Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It Is Too Hard To Say Goodbye

Dear Friends and Fans, 

I am announcing with a heavy heart that Jeanine Payer, Inc. as we know it will be closing on January 1st of 2014, which is the right decision at this time.

The poetry that surrounds us here has a magical effect.  We hear innumerable stories from you that are inspiring, trans-formative and moving; always so personal, as the work we create is to all of us.  I am and always will be uplifted by these stories, both happy and sad, and the fact that you chose to commemorate events, milestones and celebrations for yourselves and for your loved ones with just the right design and passage.  We recognize how meaningful this company and the jewelry we make are to so many of you.  It is very special to all of us as well and we will miss it terribly!

Love is where the art starts, and I am at a place in my life where, as a mother of a six year old, I want to put my heart and soul into raising my son.   I am not sure what the future will hold, and I am keeping the door open to possibilities regarding this work that I so love and to the poetry that inspires it. For the time, it is important for me to focus inward and on my family to create a space for future creative/artistic outlets.

As hard as it has been to write this, right now I am feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude for your loyalty and support and for all the incredible people who have worked here with me over these past 25 years.
With much love and my deepest thanks,

Jeanine Payer

Friday, October 25, 2013

Once Only - Denise Levertov

All which, because it was
flame and song and granted us
joy, we thought we'd do, be, revisit,
turns out to have been what it was
that once, only; every initiation
did not begin
a series, a build-up: the marvelous
                  did happen in our lives, our stories
                  are not drab with its absense: but don't
expect now to return for more.  Whatever more
there will be will be
unique as those were unique. Try
to acknowledge the next
song in its body-halo of flames as utterly
present, as now or never.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Fun Day in NY with Jeanine Payer, Alexis Bittar and Raphael!

It started out a normal day, strolling through the park interacting with some modern art...
When Alexis thought it would be a good idea for William to see the Statue of Liberty while dressed in costume.

He told my son we would take over the world, as soon as he got back from the gym.
When we got to Abracadabra it seemed to make sense for us all to wear costume.  To reflect our mood!

In the Ferry Terminal Alexis met another man wearing a wig and they united!

We had to keep our energy up!

People were overheard saying, "Oh, they are going to a party!"

William seemed to have bigger fish to fry, never mind that old statue.

But it is hard not be awed by her regal beauty.

It was windy getting off.
On the way back we met a friend.

But then Alexis walked right into a pole when we were getting off!  Pumpknot!

So he iced it at home for 6 hours and it was completely gone!

We had a super fun day.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

300 Broadway Old School

Master printer, book maker and founder of Greentree Press, Jack Stauffacher is a American National Treasure.  Today he came in wearing a suite of camel linen,a  silk scarf and bowtie.  When I thanked him for wearing the fresh flower in his lapel he said, 'It really does make the difference.'  At 94 he is still thriving and working everyday in his space, full of ephemera, antique wood block lettering and his own type faces he designed in the 50's.  He is working with his team to archive his materials to eventually go to Berkeley. The day I  moved my studio into the building I poked into his space to introduce myself. He not only showed me around his space but he out of the blue gave me an original print from his show at MOMA and signed it, as a welcome to the building.  It is a treasure to me and I keep it up on my board where it serves as an inspiration. 

Currently I am working on a set of letters to be worn around the neck.  Lord knows there are tons of versions of letter necklaces but I am inspired by Jack's work and I am making them in the spirit of a time before digital fonts, a time when letters were hand drawn and hand cut.  I am looking to create a grain, a hand, imperfections not unlike the antique wood cut letters from antiquity.   The first few letters I have made are in the traditional and clean Gill Sans.  They are off to the caster and I cannot wait to get them back next week. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

They Only Bloom at Night

the moon is captured in the distance above.

My cousin Lee is obsessed with photographing night blooming cactus flowers.   The amazing thing is that he is using the most rudimentary equipment to capture such cinematic and poetic beauty. When I was visiting he gave me a tour of all the cactus at his house and I got the lowdown on how he captures them on the one and only night when they bloom.  They are spectacular. I begged him to send me some images to put on the mood board. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

In Stillness...by guest blogger Rachele

Rachele teaches yoga throughout San Francisco, in addition to engraving for Jeanine Payer. This is an entry taken from her blog on www.rachelelovesyoga.com. See additional engraving/Jeanine Payer references on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rachelelovesyoga. 

On some days, during the day, I engrave jewelry for Jeanine Payer (www.jeaninepayer.com). This is one of the tiniest things I've had to engrave; earrings called "Nina." The quote on them reads, "In stillness the world is restored." -Lao Tzu

My mom calls me "quick." Meaning, quick-tempered, quick to react, quick to respond, quick to make light of something, quick to judge, quick to draw conclusions, quick to basically, run my mouth off. (Ironically, she also used to tell me that she could build a fire underneath me and I wouldn't move fast enough... so, go figure!) And according to Bruce Lee (no relation! ha ha), "A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough." So, I struggle with these challenges in my temperament on a daily basis.

