Today Jan posed the question to keep in mind and answer: What do you want this piece to say?
-Right now I'm not sure I know the full answer to that question yet, but I do know I want it to be something that would evoke a thought or question when you look at it in order to spread awareness or at the least the curiousity to become informed. Also as beautiful as diamonds are they can hold a deep, "bloodied," and tainted history that we can never be certain of.
-I've also decided that I want my format to be a charm/pendant to wear on a bracelet. To me this has its own metaphors. I love jewelry, rings are my favorite to wear and earrings. Necklaces are nice, until I get sick of them after a few hours and tend to rip them off. But I almost dislike bracelets. I think they look gorgeous on people, but I can not stand them, sure I have a select few (and I mean maybe 2 or 3 that I actually like to wear) I tend to only wear them if I'm getting dressed up, and again for only short amounts of time. They just tend to annoy me to no end. I only have 1 bracelet that I really love and tend to wear a lot, and I think the meaning is the significance behind it. This particular bracelet is one I bought from the Gap, part of the (red) campaign, it wasn't expensive but half of the profits went to AIDS victims in Africa. That to me means something and has a purpose, I don't get that same annoying feeling when I'm wearing it, I LOVE this bracelet, and even though its a stupid piece of red leather tied in a knot, yet, I find it very meaningful. It's this same reason that I made the decision to turn my piece into a bracelet. I want to make it another one I will love (assuming my design holds up I don't see why I wouldn't) In a way I DO want to make it an annoying bracelet, but with a purpose. I want to make the charm a bit awkward and large for a typical bracelet, for the sake of seeing it easily, and as a blatant reminder that the reason it will annoy me is a meaningful one, the whole blood diamond problem irks and annoys me to no end, there is no perfect outcome or solution, so it's fitting that it will make me be aware and thoughtful of the situation each time I wear it. I wanted the beads I chose to be symbolic too. I wanted them to be a range of deep reds fading into clear to signify the struggles, war, temporary resolutions, Kimberly process coming into effect, and clear representing the hope that perhaps one day it will be fixed. Also in the back of my mind I kept thinking of these gorgeous red beads I saw years ago, and thinking they would be perfect and symbolic of the blood/struggle. Turns out as I was cleaning I stumbled upon those beads that I swore I never bought, they were with others that I liked and I hold onto until they have a purpose, now I've found one for these beads.
-Another note that popped in my head tonight was the statement in the documentary that the real test of the Kimberly Process will be at times of war in Africa's volatile nations. My friend Rex was born in Baltimore, but grew up in Kenya. Right now their country is in an uproar after an unexpected election in December, tribes are rising up and creating violent situations. Kenya has been one of the most stable nations and now people are fleeing for their safety, much like the RUF forced the Sierra Leone people out of the mining areas. Hopefully this will not escalate into another fatal outcome that could fall back onto diamond funded wars.
-One more thought/ focus area: Diamonds as a raw natural resource. I think diamonds are just as gorgeous in their natural state. They don't need over 100 facets to be beautiful and captivating. This story is raw, uncensored, and true, raw diamonds are just the same. They have so much more character, and I veered off to look into that. I'm drawn to natural states of gemstones in jewelry. Last year at ACC I saw Todd Reeds work and fell in love with the raw diamond workings. His stuff is great, I want one of his rings so badly. In the fall I went to a jewelry convention downtown filled with millions of gorgeous sparkling pieces, but I found one company called Symmetry whose designs showcased raw gemstones. The natural colors and shapes are so unique, no matter what no 2 will EVER be the same, which is a beautiful paradox to the millions of cookie cutter commercial jewelry forms. There is also a company called Diamond in the Rough that specializes in using raw diamonds in their pieces. Again they are just so breathtaking! I would much rather have one of these designs as an engagement ring than the latest trend from Jared or pick a place, they have so much character of their own and its own unique look and story.
Here's some links:
(The pictures at are at the top of the page since I could not figure out how to move them to the bottom, the top with the many stones is an example of Todd Reed's work and the second is the Diamond in the Rough example.)