I have been giving tremendous thought to what is happening in the world right now due to the spread of the CoronaVirus. The global and social impact is tremendous and we will feel the effects of this for a long time to come. That being said, as we sit in isolation, it is a time to give thought to preservation, sustainability and saving for posterity. Of course, I can’t help but think of jewelry since this is my art and it is a small pleasure that always makes people happy. In these uncertain times we must look towards beauty and creativity to help us weather this storm.
Victorian 18k Gold Signet Ring with an intaglio of a Unicorn. Photograph courtesy of the Antique Jewellery Company.
Jewelry will persevere and be preserved as it has for thousands of years. It is an artform, an adornment and a miniature sculpture that will not only tell our story as individuals but our story as a culture. This is the nature of art. Look to art for a better understanding of the times and a window into the past. Future generations will hold pieces created during our time and feel like they are holding a piece of history. They will read an engraved message or view the personalized details and wonder, “Who owned this piece? What was she like?”. We do this ourselves with older pieces of jewelry. We hold them delicately as if they will vanish into thin air. We marvel at the craftsmanship and always wonder about the history of the piece. Who came before us and what was their story?
It is important more than ever to be conscientious regarding environmental issues. One of the ways to accomplish this is through sustainability. My family and I work hard to minimize our carbon footprint and I take the same responsibility with the fabrication of my jewelry. It is my responsibility as designer to work with recycled precious metals and source ethically mined gemstones. While it is good to support artisanal gemstone miners in third-world countries (this is their sole livelihood), we can also look closer to home by salvaging pieces from our own jewelry boxes. Eliminate the waste and excess by creating a redesign using gemstones that you already have. This is not only a wise, environmentally friendly choice but an economically sound one as well.
During these seismic shifting times, more than ever, it is imperative to save for posterity. It is paramount that we let future generations know what has come to pass during these turbulent times as these times will shape their reality and future. We can do this through documentation, our own personal diaries of sorts, as well as through the modern heirlooms that we choose to pass down to them. Jewelry has the reputation of being a “luxury good” and, in most cases, it is. However, I am asking that you view it as more than something glittering to place on your finger or a symbol of economic status to flash about. I ask that you view it as the valiant piece of history and art that it is. While jewelry does not hang on the walls of museums, it is just as important, if not more so because of the story it tells and it holds the energy, both good and bad, of those that came before.
In the coming weeks, I hope to raise your spirits by distracting you with beauty and glittering objects. Remember, it is imperative not to get caught up with the negative and absolutely necessary to turn to beauty and creativity to help us stay the positive course.
Stay well, stay indoors and relish this time with your loved ones.