At a desk made from an old door in a one room apartment on the street of a broken city. I remember rusty washers and bolts on the dusty ground in the parking lot out back. Dumpsters in alleys. Trips to bricks and mortar bead shops in the good part of town. Twisted wire and metal.
This wasn't my first time making something. I had always made things. Recycled outfits for Barbie. Installations using green plastic army figures. Illustrations and sculptures and art school assignments. But this was different. The city impacted on and changed me. It was battered. A gritty landscape thinning and grey and yet, rippling beneath the surface: a sense of voluptuous colour, a vibrant imprint. There was a beat, a rhythm, a handful of scattered hope.
This necklace was one of the first things I made there. Bashed metal, found objects, exotic beads. Imperfect and somewhat crude. That was 20 years ago. Like the city then, it's tarnished now. The design is much simpler than ones that came later, but this was the start of an obsession with detail. When I sat down to work, my world became microscopic. It was not a conscious decision. I let it go where it needed to.
Unknowingly, I had gathered up the strands of my life and like the objects I found, the beads I bought, brought them to this place to sort. It was a refuge. But my time there was finite. Bittersweet. Tinged with loss that mirrored the city's. I believe it reflected in the things I made. I believe it saved me.
Telling stories and making jewellery since the days of big hair and eyeliner.