The idea of jewellery means different things to different people. Sometimes it is cultural or religious, other times a status symbol, a fashion accessory, or a piece of art. I’ve had the opportunity to work in different segments of the jewellery industry and to come to understand a little bit about how different people perceive jewellery. I worked for a large U.S. manufacturer/wholesaler, I’ve worked in a metal art studio as an artist in residence at the Harbourfront Centre, I used to manage a mass-produced silver jewellery store, I am currently a goldsmith that focuses on custom work and creating my own jewellery lines, and I was, originally, a consumer with no experience with jewellery. In each of these roles I had to think of jewellery very differently.
To some people, jewellery is an afterthought, a bit of sparkle to match their dress. To others, it is an important decision, something that they will wear everyday, and that needs to describe their personality. No detail is too small or unimportant. Some artists like to push boundaries by making sculptural pieces that can barely be worn on the body. It is interesting to me to make jewellery that is functional but does not look conventional. I like when something looks like it is precariously perched on the finger knowing that is it secure. I also like to see how people react. Sometimes it makes complete sense to a person that they are looking at a ring and how it should be worn. Other times people are confused and ask me what they are looking at and how it should be worn.
|Anticlastic ring with hidden stone. By Amanda Henderson|
Lately I have been having fun with the notion of (un)conventional jewellery, by making pieces that look like rings that you might find in a big box jewellery store, but… well, they aren’t. They are inspired by common diamond ring styles, but without the diamonds. Take a look.
|Left to right: Three rose ring, Rose halo ring, Rose cluster ring|
What does jewellery mean to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.