Here’s my friend Ingrid wearing her July Gloves. She’s also wearing the scarf I made for her five years ago out of Cousin Coral Jade Sapphire cashmere. I’d forgotten about it until she arrived at my house wearing it. The whole ensemble matches my orange dining table, yes?
Before I get on with telling you about what Ingrid and I did last Saturday afternoon, here are my scrap gloves completed. David calls them the Summer of Love Gloves because he’s young enough to remember, fondly, San Francisco, and what the girls were wearing (and doing, presumably?) in 1967.
The subject of the discussion was the state of crafts in NZ and Australia. I took copius notes but I won’t bore you with the details. The topic that seemed to surface mostly frequently was “how do we get paid?”
I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here and in virtual places I look (Etsy, Toggle, etc) I’m often shocked by how little value craftspeople put on their own work. This is discouraging, because it means that everyone is forced to join the downward trend. So it was fascinating to hear speak one of my favourite artists, someone who has been making exquisite jewellery in Auckland for 40 years, Warwick Freeman. Warwick has always put a high price on his work which, in my opinion, is art. (This was a question raised during the discussion : how do we get museums and galleries to show craft? Warwick’s response was that you can’t force it. If they like your work and want to show it, they will. Good point). Since the early 70s he has shown in Fingers, a co-op which he started with other jewellers/artisans. It’s located across the street from our beautiful new art museum, and anyone visiting Auckland would be missing a treat not to stroll across the road and peek inside the drawers and cabinets of this astonishing place. There are few places I go and walk out excited without even making a purchase. This is one.
Anyone who has seen me in my Santa Monica shop or otherwise known me for the past few years will be familiar with this Joanna Campbell tape measure ring, which David bought for my birthday in 2005. I feel naked without it on my middle finger. India has one too. I also know a couple of LA ladies who have ordered them, one having to have hers in gold.
Is it not delightful?
Note: Fingers do not sell directly from their website but you can call from wherever in the world you are, and order something. They are very helpful and depending on the day you call, you might even speak to the artist her/himself.
Note #2: The prices reflect the quality of the work. It is world-class beautiful stuff.
Now, to show you some of my favourites, borrowing photos which are all copyright Fingers, but I don’t think they’ll mind me using them since I am talking about them, after all! Please check out all the links here. You will be amazed.
Warwick Freeman has a wonderful sense of humour. I love these tool-handle pendants, all made from different kinds of stone.
Also with a smile, Shelley Norton. This can be worn as a ring of a brooch.
This necklace by Kristin Toller is one of my favourites. It blurs the line between art, clothing, and jewellery.
textiles become jewels. Mary Curtis
If you’re not already in a frenzy browsing the Fingers website, here are some links to tip you over the edge:
Yang Zhang uses waste materials.
Octavia Cook has taken silhouettes to new, fabulous heights.
Karl Fritsch makes the most organic-looking rings (using precious stones) that you will ever see. They defy conventional ideas about jewels in a wonderfully subversive way. One day when my ship comes in I might just buy one.
Let’s all support crafts!