Thursday, December 18, 2008

8th Day of Christmas Feature on Allison

I made the Allison in 2002 and was inspired by the shapes and curves on drawer handles on Japanese cabinetry. I also wanted to make a necklace that didn't hang from the chain like an ordinary pendant.

I wore this necklace during what proved to be the most stressful time of my professional life. I could literally feel the words, and they helped to sustain me during that difficult time. I had gone to court to defend my designs against being knocked off, and ended up in a protracted court proceeding, actually held in the same room where Martha Stewart was tried.....a place loaded with painful vibrations and implications, but a place where I learned that I could get through most anything. Have you ever been knocked off? It is a shocking feeling to see your own ideas, and in my case, designs, literally taken and appropriated by someone else. I did learn a lot, not only about what it means to go through a real 'trial', but about what it feels like to stand up and do the right thing, even if it is difficult, and even if the risk is great. I wore the Allison every day for nine days, and it served me well, reminding me to remain strong.

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I am proud to have stood my ground and represented myself and all the other artists who are routinely knocked off by those less creative and original. I could control my own actions, but not the outcome, and I lost the case but kept my integrity. I came away from the experience with a deeper understanding of the concept of attachment and the belief that my creative energies are my own; they are the most precious gift, and they can never be knocked off. And I also got a full blooded experience with the notion of "that which does not kill me makes me stronger." And I really do get the term, "don't make a federal case out of it."

It was because of this experience that I can relate to and understand the stories I hear about the talismanic power of jewelry, the way in which beautiful things and powerful words become touchstones that bring us comfort, hope and strength in difficult times, and in happy ones too. The wedding ring, the commemorative medal, the heirloom pin that has been in the family for so long...these things connect us to each other and to our deeper selves. The Allison did this for me every time I touched it and remembered its message of strength and hope.


  1. Dear Jeanine,

    Thank you so much for sharing that story, it resonates. I love reading about the history of your pieces; they give me an even stronger, indelible connection to pieces I already admire.

    Peace to you & yours this holiday season.


  2. I am so excited by this promotion! My daughter and I love your stuff, come to your store when we are in S.F. and have a whole "wish list" of items we want.
    Here is my question...when you click on the item and it is gone, does that mean I am out of luck for the day? I was foolishly "thinking over" my Allison purchase and seem to have missed the boat. So I just want to know how fast I have to act the next time there is something I want! Looking forward to tomorrow's item, I guess!

  3. Clicked on the website-item unavailable!

  4. I was one of the early bird's that saw the Allison special at 12:30 this morning. I was looking for something meaningful to give to my sister who is going through a tough time in her marriage. This necklace is just perfect! I'm going to give a copy of your blog and the full poem too. Thank you!

  5. This necklace just really strikes me. It has ever since I first saw it. I've been going through a rough time for a couple years now with ongoing medical problems that required me to withdraw from professional school and have also caused me to be unable to work. It has been very frustrating. Even though I don't own the necklace, the necklace & its words have resonated with me, and I try to draw upon that when I am having a particularly bad day or going through a more difficult time period. I hope to own the necklace someday, whether things are still not going well & I can draw further strength from it, or if things have improved & the necklace is a reminder of what I have gone through, how much better things are, and hopefully how I can survive difficult times & come out okay, or maybe even better & stronger.

    All the best to you & yours, and much success with your jewelry. I have been an admirer of your work for perhaps 10+ years? Even in high school, I was drawn to it, and I still love it. Funny how we just innately know what speaks to us, even at a younger age. Anyway, have a very good end of the summer.

    Jennifer A.