From an inability to travel, to the pressure to stay home, many of us have been experiencing for the last 2 months an unparalleled sense of physical confinement during the current pandemic in the World. Some have suggested the government's restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as physical distancing, might lead to a rise in public's empathy for those who financially depend on interacting with others: hospital and overall caretakers, school teachers and schools in general, maids, cleaners, restaurants, hotels, bars and clubs, theatres, artists and entertainers… The term ‘professional fatalism’ captures the notion that over time, confronted by complex or chronic problems that are not amenable to a simple solution, and working in systems that are often ill-equipped to support people with these sets of challenges, it can be hard for staff to hold onto the belief that better outcomes are possible. A parallel process can take place for the people and communities they work with, who may experience similar feelings of powerlessness.
These times of hardship and general stress will pass, we will come out of it all together with lessons to remember about how we live and work together. We will be the ones “who lived through Corona”, telling our stories to the younger generations in the decades to come. And as we adapt our daily routines, and go through the emotional waves triggered by confinement, I invite us to observe the Beauty that surrounds us. It is a skill to master and strengthen, this ability to realise that beauty appears in our lives daily. And although beauty is indeed a subjective notion, it has the magnificent ability to touch you, to inspire thoughts and emotions which you can choose to pass along, creating a connectivity of positive influences.
In our Jewelry industry, my heart goes to the craftsmen and all the workshop workers and artisans, the designers and artists involved in developing this industry. I also think of all the salespeople who support these arts and help translate them to their clients. The stylists, photographers, graphic designers and press agents who put hours, days, weeks trying to present a creation in its best light. Their talents and dedication make this beautiful world relevant, alive and inspiring. These team efforts create our world and make it memorable. We are all in this together, and thanks to creativity and confidence we walk forward in Life with courage.
Courage is a notion which resonates a lot in me these days when I think of Beauty. Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or even intimidation. It is also multifaceted and remains a difficult construct to accurately and categorically define for social researchers, psychologists, theologians, and philosophers alike. Courage is nevertheless a universal inspiration when we are faced with adversity. It takes a great deal of gut to choose to put together expensive materials to construct a Jewel. From gemstones, to metals to labor-intensive craftsmanship involving different teams of experts and artisans, making jewelry requires to take risks. What clients see in a display one day is only the tip of a dramatic iceberg of creations which never came to life after months if not years of research & development marked by trials and errors. When a jewel is presented to a potential client, not only has the jeweller tried to express an artistic vision (= a subjective appreciation of beauty which hopefully will be adopted by someone else), but this jeweller has also reflected on his own financial business challenges to overcome (= the cost of making the jewel Vs. the chances of selling it). This jeweller is also pressured to find enough business profit to maintain his business running (administrative costs and general business maintenance). Last but not least, the understanding that jewelry is made with long-lasting materials, and that these creations might re-appear in the decades to come as a legacy to this Art which will in turn inspire new generations of professionals and clients. This weight to carry can be overpowering, but in many inspiring cases, jewellers keep pushing forward and with courage.
Hemmerle is a Munich-based jeweller founded in 1893 by brothers Joseph and Anton Hemmerle, Today's 4th generation, Christian and Yasmin Hemmerle continue the journey of developing unique one of a kind masterpieces, blending innovation with creativity. All their creations are one of a kind and often marry unusual, un-conformist materials and precious gemstones or artifacts together. (Top) A Diamond and Iron Ring (Middle) An Emerald and Copper Ring (Bottom) A Spinel and Patinated Copper Ring.
Joel Arthur Rosenthal and his partner Pierre Jeannet founded JAR in Paris. Over the decades they have stayed true and loyal to their values and ethics in a personal and confident expression of their Art. Diamond and green garnet Leek brooch, JAR, Paris. (Joel Arthur Rosenthal)
Maurizio Fioravanti, is a micromosaic jewellery artist based in Rome, Italy. He produces jewellery under the name of Vamgard. His jewellery were exhibited by Symbolic & Chase at TEFAF Maastricht in 2020. A pair of micro mosaic earrings in carbon fiber, and diamonds
Sevan Bıçakçı is a Turkish jeweller of Armenian descent. He is one of the few renowned jewelers in Turkey and is known around the world. He is considered a "star jeweler" in Turkey. He developed his own technique or carving genstones from the inside and painting them to reveal intricate and poetic landscapes, fauna and flora celebrating his native Turkey. His jewellery is exhibited and collected worldwide, but I invite travellers to pay a visit to his showroom located near Nisantasi district. Bird Carved Lemon Topaz Ring
Based in Athens, Greek jeweller THEODOROS continues to follow his independent vision of high jewelry design and craftsmanship. As an example, this hand jewel made with genuine Antique tiger claws and set with diamonds onyx and rubies
And so next time you see a jewel on display wether it is at an art fair, a jewelry show, in a showroom or in a boutique, remember how much courage it has taken for these people to choose to make it, to actually produce it, and to present it to the world in order to make a business live. They too are the heroes of a world which tends to forget the importance of Beauty for the purpose of short term commercialism.
And as a ray of sunshine flickers through my curtain, beaming through the steam rising silently from my fresh cup of tea, I think of you all, I send you my best energies, and I look forward to seeing your work, your art. Your talents will continue to shine. Thank you all for making my days of confinement beautiful in every simple ways. You give me Courage.