Friday, October 30, 2009

All Hail the Queen

Elvedina, thank you for ten years of hard work, love, sweat and tears.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Wolfgang Ring

I made an interpretation of a book necklace with the writing on the edges of the page back in 1995. It ended up looking like a rolodex. It was not a 'commercial success' but I really liked it. One day while playing around I tried the idea in a ring. It was bold--it reminded me of a movable Stonehenge!

The Wolfgang has been one of our most popular designs ever since (Ellen DeGeneres even has hers in 18k.) I have made a lot of mistakes and unpopular pieces in order to find the one with the perfect pitch.

Keep not standing

fixed and rooted.

Briskly venture,

briskly roam.


Evolution of Photo Pieces

In 1989 I had just discovered the work of French artist Christian Boltanski and his use of faces, mainly children in reverential and church-like settings. Though his work has a darkness, this ouvre inspired me to want to use photographs in my work. Jewelry became a new extension of my creative expression.

I incorporated miniature nails (from the train store), tiny grey feathers, insect wings and locks of my own hair. Looking back I think I was rebelling against the upbeat, cheerful art jewelry I was seeing in museum stores and boutiques. These pieces were highly personal.

The Wink necklace has been in our collection for nearly 14 years.

Over time the centerpiece became a singular tiny child's image from the turn of the century. I would say it represented potential and hopefulness, a good luck charm similar to a medal with a saint's image. The addition of Rilke poetry added a depth combined with the mysterious, sweet image.

Gold leaf gave the photos an almost religious aura.

My current picture pieces have evolved and are now exclusively designed to feature custom photos, my own pictures of William and those of clients. They have always been a quiet side to my main collection but now they have become much more important to me. They are personal amulets that hold the image in a point in time. My Fuentes holds Will exactly at age 9 months-- documenting a moment. The picture from childhood captures a time of pure potential and joy--it captures our feelings as well. This time-capsule from father to the mother, friend to friend, or to yourself holds a piece of imagination and of inspiration....

Through The Looking Glass

A cast branch from a miniature rose bush became a looking glass about 15 years ago. One has to be very careful when picking it up to avoid the sharp thorns and I have noticed that this creates a tension when using it to read. I have always thought that reading the poems from our pieces cause a slowing down necessary to really hear the words.

The Ildiko necklace from the 20th Anniversary Collection was inspired by this piece after one of our dear customers, Mona Helen, asked me to make a magnifying glass she could wear.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happiest Accident

Just now while listening to the Vertigo soundtrack I managed to knock over a few bins from my shelf. 4 leather bracelets tumbled out and landed in front of me right at the music's crescendo. I was giddy, you see, because I do not really remember making them. It was way back when we were first playing around with leather...and these are so now and wow. The Gods of Bijoux are telling me I must bring back the large leather bangle with a Wienar Werkstatte twist and I should listen.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wilton Plus Rochelle

The new jewelry book just arrived in the studio. Who's brilliant idea was it to use metal filings as the background? And the pieces of mine that Judy Collinson, Barneys GMM, hand picked are complete opposites. I would never have put them next to each other...and would never have mussed up the chains like that either--very fresh.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book of Elements

This book was designed in 1996 after having made several very detailed and whimsical book necklaces and the words inspired the design completely. I engraved so many of these over the years. It talks about a warrior passing through adversity and I appreciate that the warrior is referred to as 'she'.

They were careful as someone crossing an iced-over stream. Alert as a warrior in enemy territory. Courteous as a guest. Fluid as melting ice. Shapable as a block of wood. Receptive as a valley. Clear as a glass of water. Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself? The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment. Not seeking, not expecting, she is present, and can welcome all things.

-Lao Tzu
(translated by Stephen Mitchell)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Full Glitz in the Studio

My BFF Michael presented me with a very special Oscar De La Renta work apron today--no telling where he got it. It is the same print that Anna Wintour is wearing in the new documentary The September Issue. Michael said I am a Dries-Oscar-Lanvin rarely happens that I am in Full Glitz in the studio.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Don't Bite the Gold

When I was a little girl I heard somoeone say if you bit a piece of gold and it dented that meant it was real! Mysteriously, there are tiny bite marks on all my mom's jewelry from the 70's era. I have stopped biting jewelry and we have a much better system here for making sure ours is 18k. I am working on lockets in both silver and gold versions...incorporating colored gems...with a few hidden bite marks just for fun...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My New Favorite Designer

3000 B.C. gold, agate, carnelian, jasper and marble.

From the book Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur. In '98 I went to this show in NY at the Morgan Library and now I am giong back and really looking at the pieces with fresh eyes. This piece in particular is so modern feeling that it is stiking. They used a great deal of lapis with gold and carnelian which I have never been a huge fan of until now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gift From Darby

This morning Darby came to my design studio and held out her hand with a surprise inside. "I don't know what this is but I thought you would like it!" Right away I knew it was an antique money clip with my son's name so beautifully engraved on the front. I just love it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Janet K. on Bahktli, aka "Bella"

After being away for two years to take care of her two young girls, Bella and her upbeat attitude, are back at Jeanine Payer. Her favorite piece is the Edmond. She enjoys the process the most, beginning with the cleaning of the casting, ending with soldering the jumprings and antiquing them. She brings the piece to its final stage for the engravers.

Today she is working on the Billie necklace and I caught her soldering one of the jumprings to the chain. She is currently eyeing the Fabienne two-tone earrings which she plans to get for herself as her next piece. Bella is famous around here for her keen eye for both antiquing the poetry and hand-polishing.

-Janet K.