Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Today was cold and I was on my Vespa running from the Sacramento store to the Union Square one, ending up at our Jackson Square studio. It was fun to run around with my camera going from neighborhood to neighborhood. I felt really lucky. And appreciated that SF if only 7 square miles.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
In addition to our store in Union Square, we are excited be opening our first pop up store with Martha Davis and Birch on Sacramento Street. The Pop Up Atelier is in the heart of Laurel Heights on Sacramento between Lyon and Presidio. We will be open this Saturday and will stay open up to New Years Eve!!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Worked all afternoon trying to bend my thoughts into thinking differently about shapes. I got small amounts of work done on fifty things at once. Not one thing got finished.
I found these little J's recently. I love the fancy ones. In my grandmother's day they were embroidered into the insides of your fur coat so you wouldn't get it mixed up in the coat check.
The bottom picture is an installation that Sheila Hicks did for Target's headquarters. This is in her Paris studio courtyard. I wish I could wear it around my neck!!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The iconic ID bracelet, once worn by soldiers during the Second World War and now donned by both men and women as a fashion statement, has an interesting history. During WWII, the bracelets were a part of a soldier's uniform and was engraved with basic information (name, rank, serial number). After the war, many men still wore them proudly, as a badge of honor, thus starting a trend. By the 1950s and 60s, the ID bracelet became popular with rebellious teens as well as grown-ups.
Featured on the Gail bracelet:
The joys I have possessed are ever mine- ~ John Dryden
The quote seems to capture the essence of the high-spiritedness of both Elvis and James Dean, who lived their lives fast and hard, but by doing so, left this world all too soon.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Here is a picture our Kismet bracelet from Metier's much followed blog. I love how they paired it with a bracelet by Arielle De Pinto, a designer who's work is so edgy, so the opposite from my completely-without-edge world it makes the pairing interesting. .
Last Friday Metier, a store here in San Francisco, celebrated its 20th anniversary and they had a very fun party. It was especially meaningful for me to be there as I have sold to Sheri since she opened back in the day when it was a chic destination shop on Maiden Lane. More connections; Sheri's husband John, was our first IT guy another lifetime ago. But I know what it means to have a business for over two decades and how long that really is in 'fashion years'. It is an achievement to be proud of and to celebrate!
At the party there was a very cool live band. I was squeezing through the crowd to see who they were and only then did I realize that half the band was made up of two of Sheri's young kids! And Martha Davis's son was on the guitar! I was very inspired by these young people in their early teens just bringing it home and completely self confident and doing what they love. Creativity is alive and well in that circle. It was a really sweet thing to see such a powerful creative confluence of work and family; in that moment it all dovetailed so beautifully.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Recently I created my first set of wedding rings for Twist in Portland. The solitaire diamond is rose cut and there are 4 small diamonds on the hand engraved side wings. The wedding band has two small diamonds on the side of the words:
Love grows love.
The solitaire was a challenge for me as I am used to having the words be the main design element. Paul, the owner at Twist gave me some great pointers, direction and creative support and helped me to get in the right mindset. I can't wait to make more now!! In the end I think they turned out really great. These rings are only available at Twistonline.com and in the Twist retail store in Portland in the wedding ring room.
Monday, October 17, 2011
the Victory necklace on Kazu.
Design in progress...
I love having the option of wearing a necklace really long or really short--and that's one of my favorite things about this necklace. The softness of the wing against the thick chain has an edge.
Pegasus bracelet with Kazu's great big watch.
When making the wing, I worked in a more gestural and loose way which is not my typical style. I brought my tools and wax home and worked on it for several nights after my son went to sleep (I no longer have my workbench in the dining room, drat! so the dresser had to suffice.) I have many times carried a wax model around with me in case I wanted to work on it in my moments of free time; the creative design process is ongoing and I literally feel attached to the unfinished work-in-progress.
It is always a happy surprise when a piece like the Pegasus bracelet becomes popular, because it carries no engraved poetry. The piece itself is my poem.
Monday, September 26, 2011
I got to visit the legendary and beloved Liberty of London store in the early 90's when I first started to sell to them. I learned firsthand about the history of these potent little flower prints that Liberty has been making for hundreds of years. It is so wonderful to be incorporating them now into these new styles. I love wearing these pieces, especially the New Moon and the Liberty bracelets, as they are statements and a new direction for me, and yet they are still in the JP vernacular.
