Discussions with Allison are always interesting and thought provoking. Our initial discussions can get overwhelming, but everyone needs that one person who tells you how it is and occasionally gives you a shove in the right direction. She does a lot more than just that for me, but you know what I mean. She pointed out the other day that most of my jewelry designs are bold, statement pieces that are sometimes over-the-top. The gauge I work the chainmaille in is not feminine and some people have commented I’m taking men’s jewelry and trying to make it feminine. The more I mulled over this, the more I realized how much my subconscious has snuck its way into my jewelry.
As the youngest of 3 kids, I’ve felt I’ve had to make an extra effort to be taken seriously. I’ve also spent nearly a decade working in a male-dominated field, on top of being overshadowed by both my father and my sister who work in the same field. But now with the kids, I’ve been making the mental transition of being out in the field to the backend of the office. It’s taken some getting used to because I miss the field work and watching the construction work, but being able to stay home with my kids is just as rewarding.
There is some evidence that I’m transitioning out of that “I need to prove myself” mentality, most prominently in the Chinese Knot Collection’s station necklaces and earrings. It’s just hard to de-program after so many years of fighting against the tide. I do feel less of a need to be taken seriously and definitely less need to prove myself. The next step in the journey is remembering that bigger isn’t always better and there is merit in simpler, understated designs. We’ll see where this next chapter of life takes me and how that translates into jewelry. Acknowledging where I’ve been and where I hope to go is the first conscious step.