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Boho pendant

Hope Floats No 1


My method of creating has been an idea pops in my head that I can't resist and I focus on creating the best version of that idea into a piece of jewelry.  Once completed I usually feel completely satisfied and jump to the next idea I've been sitting on.  I never worried about my art being recognizable as mine, as I figured over time my body of work would have to look like it came from me.  In other words, someone would see a necklace of mine and think:  I know that's Janet's.  I asked that question once and was assured by several people that was so.   :-)

Many artists, many successful artists, work in a series.  I suspect many of them have degrees in art and one of the things they were taught was the value of working in a series.  I'm sure there are many things I will learn about the value of working this way, but I'll share that for the first time this past summer I purposely did so and right away the value I saw for me was a longer focus on an idea which had many benefits.  I'll share what I see as benefits in my next post.


boho jewelry

Hope Floats No. 2


The first three boho style pendants I created started with the amazing lampwork by Keysha Koy.  They're large hollow beads of art glass with such wonderful transparency and warmth of color and design.  I'd never seen anything like them before.  Although at the time I had absolutely no idea how I would be able to make wearable jewelry from them, I had to have them!  I enjoyed having them in a small bowl by my desk as just art.


Artisan lampwork necklace

Hope Floats No. 3


In my office I also have a large wire bowl filled with a collection of Japanese fishing floats which are very large blown glass balls that were used in the fishing industry.  The first of these types of floats were used in Norway in the early 19th century.  Some of the Japanese ones can still be found washing up ashore on the Pacific coast, but since they are no longer used there is a diminishing supply.

I also have a collection of hag stones (aka adder stone) that I've collected through the years, but also some I purchased from Scotland, my paternal homeland.  They can be a pebble, glass, anything where the hole is created naturally.  As a jewelry maker anything with a hole catches my eye!  They're considered lucky and ward off evil.  I love their natural smoothness and magic.

I've mentioned before that when I'm feeling a lot of stress it helps me to put my head into some creativity and get lost.  The world is a scary place to me right now and working in a series kept me lost for a good amount of time.  It was healthy to just gather my hopes and ideas and beautiful collection of baubles and bits and create art.

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."  Thomas Merton



I know almost nothing about jewelry but I really, really enjoyed your thoughts on how ideas get made into art -- especially your concept of focus -- and how your creations are ultimately going to have enough"you" in them to be discernible as your own. I love the fact that you have bowls and collections in your office, too. I think that having those 'reminders" are really helpful in getting creative juices flowing and projects started.


These are gorgeous Janet! I love their wild, Pacific coast feel. As a child we used to do a lot of beach combing along the PNW shore. We would pick up sand dollars by the buckets, and occasionally find a stray Japanese glass float. I have a collection of them my mother gave me. As you say they are rare these days to find.

I started creating in series a few years ago, and like you, found it pushed me to focus on design elements. And the main question I was asking myself is whether anyone could tell the difference if a piece was created by me? My problem is that my work is so eclectic that I worry I jump from one style to the next.

I would say that when I see a piece from you, I can recognize your style. The combinations and choices you make are distinctive, rich and as ruggedly beautiful as the PNW!

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