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.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Labels: piece profile