Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Left of Center

Time evaporates when I work in my studio. I am suspended in my personal time-warp of activity and fantasy. The repetitive technical tasks ground me and the creativity releases me into a heavenly delight, even for just one moment (until I turn on the news and snap back into reality).

I live in the country now, far from NYC where I was driven, inspired and in a constant state of sensory overload. I worked around the clock, twenty-four seven and had a full social calendar on any given day.

I’ve had many different studios over the years but they were mostly cramped and lacked any direct sunlight which, for a jeweler, is both a necessity and a luxury. I have a studio now that opens out onto a sunny day with cool air and the spring scent of lilacs . Things are very different after 23 years in NYC and my motivations have changed.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who said to me, “You know, Barbara, your work is really different and unique. But perhaps it’s too different. Did you ever think that if it was more center-of-the-road you might sell more?” I smiled and instantly recalled the 23 years of my professional life spent in New York City: walking into stores carrying a heavy showcase on an extremely humid day and showing my wares…or the time that I got my first order from Barney’s, a rather large order for $15,000 and then having to wait 8 months to get paid and fight for payment while they were “restructuring” their business.

In many ways I’m fortunate that I can design anything in the blink of an eye. I can make the original model and have it manufactured. I can make duplicates and market it for a demographic that might bring sales from a wide range of clientele in a mass market.

This is both a blessing and a curse. I only want to isolate and create what I want to create. My reward is that those who know me and are familiar with my work, understand and appreciate this little-known fact. On a daily basis, the truth is painfully revealed on our planet earth and I am feeling it deeply. Although in the big scheme of things I know I am simply making jewelry yet to me it is more akin to art that finds its way into the hearts, souls and bodies of you, my peeps and peers. My prayer is that you will wear my work with this message in mind. If not, I pray that I am bestowed upon (by the Cosmic Joker ) to have enough predilection prior to my demise that I can draw a map to the time capsule where it is buried and where it rests as hidden treasure that is a monument to the times in which it was created.