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Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Why I’m Writing a Book

13 March 2024
Vintage black and white image of a young woman looking through a photo machine.

When you’re a child, a Saturday morning or a summer afternoon can stretch into eternity. On a Monday, the weekend seemed impossibly distant. At 2 PM, the clock looked like it would never reach 2:30 and the end of the school day.

But as we grow older, time seems to accelerate, and a decade can pass you by in a flash. I recently came to this realization in a profound way. I see the children of people I made engagement rings for were starting to turn up at my shop looking for jewelry of their own. It’s an exciting time: young love, optimism, shiny things…but how are they this old already?

Accompanied by the simple mathematics of years gone by were the incessant trips down memory lane my Photos app presented to me every time I went searching for an image or the design specs of one of the original designs. I’d notice a date or have to look it up and realize, with a slap to the forehead, that 1998 was over a quarter century ago! Surely the 90s were no more than ten years ago…

Over those past two decades or so I have created thousands of pieces of jewelry. I know where some of them are now, I know the people wearing these pieces, and I delight in the enjoyment my jewelry has created for them! Other pieces I designed, made, and sold to a gallery or store that then sold them to someone I never met. All of these people over all of these years become part of a network of connections spanning the country, and even the world, brought together by jewelry.

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As more time goes by, many of the pieces I created will change hands, and the network will expand. They will be passed down to daughters and sons, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, friends. Many of these gifts will be accompanied by the narratives the collector created around the jewelry: the when, where, and why they came to wear such a piece, the moments and milestones the piece bore witness to. Many of the custom-designed works were made using diamonds and other gemstones that had already been in a family for generations, that had already accrued their own stories, were parts of their own networks of connection and meaning. Tracing a jewel through time is a wonderful legacy.

All of these pieces, all of these stories: this is why I am writing a book. This project is an opportunity to create, if not a complete catalogue raisonné, a greatest hits album. With that comes the opportunity to provide commentary on this work and share some stories about how each piece came into being in the hopes that friends, family, collectors, and aspiring designers can learn about my personal creative process.

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I hope the book will be a source of inspiration and entertainment. In the end, I hope to corral the works and the ideas behind them into an organized format and provide an interesting, inspirational, and entertaining read.

With this book, I sought to tell the story of why and how the jewelry designs I made came into being. In my next post, I will talk about the ways this process has affected me and why I recommend taking the time to slow things down and pursue your own personal look back on where you came from and what you’ve accomplished. 

Thoughts on “Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Why I’m Writing a Book”

What would you like to know? Write to me, or comment below. Are you interested in being a guest blogger? Tell us your favorite gem or jewelry story, a grand journey you took, or an everyday adventure that brought you a laugh or a Pearl of wisdom! I’d love to hear your stories.

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