Every once in a blue moon, you can find tiny agate or chalcedony nodules on the beach. Most of them have the wrong size or shape to be anything other than just pretty. But after 7 years of getting a creak in the neck from squinting down at pebbly beaches, I actually managed to gather enough for a piece of jewellery! And for its rarity, this is a real treasure...
The great American Artist James Hubbell (jameshubbelart.com), a treasured friend and mentor, once told me in a conversation that for him, art means dignity. And this, in a nutshell, is why I do what I do. We all have the urge to make our space more beautiful. Wherever beauty is absent because it is seen as a thing without purpose, a grey veil seems to descend and deep down, we feel sad and forlorn. We all deserve some art, some dignity, in our lives - no matter what it may look like to others.
How do you put a price on artwork? The same way as for everything else, really... I have timed myself to clarify this for you. Take a piece like this, for example. It takes me about 3 hours to knit and shape the wire (yes, really - and I am by no means a slow worker) and a further 1-2 hours to properly assemble and finish a necklace. Not to mention the hours spent foraging for the "jewels." As for the hourly rate... Well, you must judge for yourselves.
Most of my jewellery is made with naturally polished pebbles, beach glass or other objects found in nature. It is really surprising how much raw material you need to collect in order to get enough of the right shapes or sizes for a piece of wearable art. This means many hours spent foraging outdoors - not that I am complaining!
My life - and yours, to be sure - is a work in progress. I am never sure where it is headed. Mostly, this is a good thing.
Right now, I am looking forward to giving my artist side freer rein and you are all welcome to share my journey. In this blog, you can take a peek behind the scenes, into my artist studio, to see how my pieces are created.
This summer, we spent a few weeks in our old family home in France, which we still keep. It was so hot there that i did not feel like going out during the day. Luckily, I always carry boxes with glass and pebbles, wire and tools with me. I had already prepared strips of knitted wire on the long car journey south, so it was only a matter of finding the right arrangement of "jewels" to fill them with. Surprisingly, this is a rather time-consuming affair!