Many people see jewelry as a product because so much of it is manufactured and mass-produced. Trust me, I just went on a tour of my casting company, in New York and saw how they are amazingly cranking out thousands of pieces in a day in what feels like a closet. It is truly incredible and a very impressive company!
Do I caste some of my pieces, yes of course, the champagne pendant has 19 solder joints and took days to make the original. If I didn't caste it you would have to wait weeks for just one. But that is just the beginning of the process. That same caste piece is touched 10 more times and manipulated in multiple ways to become the champagne cuff that you now wear.
However, when I design and hand craft any piece, it is art. My jewelry (my art), for me, is something that I pour my heart and love into and sharing it with the world can make me feel very vulnerable at times. You see, art isn't perfect, it isn't completed on someone else's timeline, it evolves over time, when the artist is inspired, when the client is REALLY ready to receive it. If you are an artist, you are nodding your head in agreement or screaming "Hell Yeah" right about now.
Jewelry/art is an EMOTIONAL purchase. In today's fast paced world we are used to instant gratification and when you design a piece of jewelry you are so excited about it and can't wait to get it. Sometimes the process takes longer then expected, because of me, because of the universe and sometimes because of you. Many times I rush a piece of jewelry for a client and something ends up not working out just right. Writing this is scary (I am sure I will piss some people off) and at the same time therapeutic for me because I am going to try to stop rushing my process of art. It's so hard...I want to give you want you want, when you want it and that is not always possible and I have a very difficult time telling people that (maybe it's the tiny people pleaser in me).
If you read this on the bench about Christine Hendley Goodrich's custom talisman, what you didn't know, is that it took a year and a half to make. She gave me the nickel less than a month after the storm and when we tried to make it, it melted at least 3 times in different ways. Why? Because it wasn't ready to be made and she wasn't in a place to receive it. Even printing her story was like opening an old wound for her. Presenting her with the talisman and writing the story was all apart of her "letting go" process which she was ready to do now, not a year ago.
My son's favorite cartoon is Peppa Pig. In my favorite episode, they are all in the car on the way to the park and they are being held up by road work, when they ask the Forman when it will be done, his response is, "it will take as long as it will take!" I laugh every time he says it because while it would be extremely unprofessional to say this to you (my family, my friends, my beloved clients), I want to. However instead, I will try to make more realistic timelines in the future. Ahhhh....there, I said it.