to mix just about anything with anything else --- as long as it results in the creation of a strong and powerful piece.
I am all over the map sometimes - my mind hops from topic to topic, therefore I find it hard to limit myself to one type of jewellery - that is another focus this year - you only ever get really good if you focus on making a lot of something - So I am trying to do a lot (for me, that's 3 pieces) before I am off on another tangent. Constant change is what keeps my life interesting, but practise does makes perfect. It just means that I must work diligently to achieve some kind of a balance in my jewellery life.
While enjoying lunch on the beach yesterday with my husband and some friends, a beach vendor approached our table and showed me a piece of jewellery that really caught me eye - a tooth or tusk shaped pendant made of bone and silver (similar in shape to that of a small dagger). The beach vendor said it was an armadillo tooth. My friend and I never missed a beat - we were engrossed in looking at his wares - we never stopped, to really consider what he had said at the time, and I ended up buying that piece. As soon as the vendor left me with my tooth, my husband asked what it was that I had purchased - an armadillo tooth, I said. He then questioned my sanity in believing the vendor's story. If it really was an armadillo's tooth like he said, then that 3 inch tooth must have belonged to the biggest darn armadillo ever found in Mexico - weighing more than me and standing taller than me (because my biggest tooth is a lot less than 3 inches in length). This is my point - if I encounter a product of some kind, beautifully presented - does the accompanying vendor story really matter? I now am the proud owner of a great looking, tooth/tusk shaped item, from some kind animal (most likely not an armadillo), and I also have a great story to share!
|my "armadillo" tooth|
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