"That you are here - that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse."
When I saw the interesting color in the stones Judy picked out, particularly the emeralds, and the power behind their settings; I was struck by her passion. She has certainly developed her own identity within her creations and it is a powerful one.
I hope once you have a chance to see these jewels in my Feature Friday Q&A with Judy; that you, too, will recognize the verse she has contributed.
1. What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
I always loved minerals and when I was little I kept an eye open for them wherever I went - whether hiking in the mountains or digging in my backyard. When I was 15 my family moved to Brazil for two years and I got to see millions of gemstones - but I had always wanted to be an artist, and I chose to study fine art instead of jewelry. I think it helped me because when I finally stumbled into jewelry making, I knew nothing about what was going on or who was doing what, and I could develop my own way of doing things.
2. What is your favorite piece or collection?
My favorite thing is always what I am working on at that moment. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate something right after it is finished, but eventually I become proud of everything I have made - pretty much equally. Sometimes before starting something new, I wonder if I will ever have another idea - but working itself is usually what makes something happen, and my favorite time is when a piece is just starting to come into focus, and I can waver between becoming excited and hopeful and expecting utter disaster.
3. What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
Developing something I am excited about - getting the tinglings of a new idea - sensing that I have found something but I don’t know what it is.
4. Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
When I introduced my jewelry collection to Barneys. I met the Fashion Director, Julie Gilhart, through my friend Miki Higasa by chance. One evening when we were walking by a Barneys Coop that was about to open, I was wearing a pair of my earrings, Julie saw them and invited us to come in to show her my collection. As soon as we arrived she started snapping photos and invited us back for another meeting, where I was introduced to the entire executive staff - from the CEO to all of the buyers - just looking and exclaiming over my small collection of pieces. It was very wonderful.
Wherever I can find it, I take it. But it sometimes helps me to get myself into a slightly off-kilter frame of mind. One trick is to imagine I am walking through a flea market and I come across an amazing collection of some intricate thing someone has spent a passionate lifetime making, and then I try to make that. Another method is to adopt a different style of handwriting to draw ideas - both of these methods help me to forget about myself.
6. In your personal wardrobe, do you find that you gravitate to one particular jewelry accessory (rings vs. necklace vs. bracelets vs. watches, etc.) more often than others?
I usually wear one great pair of earrings.
7. When putting together an outfit, how do you feel about mixing metals, designs and even new with vintage pieces?
I have a pretty simple style - somewhat of a uniform. I like gray a lot!
8. Layering seems to be a trend that is here to stay, for now. What are your feelings on the layered look? How do you like layered necklaces with layered bracelets plus layered rings?
I don’t really like the layered look, I am sorry to say. I like to admire my jewelry by itself.
Go slowly and follow what you really love.
Flash Question - Dream trip destination?
Africa - I have never been anywhere on that continent, and there are so many wildly different options. I would like to see a big city, like Nairobi. I can’t imagine it.