Last week, I hosted my first in person event in my own studio since before the pandemic during NYC Jewelry Week ! My friend Jacqueline Barbosa and I, designer of GBGH Jewelry and Jacqueline Barbosa Jewels, curated an exhibition entitled “Inside a Jewelry Designer’s Heart.” The exhibition celebrated the inspiration, process and motivations behind six jewelry designers spanning fashion to fine from around the world. The participating designers were Delphine Leymarie, Olivia Barthe, Amulet by D Jewelry, and Iza by Silvia D'Avila Jewelry, in addition to Jackie and myself.
For my own display, I shared a mood board of my aesthetic, conceptual and energetic influences to my designs and sourcing choices. I also showed sketches, along with some of the first pieces of jewelry I myself created, including the piece entitled Hollow Ring that would eventually become the jumping off point and inspiration for the rest of the collection, and evolve into the version of the Hollow Ring in my collection today. It was a joy to show how I evolved from a wearer and lover of jewelry, to a maker of jewelry, to a professional designer and business owner. I brought and displayed jewelry that belonged to my grandmother, demonstrating the emotional connection and heirloom quality of jewelry I fell in love with, as well as pieces collected on my travels that represented how jewelry represents memories and one’s story. I displayed them alongside some crystals and minerals in my collection, including a rose quartz that I purchased long before I started creating jewelry from a Cherokee medicine woman I studied crystal healing with. These items all represent my heart as a designer, and why I do what I do.
An artist statement summarizing the concepts behind the visual exhibition is below, and it encompasses why I design what, how, and why I design. Thank you for reading and being a part of my journey. You mean the world to me if you are reading these words!
Whether wandering in NYC, hiking in a National Park, or exploring internationally, I translate the energy of color, texture, and landscape around me into a quietly bold visual language. I design for people with a sense of self so bold they do not need to tell everyone about it.
Circular open space allows light to shine through and reflect off surfaces. Light’s ever-present transformation throughout the day reminds me to retain a sense of wonder. I find fulfillment in the deep connection and meaning people have to the pieces I create for them, and the ability to impact positive change in the jewelry supply chain and all people involved motivates me. Through each piece, I strive to tell a story about the earth where the materials came from and all the hands that touched each element, from the miners’ hands to the client’s hands.
Sketches from some of my youngest visitors at the exhibition!