Friday, October 30, 2015

New Information about "The Seeker"

After Publishing this post about “The Seeker”, a dear client took it upon herself to research the image in the vintage porcelain. Thankyou, Jane Wood, for your keen detective work!
*Aloysius Gonzag: Born in the castle of Castigione, 1568; died, June 1591.

The eldest of 7 children in a wealthy family in Northern Italy, he was chosen to be trained in the military but received “the calling” to be a priest at a very young age. His family was vehemently opposed to this but when he developed persistent health issues, he was sent to a monastery and furthered his education there. In 1591, a plague broke out in Rome and the Jesuits opened a hospital for the stricken. Aloysius volunteered to work there. Six days before his 23rd Birthday, Aloysius showed the first symptoms of being infected. He recovered, but his health was left worse than ever. He had a vision that he would be dead within the year and told several people that he would die on the Octave of the feast of Corpus Christie. On that very day, he seemed well in the morning but insisted he would die before the day was over. He died just before midnight.
Owing to the manner of his death, he has always been considered a patron saint of plague victims. For his compassion and courage in the face of an incurable disease, Alysius Gonzaga has become the patron both of AIDS sufferers and their caretakers. Aloysius is the patron of Valmontone, a town not far from Rome.

In Art, St. Aloysius is shown as a young man wearing a black cassock and surplice, or as a page. His attributes are a lily, referring to innocence; a cross, referring to piety and sacrifice; a skull, referring to his early death; and a rosary, referring to his devotion.

It is curious to me that this little porcelain was crafted by me, unknowingly into something of a shrine to the testament of knowledge and healing. I, too, feel like I live in an age of many plagues. We seek to heal.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Seeker

"They call me the seeker, I've been searching low and high.  I won't get to get what I'm after until the day I die."  Pete Townsend, 1971

"In Search of":   the constant quest. It is everyone's journey.  I seek the truth.

I am not religious, but I know that I am on a spiritual journey.  I believe everyone is and we seek to know.  The older I get, the less I know. I only know love and beauty are real.

I found this miniature hand-painted porcelain portrait in an antique store in Adamstown, PA in 1994.  At the time, I could barely afford it, but I bought it and tucked it away in a velveteen pouch in one of the drawers of my workbench.  Over the years I'd take it out every so often to touch it's smooth surface and marvel at what I called "the Seeker".  I loved his faint, golden halo and his quest for devotion looking down upon the crown on the table.  I developed a sense of comfort every time I gazed upon the upturned corners of his lips, a slight smile in the calm of his acceptance.

When I first studied the art of jewelry, I became fascinated by the work of Faberge I'd seen in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
I appreciated the craftsmanship and folly of these eggs made in his studio. I longed to hold one in my hands and discover its mystery as I'd peel it open like an intricately wrapped gift.  What an incredible experience  it must have been for the Russian Tsars to have received such a masterpiece from the studios of Faberge. I imagined these artifacts resting on a marble mantelpiece or on an elaborately carved desk, waiting to be touched and discovered like a magical toy.   But I would want to WEAR it and keep it with me always.

It took me almost two years to complete this portraiture locket.  It kept getting more and more complicated by my obsession with hardware and locking mechanisms.  This became a labor of love with my devotion to love and beauty.  It opens, it closes, it locks.  The pearls on the outside of the "ring of fire" are pearls of wisdom.  There is a gold halo because I'm earning mine.  There is a hollow ear because we must listen.  There are 3 golden tears with rubies because each tear we shed has an inner lesson. It is meant to be worn, hung on the wall or sitting on a desk, waiting to be explored and opened like the flower that blooms in the truth we seek.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Armor for the World

When I make a piece of jewelry that someone wants to wear, it feeds my passion to know that I have touched someone in a meaningful way when they choose to wear my work close to their body. It is an intimate experience and it becomes a personal talisman. I have always believed that jewelry is “armor for the world” and we all need a little protection during our travels.

I also have a passion for fashion. Even though I’m most comfortable wearing black tee shirts and jeans, I have a deep fantasy life where I wear chiffon, brocade, silk and velvet. In my mind, I dress like Brian Jones in the early Rolling Stones.
 There was a time during my life in NYC when the jewelry I made was predominantly inspired by current fashion trends. As time went on, the production schedules and fast-paced social calendars disguised as work took its toll on my spirit, mind and body. I longed for the sustenance provided by nature. Slowly I learned who I was and it became obvious that I had to return to my core and explore the art of my work. That is when I moved upstate closer to nature.  I have never looked back.

As inspiring as it is, living in the country often feels isolating yet that’s where connection comes in: modern connection. The internet is invaluable and keeps me locked into trends and conversation. Recently, on my Facebook page, I was so happy when two friends discussed my work and talent. The conversation took place between an incredible photographer who is also a client and another client who happens to be a very high-profile fashion insider. Their conversation praised my talent, but the fashion insider alluded to the fact that I should be more successful. I wasn’t successful, he hinted, because “she has her own ways of doing things”.

His words stung because it reminded me of another high-profile jewelry editor who, years ago, upon finding out that I was moving out of NYC, shook my hand, looked into my eyes and said: “Call me when you start making jewelry again“. Out of sight out of mind, apparently.

Yes, I have my own way of doing things. I think everyone does. What matters most is following your heart and your dreams. I know jewelry is not brain surgery or rocket fuel, but when we find meaning or joy in even the smallest tasks, it propels us upon our journey. I am interested in your stories and your journeys. Please take me with you. I’m delighted when you do.