Jewellery is one of the only things in life that I've ALWAYS had. I remember making jewellery from an early age, and even being gifted jewellery from a super early age...I came across my Christening bangle a few days ago and it's TINY!
When I was five years old, my parents divorced. I grew up with one half of my family encouring my endless creative endeavours....and the other side....well, not so much. I remember being told that 'art is a waste of time', 'people don't need it'.
Unfortunately for that side of the family, art and creativity isn't something I can give up. It's not that simple, it runs through my very core. It's my purpose in life....And I believe it IS important. So here I am, a professional jeweller....
And that got me thinking....About how much we really DO need jewellery, and why it's so important to us humans.
In one of my previous blog posts, I remember mentioning that humans have been making jewellery for 130,000 years! So errr, it obviously has some sort of importance to us right? And has done for a long time....I mean, that's 100,000 years before agriculture and farming came into existence. So for 100,000 years, expressing ourselves was more important than feeding ourselves in the long term.
I've always seen the emotional connection within jewellery, and the power it holds to really be an extension of our soul. And so I would argue that for most of us wholehearted women, jewellery is likely to be one of our most treasured possessions. In fact, it's entirely possible to not be materialistic at all, but STILL have a collection of jewellery that you can't part with. Why? because jewellery is just too emotional.
So yeah, I think we can all agree that jewellery is important!
But, in case you're not convinced yet....I've put together 5 reasons why jewellery means so much to us:
1) It's an essential accessory
Let's start with the obvious shall we. Of course, jewellery is worn for style purposes. We all want to look great and reflect our individual style. So many of us feel underdressed and completely dull without our jewellery on. Even leaving the house without a simple pair of stud earrings can make us feel totally naked. Jewellery is that extra touch that adds magic and sparkle to our outfit. It can be simple, elegant, quirky, colourful, shiny, feminine....The list is endless, but for me, jewellery has always been that finishing touch!
2) Jewellery connects us to others
This is one of the main reasons that I gave up my career as a scale model maker, to become a jeweller; connection! There is probably no form of creativity as loaded with connection as jewellery making, and that makes it one of the most important and beautiful crafts in the world. We all have pieces of jewellery that were given to us by a loved one, or that contain the birthstones of loved ones. As soon as we put those pieces on, they remind us of those we love most. These are the pieces we wear on those days that feel tough, the days where we need to feel connected and less alone. In fact, they are probably some of the most significant things we will ever own in our lives!
3) Jewellery transports us to another memory
Whenever I've been on holiday somewhere new and had an amazing time, I've bought a piece of jewellery. I've got jewellery from the Met Museum in New York, from a jeweller in Ubud in Bali....From independent jewellers in Cornwall....and from artists in Rome. I can't part with those pieces, ever. As soon as I put them on they take me right back to those amazing memories! Jewellery has the power to do that, because of the longevity of it. A good piece of jewellery will last a lifetime....So that's a whole lifetime you get to put that necklace on and be reminded of that incredible trip to Barcelona.....There's something unbelievably magic about it!
4) Jewellery is an amazing celebration of ourselves and our stories
This is one of the things I'mmost passionate about when it comes to jewellery design, because it's so close to my heart. I grew up as a child with super low self esteem and had depression and anxiety at a really young age. As I've gotten older, I've realised the huge importance of self compassion, mindful living and also really celebrating our stories. So often we try to run from our stories, try to put parts of them in a box and never look at them again. But we can't do that, we don't deserve that. Celebrating our stories in their fullness is what makes us, us! And jewellery can be the most amazing reminder of those parts of our stories. I love making jewellery for women who've just been through a particulary difficult time in their lives and are celebrating coming through the other side stronger and more aligned with themselves. Whenever they put that jewellery on they feel strong, empowered and totally in tune with themselves. Jewellery can reflect our hopes, dreams and ambitions, it's the most beautiful gift we can give ourselves....We deserve it!
5) Jewellery connects us with our ancestors
How many of us have inherited our grandmothers old jewellery? Or a pearl ring from our aunty? Even if you don't feel the piece is something you want to wear, precious metal jewellery can be remodelled into something else using the orignal materials. You get to keep the sentimentality of the piece, but have it re-worked into something you're more likely to wear! We might also get birthstone jewellery made with the stone representing loved ones that have passed.
I believe, that the best pieces of jewellery have a story. They have the power to take us somewhere else, connect us with past present and future, and remind us of where we've come from and the people that made us who we are. That's what jewellery is all about, and what it should be all about.....Because in the end, the only thing we really own is our story!
I'd absolutely love it if you would like to share with me in the comments below, what your favourite pieces of jewellery are, and why the mean so much to you!
Life has so many ups and downs, just like waves in the ocean. Sometimes it's hard to see over some of the bigger waves, but being by the sea and seeing it's magnitude can make us realise how lucky we are to even be here at all.