Fragments of My Life Outside of Jewels and Gems
When designing bespoke jewels I ask my clients for an insight into their lives, so I know who I'm designing for. I create a mood board full of images, words and inspirations. No matter how free the brief may be, I like to curate a story with which to inspire a unique jewel.
So I thought I'd flip it in reverse and do a personal mood board of the woman behind the designer, so you get to know me a bit more.
My photo stream is 75% jewellery and 25% children with the occasional body part of an animal to be sent to the vet.
Our house is our country haven away from both of our businesses. (My husband crafts Italian gelato and has a few shops around Wanaka and Queenstown.) If you've heard of the old English TV show "The Good Life"- that's us- I'm Barbara, he's Tom. Friends joke about it frequently and such is the time in our lives that we are the "what lifestyle" block people? But we love it and wouldn't have it any other way.
In creating my personal mood board, it got me thinking if I were to commission a jewel today, it would be to celebrate and remember this moment in life. The focal gemstone would be a pear shaped yellow diamond set in yellow gold with a melting amber array of gemstones to frame and move the design. Some words to surround the design inspiration would be bold, sensual, warmth, light, air, contrast and reveal. Just writing this makes me want to realise it.
We fell in love with New Zealand 16 years ago and made it home, surrounded by the Central Otago mountains, family and animals. Whether we're "fadge-ing" around the paddock, growing enormous mushrooms or trying our best at sheep farming, it's where the heart is.
My mad wonderful family. We love a bit of dress up, gelato and skiing. They are my foundation as I am to them.
In terms of personal interests and projects, I love cooking and curing our own meat, sculpture, architecture and nature are up there too. Leonardo da Vinci and his anatomical drawings have been a long time source of intrigue; the revealing layers and sense of discovery and understanding. My art teacher at school was slightly worried about my intense fascination for the human anatomy with all my medical drawings and shrine to Leonardo being too explicit for other students. Functional anatomy and well-being play an important part in my life. (Aged 3 I walked around saying I want to be a "noisy nurse"!?)
You may not know I did a year of a History of Art degree before completing my honours in Jewellery Design. Whilst I didn't finish the History of Art- the draw to jewellery design and hands on crafting being too strong- if I had to pick, the Renaissance and the Art Nouveau periods would be my favourites, although some say my jewels are very Art Deco!
Being a creative is an integral part of me- it's not just a job. So much of my personal make-up is what inspires me. (Colour, form, flow, texture, reveal...)
Running is my meditation. I love nothing more than getting a good sweat on and getting into the hills on feet, bike or skis. And it's so good the girls can now tag along, sometimes more willing than others. Not long and they'll be thrashing me on the tennis court too!
WHAT'S YOUR MEDITATION or where's your haven?