It was the 1980’s and I was still in college working in studio arts with my major in painting and art history as minor. Like many young artists I was dabbling in as many mediums as I could gain access to. The one thing that was clearly becoming an obsession was making these one-of-a-kind “jewelry” pieces that I did in my spare time. I had started going to the local flea markets in my late teens to pursue collecting pocket watches, tin-types, and countless curiosities that would be re-purposed into my art and jewelry. So I had quite a treasure trove to pick from for resources.
It was at the age of 18 that I started selling my earliest jewelry. 1983. A friend who lived in N.Y.C acted as a rep and landed me an order with a store called ‘Unique New York’ in L.A. Then another friend who was at R.I.S.D in Providence landed me a gallery order there. I really hadn’t the faintest desire to sell, it was only with arm yanking encouragement that I followed through with those accounts. I was actually far too busy with school and concerned with grades than of turning my jewelry into money. It wasn’t until I was 22 that I was bowled over by an invitation to be in a craft exhibit at the Fitchburg Art Museum, that made me start to take the whole hobby more serious. By then I had been showing at the prestigious ‘Institute of Contemporary Art’ in Boston and the ‘Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. Yet to graduate with my BFA, my passion for making ‘art ‘ jewelry was as strong as the agony I went through struggling to finish my painting thesis. I clearly had found my true calling, hours spent making these pieces melted away effortlessly, it was the epitome of ’Flow’. It was the antidote to the rigorous effort I endured as a painter, a rewarding pleasure to engage in . It was not until 1992 that I ventured to the metal-smithing realm, a turn for the better as far as I am concerned. The great irony is that from that date on I never made brooches, well, maybe a handful but the 80′s were the decade of the brooch. We wore them like badges of honor or courage. The larger the better, on the lapel of your thrift store over coat, at the top of your buttoned up oxford shirt. I wince to think of it now, like most of the 80′s style that has unfortunately crept into the imaginations of todays youth. I have given my warning to as many as I can that they too will cringe in memory of their fashion indiscretions. Yet, my elders tried to warn me then, but did I listen ?
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.