Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nothing Lasts, Nothing Is Finished, And Nothing Is Perfect.

From top to bottom: Padova, Venice, Rome

The idea that a poem is essentially a 'private experience' informs the scale of what I make and how I make it. The fine line quality of the engraving as well as the pieces being done by different hands, at different times, with vigilant care here in our studio, adds a wabi-sabi sensibility that creates a perfect platform for the words. Richard Powell says that wabi-sabi "nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."

Recently I was struck by an image on the The Sartorialist of a young Italian woman who was wearing three gold medallions of different sizes and lengths with her very chic and casual outfit: perfectly oversized chinos, flawless leather belt, navy blazer, t-shirt and leopard flats. The woman was striking and I was suddenly thinking a lot about what those necklaces meant to this her, and where she got them. Were they handed down in her family? Were they old coins? I loved how graphic and simple they were and how you knew there was some interesting story behind them because she looked interesting. Immediately I wanted to make my version of a set of medallions using as dense and masculine a chain as I could find. These new silver and bronze medallions are graphic from afar, yet have quiet details that you might miss if you don't look closely. After they are antiqued the first time, they are then hammered which gives them the feeling of an antique coin or an old cameo that is wearing away. After this process, they are engraved, then antiqued again and finally attached to the bail with an 18k gold rivet...a lot of steps, but I absolutely believe that the layering of details creates a feeling that is worth the extra effort. Inspired by the mysterious Italian woman with the Jean Seberg hair, I intended these medallions to be worn as a set if possible...and they are on my personal wish list for Spring.


  1. "Wabi" is one of the way of the Japanese Tea(Wabi-cha).It means "more simple,more simple".And Wabi-cha is done in a simple room,simple style."Wabi" was not good meaning,but Wabi-cha made this word "good".
    "Sabi" is one of the way of the Japanese poem(Haikai).Wabi and sabi are little bit different.

    Jeanine Payer jewelry may wabi...I think.I love them!!

  2. thank you so much, Mayu! I appreciate your encouragement, especially coming all the way from Japan :)