My new collection is about texture, boldness and BIG graphic shapes. We ripped and braided the fabrics and put them up against large hammered neckpieces and over sized metal beads. The new group of Liberty art fabrics have captured my creative imagination; they were envisioned as part of a new collaboration with musicians and various artists involved in the music industry--a complete departure from anything Liberty has done in the past. I feel a kinship with the work being done at Liberty, as we both are trying to honor the best of the past and pull it into new, bolder and ever more exciting design work.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
From top to bottom: Zephyr, Laloue, Small Universe & Journey. All Jeanine Payer
19th century Mourning bracelet advertisement
The back of a Victorian mourning brooch
Portrait of a young Queen Victoria in braids
Stevie Nicks, "Gold and Braid" live, 1981
Friday, July 1, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
If you know me well then you know this Gregory Parkinson jacket well, too. It is one of my favorite things. I special ordered it in Paris over ten years ago while visiting with Gregory and Ron and David from Tenthousandthings at the hotel the Pavillion de la Reine. (The guys have just done a collaboration BTW) Aurora Lopez Mejia the jewelry designer dropped in along with Maria Rudman whose metal woven bracelets are my fave. and I remember we were all in an apres fashion week haze. This jacket is so special to me because it reminds me of that wonderful time in my life when I got to go to Paris at least twice a year for 'work'. The jacket is made from vintage silk fabric turned inside out. It isn't reversible, but I love that Gregory decided the back of the fabric was more interesting than the front! The vintage fabric works looks so pretty with the vintage string on the necklace. The hammered silver butterflies are inspired by the raw jewelry work of Alexander Calder jewelry. They have a delicate quality and at the same time are bold enough to make a statement. The fact that the butterflies are alighting on the braided string instead of chain is so summery to me, so easy breezy. The selection by Lwo-Tsu is so perfect for this piece. The last line is, '..the heart is open as the sky'. The Scattering necklace is not on our site but can be purchased through our retail store (415-788-2417) and also at MAC-Modern Appealing Clothing in the Yellow Building(415-863-3011)
The Master observes the world but trusts her inner vision.
She allows things to come and go.
Her heart is open as the sky.
translated by Stephen Mitchell.
Monday, June 6, 2011
This is the Lao Tzu bracelet in brass! This is jumbo size compared to our Palmer cuff. I love how the Lao Tzu selection is like a graphic texture. The response has been INSANE.
The large butterfly is perfect on a breezy scarf.
Her is the Bay necklace in Silver with the brown and tan organic ribbon. I love it with neutrals best. See a close up here in brass and on Nina. I have tied it up here to be shorter but it can also be worn long.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Phillip Glass, composer
I ended up making him many pieces in platinum. He was lovely and we talked quite a bit about poetry, his lyrics and creative process during that period. It was a thrill to meet him in person in his rehearsal studio while I was working on some pieces for him. He wore the ring and necklace while performing which was very cool. I have some silly pictures of the two of us that I still take a look at now and then, it is fun to remember that time and the work I did for this truly amazing artist.
Another cool dude who’s name might ring a bell is Mick Jagger. His stylist came to the studio looking for pieces for him to wear on his San Francisco Voodoo Lounge Tour kick off in 1994. She ended up bringing him a huge selection and he ordered pieces with the caveat that he wished to use his own poetry! I can only tell you the poem involved a hawk being tempted by all sorts of birds but the only one that had his attention was the white swan swimming in a pond below. Amazing. I am afraid to throw any of my old files/piles away because that poem is in there somewhere!!
I had the pleasure of making a special bracelet for Phillip Glass when he composed an opera inspired by Rumi. It was a gift from the patron who funded the opera to be given to him on closing night. Being a huge fan of Phillip Glass...and of Rumi's poetry and philosophy, it was a thrill to create this piece. I listened to Koyaanisquasti over and over again while making my very first pieces.
I can’t leave Mr. Crowe off the list. This is a good story I have been dying to tell. I will spill it now. I was working on large crosses inspired by Moorish tile work when we got a call from the actress Meg Ryan wanting to make a chunky cross for Russell—this in the midst of the highly publicized and difficult time when it seemed every tabloid was splashed with pictures of Meg and Russell; thy had just worked together closely on Proof of Life, he was up for an Academy Award for Gladiator, and her marriage was in the public eye. I made a one of a kind platinum cross on leather for him and a matching one for her and they loved them. His had a Robert Burns poem on the back. When they eventually broke up he carried the cross in his pocket as a good luck charm and that year at the Oscars he had it with him and showed it to people on the red carpet. He ended up on Entertainment Tonight talking about the cross. It was a three night in a row story on the show…and I ended up having a cameo on ET as well.
