Friday, April 30, 2010

Latest Inspiration

I would love to work in this place.

Recently I went to the Legion of Honor for inspiration and luckily discovered the English porcelain room. Tiny hand painted moths and insects along with the fable stories were done so delicately on the translucent white porcelain that it made my heart race. This reminded me that I own a beautiful book (all in German) on the Nymphenburg Porzellen Factory so I went back to it and looked with new eyes...which led to my going to the Nymphenburg website to learn more about the collaborations they have done with contemporary artists. I already knew about and love the Ted Meuhling pieces and I learned about a project they did with a couple of Dutch artists (Kram/Weisshaar) called 'My Private Sky' which is extraordinary. Sick really. You tell them your birthday and the exact time you were born and they hand paint the corresponding constellations onto a set of porcelain dishes. It is so beautiful it is crazy.

They have been making figurines like this since the 1700's at the Nymphengurger factory.

The amazing thing about the Nymphenburg factory is not just that it is powered by a water wheel or that it has been in business since the 1700's, but it is that the artists learn everything from the masters before them, verbally. SoIt may take years before they are allowed to make a certain dish because the knowledge of the colors and design are so involved.They do not use templates. So when you see one of those Ted Meuhling plates with a single butterfly on it and wonder why it is so expensive... stop and look really close, really close--it isn't a decal. I find this so amazing that places like this exsist and that people still care enough about truly doing what it takes to learn and exucute their craft on this level.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trunkshow at Barneys in Scottsdale this Saturday

I don't do trunk shows that often but we have a few special ones coming up. This weekend I am headed out to Scottsdale with Kazu by my side to visit the beautiful new Barneys in Fashion Square from 10 to 4 on Saturday. I am going out a day early so I can get a look at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at the Taliesin West House that is supposed to be amazing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wisps and Hints

What songs travel toward us
from far away
to deepen our days?

I asked Naomi Shihab Nye, a highly honored, award winning poet, to tell me about what it is like having people find her words on our jewelry. I also wanted to know about her creative process and here is what she had to say:

Jeanine Payer's jewelry reminds me of precious perfectly-weighted nuggets of beauty -- the sort we dreamed of as kids, filling our pockets with shiny stones that felt yummy in our hands. Having lines from my poems inscribed on Jeanine's bracelets, necklaces, and one ring (my traveling companion!) is an amazing blessing. A poem is a nugget. A line of a poem is a tinier incremental nugget. Nuggets finding friends. I prefer publishing on Jeanine's astonishing jewelry to publishing in BOOKS.

My creative process is very simple. I write often, in a notebook, with a pencil or a pen, and I go back to it. Hospitality to the images and snippets which drift through all our minds, an attention to signs of all kinds, an affection for bits and pieces, scraps and "wisps" or "hints" -- as William Stafford called them -- this is how everything begins.

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

--Naomi Shihab-Nye

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On My Mind

click image to enlarge

I have fallen hopelessly in love with the jewelry of Alexander Calder. He made about 1,800 pieces (all by himself, no help) for galleries, friends and family and if you had a piece you were definitely in the artistic 'in crowd'--think Peggy Guggenheim. I came across the amazing book on his jewelry, or tome, at my favorite place on earth: The Mechanics Institute Library. I can go there and think and it is two blocks from my studio and is a treasure.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Drawing, Dreaming and Making

I have been working on a little hand inspired by a Filipo painting and also have done little studies of my son's hand. There is something poetic about hands in paintings and sculpture and I personally love drawing them. Recently I went to the Legion of Honor to do studies of the Rodin hands which was fun, except when people walked up--it makes me feel self conscious.
In addition to these odd little hands I have been going through all my one of a kind materials, alluvial diamonds and stones. I have not had a chance to use these much lately and being in that zone has been really gratifying, grounding and fun. I look at time spent 'drawing, dreaming and making' as time spent on a lifelong practice. It is like my 'Tai Chi" and I am looking forward to someday getting that black belt.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Mother's Day Collection by Melissa

Growing up through Jeanine Payer

Back in 1999, I purchased my first Jeanine Payer piece at Neiman Marcus (the necklace shown in photo, far left). It was a silver pod-like pendant which revealed a tiny antique photo of a baby with handpainted gold angel wings. 11 years later when I had my son, I had the original photo replaced by a custom photo of him smiling for the first time. This began my collection of photo necklaces, which showcases my little boy in different stages of his toddlerhood. By wearing my custom photo necklaces, I feel part of him is magically with me at all times.

Friday, April 9, 2010

We Walk On in Private Missions of the Heart

Avila, Toledo, Milan, Amatrice and Monterey

Ian Burgham is an award winning Canadian poet whose work I have been honored to use for many years. I asked him to say a few words about his experience having his work found on our jewelry...

I've been thinking about what it is to have people wear my words on your jewelry. When someone buys your work I'm sure there are many considerations that go into the decision.

But where it begins is with you Jeanine. As I see it, your vision of what is delicate and beautiful as an object is tied to an understanding of the deepest things that make our selves human, and connect us with each other, the world and worlds beyond time. The beautiful, beauty does that. It is in William Blake's terms the product of the "Divine Imagination" in us at its best.

To add my words to your pieces imparts another layer. I think it is not what I meant by the words I write that matters, but what you know they mean to you that influences your choice to use them.

But finally, the real magic happens when someone encounters the jewelry, a complete stranger, and purchases it to wear it; words mix with design and the purity of stone and metal creating a new artifact. And more than that, the piece carries high emotion and meaning, private meaning that only the wearer can know. Everyone brings their heart's experience to that piece.

The jewelry and words are no longer ours. Now they are of the soul of the person who wears them. The piece becomes a declaration as to an understanding of the best of ourselves and the best in us. And maybe a reminder that we walk on in private missions of the heart.

--Ian Burgham

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Marceline

We are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.

--William Blake

The Marceline necklace was inspired by the Rosa, a hit as far as custom photo pieces go. I think the round crystal gives it an antique, sort of French reliquary feeling. Everyone in the studio wants one, even those of us who already own a Rosa...and I am in support of the idea that you cannot have too many photo pieces, especially when the image is kept secret behind a tinkling golden door. The Marceline also comes in an all silver version.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April is National Poetry Month

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

translated by Coleman Barks

In celebration of National Poetry Month we are excited to be giving three of our Dale necklaces to the winners of the Poetry on the Range contest given by The Academy of American Poets. Visit their their site for details:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reese & Mom in The White House

I can't explain exactly why I am always surprised to find out when a 'star' is wearing my jewelry and am especially tickled when there is a picture to prove it. I think it is because it is so rare. I get all nervous when I see someone in real life wearing something of mine and just as happy---tongue tied as well. I was thrilled to find out that Reese Witherspoon chose to wear her 18k Gilda bracelet and Cabrina earrings a few weeks ago to an important and meaningful event at the White House. She was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton in presenting a donation from Avon to the Secretary's Fund towards their anti domestic violence efforts. I was happily surprised when I realized both the bracelet and earrings carry poems my mother wrote...

The Gilda says:

For as long as it lasts let the singer be the song.
For as much as it's worth let the truth outweigh the lies.
For this single moment in time let my own voice be heard.

And the Cabrina earrings:

Each bird must learn its own song
And fly on new feathered wings.

--both by Susan Stauter