A few years ago, I introduced a wonderful line of sculptural earrings at the League of NH Craftsmen’s Annual Fair.
They were BIG. Each set contained multiple examples of my handmade artifacts. Animals (birds, horses, otter, fish, bears), beach drift (pebbles, sea shells) and small “bones”.
Many were asymmetric, too. I loved balancing color and weight, while varying the elements.
People loved them. A few brave souls bought them.
One of my favorite stories was the professional violinist who fell in love with an especially long pair. They would interfere when she played her violin. We spent a good amount of time, trying to brainstorm a solution. Finally she exclaimed, “Oh, what the heck, I’ll wear them when I’m not playing the violin!” And she bought them.
Fellow artist Rosemary Conroy has a pair, too.
But many more languished on my worktable, especially since I couldn’t do the Fair last summer.
I love making them. People love looking at them. They’re expensive, for earrings. What to do???
As always, a customer–and friend–inspired me.
Marcie had me custom-design several pairs of earrings. And here’s the astonishing thing: Marcie doesn’t have pierced ears. Yes, this amazing woman was going to get her ears pierced so she could war these fabulous earrings!
In the end, Marcie decided not to pierce her ears. Did she want to return the earrings, I asked. “Hell, no!” said Marcie (or words to that effect.) She invited me to her home to see what she’d done with them.
She’d set up a small shrine in a special place. Above it was a small wall hanging she purchased from me years ago. Below it, an upright box, filled with small, precious things that held meaning for her.
And hanging in the box were my earrings.
Today I realized that’s what these earrings are for.
Many people tell me they love my jewelry so much, they never take it off. They tell me it’s their favorite piece. They love the stories, too.
But….There are jewelry pieces I make–pieces that really express my inner ancient woman–that you just don’t wear to to the beach, or to work. They are beautiful. They are powerful. But these pieces often don’t make it out of the jewelry box.
So what if the jewelry box…..became a shadow box? What if they’re sold as a unit?
What if the jewelry….is really a sculpture-in-miniature?
What if you could wear it on occasion….and look at it every single day?
What if it made you…and your home….look beautiful?
It’s a good feeling, standing back and taking a new look at these pieces. I feel that this year, they are finally coming into their own. That’s what happens with my artwork. Sometimes the pieces come into the world, and it takes time to realize what their most powerful place in life will be.
For the days you’re feeling your warrior woman self (or just rockin’ the big earring thing), you can wear them out in the world.
And for the days that call for a quieter, more introspective you, well, they can be on display in their own little shadow box.
Enjoy these sculptural earrings!