Those are the main stories that pop out but fast forward to today... we love that Orlando Bloom wears the 18k Emmie that his girlfriend, Miranda Kerr, gave him when he did the Hugo Boss commercial. We have pictures up in the studio of Mark Ruffalo wearing his own Dale and Sycamore and we recently sent him pieces for good luck at the Academy Awards. He wrote the nicest note saying that he and his wife have been giving each other pieces for a long time and how much they mean to them.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The Bay is one of my favorite new necklaces. Inspired by African sculpture, the scale is right on for right now. I wore it on a New York trip recently with a really colorful dress and also with a neutral linen outfit and I never wanted to take it off. The selection is a chapter from the Tao Te Ching translated by Stephen Mitchell and creates such a lovely graphic design on the plate. The Bay necklace comes in sterling silver or brass--I love the brass one--it is a warm metal and looks great with so many colors and textures.
We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,k but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we desire.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.
We work with being, but non-being is what we use.
Gathering Roses, Poets necklace and Soul necklace
The Italian detail on these necklaces was inspired by the tiny chasing design around my Buccellati ring I wear every day. I often study, daydream and marvel at this little ring and admire it under a loop. I wanted to juxtapose a detail that was old fashioned and lady like against the organic and very hand made style and do it in a way that would feel modern--another reason I chose to attach the flat chain to the sides the sides of the Poets neck.
I shall fill my lap with roses
Gathered in the milky way-
Upon the wings
Of shimmering moonbeams
I pack my poet's dreams
My wearying strife,
My courage, my loss,
Into the night I toss
-the soul will gravitate around the truth, as the planet around the light.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Here Nina is wearing the Vuelo earrings in hammered brass and the Contemplation necklace in both hammered brass and silver.
A good friend of mine recently told me that what I consider to be' big' is really 'small', and what I think is 'gigantic' is really 'medium'. For this collection I pushed the scale way outside my comfort zone and was inspired by the brass, hammered jewelry that artist Alexander Calder made for his friends in the 50's and 60's.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
This necklace is called Contemplation and it is from the new collection. All the selections for this collection are from the Tao Te Ching, the Chinese book of wisdom that talks about the Taoist belief that we are to be happy in the present with what we have and to accept what is. I have worn this piece with a bright red color block dress and also with a tan linen dress--both sans belt so the necklace really stands out. The length and larger scale is perfect and makes a statement. Personally, I deeply relate to this meditation by Lao-Tzu. A touchstone hidden inside my own metal book. I consider 'the source' to mean 'oneself.'
Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
Lau-Tsu, translated by Stephen Mitchell
Monday, May 16, 2011
We asked you to help us celebrate National Poetry Month, and for four weeks we received postcards from all over the US as well as from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
Breathe with the rhythm of stars.
You cannot, of course, see your own face, but you know that it,
Lifted, is stripped to white bone by starlight. This is happening.
This is happiness.
Do I press the extremest book of the wisest man
Close to me, hidden in me day and night?
In the uncertain light of single, certain truth,
Equal in living changingness to the light
In which I meet you, in which we sit at rest,
For a moment in the central of our being,
The vivid transparence that you bring is peace.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
My friend turned me onto Drew Droege doing this hilarious impersonation of Chloe Sevigny and I cannot get enough of of it. I love the hat bracelet she is wearing...makes me laugh every time.
I celebrated my 44th birthday yesterday by taking the day off and just doing whatever I wanted...I got some great books on design and wood joinery in Japan town, had a long overdue massage at the Kabuki Springs and ended the day with dinner with my best pals at Mission Chinese Food. My mouth is still on fire. Now it is back to work today and a new year ahead!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
We have been feverishly working on designing, hammering up a storm and merchandising away getting ready for our trade show. I had exhibiting for many years in New York but recently took a hiatus when I had my son. Nothing gets the creative flow going like having that show deadline! Sharing a space with me will be dear friend, hero and iconic designer, Lisa Jenks. Known for her graphic large silver pieces, Lisa is also exhibiting for the first time after several years of taking a break. I remember being bowled over by her work in Barneys the first time I ever visited the store in the late 90's. She had an entire vitrine at the entrance. I am looking forward to spending time with her, she is the funniest, warmest, most even keel designers I know.