In yoga, we move into stillness, fluidly, from one pose to the next. A moving meditation, a slow dance with pauses, movements linked to breath. Yoga encouraged me to slow down and feel. And one of my favorite things to do is to notice the tiny, subtle adjustments I can make to my own body as I move into stillness. This is where all the "quickness" in my actions dissolve, and where peace floods over me.

Engraving offers me a similar peace of mind. A moving meditation through the act of hand writing, a concentration of the mind on the mantras so thoughtfully chosen to be imprinted, forever. And while I engrave, I breathe, and I find fluidity in my movements, in the feeling of metal upon metal, and in the constant buzz that moves into the background of my thinking. Engraving has become a kind of yoga for me. I feel it's no mistake my art background brought me around to this.

Gaining a sense of control over our feelings and reactions takes courage and insight at the very least. For me, I practice yoga, or I work to create with my hands, and it brings me joy. When I teach, I wish this for everyone.

"The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances." -Viktor Frankl

Rachele teaches yoga throughout San Francisco, in addition to engraving for Jeanine Payer. This is an entry taken from her blog on www.rachelelovesyoga.com. See additional engraving/Jeanine Payer references on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rachelelovesyoga.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Today's Music in the Studio

Mom's Ted Talk!!

It's about time I posted this Ted Talk my mom did a couple of years back.  Mom is passionate about the arts in the schools so if you want a little inspiration take a minute to listen. 
  • Susan Stauter
    is currently the Artistic Director for the San Francisco Unified School District. She was instrumental in creating the Arts Education Master Plan, promising equity and access for all students during the curricular day. Susan Stauter designs and presents keynotes and workshops, consulting nationally and internationally in all areas of arts education. She was one of the readers for the audio version of Richard Florida's best selling Rise of the Creative Class and was named public reader for the 2009 K-12 Drama/Theatre Standards for the State of Colorado. She has worked as a writer/director for Disney, Anaheim and as a consultant to the Grammy Foundation in Santa Monica. She was named Founding Chair of the Theatre Department of the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts and went on to serve as Conservatory Director for the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Ms Stauter has won numerous awards, including the San Francisco Ballet's Choose to Move Award, the Leap Award for Excellence in Arts Education and in January 2011 a Founder's Award from the International Arts Schools Network. Among the organizations where she has presented keynotes and workshops are the New World Symphony, the Ravinia Festival, the Theatre Educators of America, the Ten Chimneys Foundation, The Tennessee Arts Academy, the Vienna Concerthaus, the Small Schools of New Zealand (named Visiting Scholar in Creativity), and the Leonard Bernstein Center for Arts Education, where she continues to consult as a lead teacher/trainer. Susan Stauter presents workshops on public speaking for the U.C. Berkeley Principal Leadership Institute and works as a private coach. In May of 2011 she will once again lead a workshop on the importance of arts and culture for Leadership, San Ramon at Tao House. Susan Stauter is the mother of designer Jeanine Payer.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


-e.e. cummings

Friday, July 5, 2013


From the Blog Archives, November 14th 2008, Piles of Poetry

I just found this pile of poetry clipped up on my cork board...it's a interesting mix of Rilke, Kate Richey and others. Below are engraving practice pieces, before engravers can start to work on real pieces in silver and gold.









Monday, July 1, 2013

Jason's Pespective of the Jeanine Payer Studio

I asked Jason Joo, our intern, to take some pictures around the shop to see things through his lens.  Here are some of my favorite shots--they are the monochrome to my color!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

From the Jeanine Payer Archives....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What barrier is there that love cannot break? -Gandhi

Over the years we at Jeanine Payer have been privileged to be asked to create wedding rings for so many couples; some of them gay, some of the straight, all of them deeply in love and joyously wanting to celebrate their tremendous sense of commitment through the act of marriage. In light of recent events surrounding the passage of Prop 8, we feel like it is time to take action, make something beautiful, and donate half the proceeds towards the fight Californians now face for equal marriage rights. Using the Gandhi quote, "What barrier is there that love cannot break?" on the popular Dale necklace design, we have made a piece that people can wear proudly in the knowledge that love can indeed overcome all obstacles.

Fifty percent of the proceeds from each sale of this piece will be donated to Equality California. Founded in 1998, EQCA celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of progress towards equal rights for all Californians. In the past 10 years, EQCA has helped change California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Visit them at http://www.eqca.org/.