I am a
designer and artisan whose working philosophy includes
using interesting materials, unusual designs, and good
engineering to ensure pleased clients. Each of my pieces
is one-of-a-kind or, occasionally, one of a limited
edition design [though even these are one-of-a-kind, for
the components of each have some variations in the
materials themselves]. In addition to my seasonal
collections, I work with individual clients to design and
make custom pieces. I am also happy to do trunk shows for
collected and made jewellery all my life. My design
influences come from history, ethnography, and sheer
delight in how colours, textures, and artefacts can be put
together to form a harmonious whole. I’ve spent many years
studying different ethnic cultures and their arts,
including several years in Japan. TAKARABUNE
[‘Treasure Ship’ in Japanese] is the traditional Japanese
sailing vessel with the Shichi-fuku-jin [Seven
Lucky Gods—actually, one Goddess, six Gods] that is said
to come into port at New Year's, bringing good fortune and
happiness to all in the coming year. When I make my
pieces, I include these thoughts for their wearers.
resources range from found objects and unexpected
treasures from nature through semi-precious stones, woods,
and other materials to artefacts from around the world.
Several of my components are unique, many are unusual.
All of my pieces are signature pieces. You may wear each
of them anywhere, any time, and know that you won't see
your piece on anyone else—unlike jewellery from museum and
every artisan has his or her own style, which one may
recognize. But when I design, my thoughts are of the
wearer for whom I hope this particular combination of
elements will evoke something special. I name my pieces,
and I have found that until I have chosen a telling name
for the piece, I have difficulty finishing it.
begin my necklaces with what I call a ‘center’ bead—though
it may not be a bead, and I may not use it in the center
of the necklace: it could be a piece of wood; a
hashioki [chopstick rest]; an unusual coin; a Chinese
pi [pronounced bi, a holed disc of
semi-precious stone that some say once represented the
perfect beauty Chinese ancients saw in the path of the sun
across the sky]; a found earring; an old pin; or a key…the
possibilities are endless. What they have in common is
that they beg to be enjoyed more fully.
the center bead, next comes considering how to enhance it,
using colours, shapes, textures, patterns, symbolism. I
like to make unexpected combinations that are versatile so
you may wear them both with jeans and with your favourite
black dress. At this point, I put all the elements I
think I may use together in a bag and put the bag in my
current projects box. Sometimes the bag stays there for
months while I think some more about the design; other
times I make up the necklace right away because I am so
curious to see how it will go together.
stage can be the trickiest: the engineering necessary to
make all the elements come together as I have envisioned.
Sometimes they won't, and I have to rethink either the
design or the mechanics, or both. What I can—or
cannot—make the materials do sometimes determines the
final appearance of the piece. – It's a learning process,
and I enjoy all of it!
selling directly to my clients, because then I can talk
with you about my pieces—and learn from what you tell me.
And, just as important, buying directly from me means much
better prices for you! -- Lucy Sloan