Why I am doing what I am doing
Diving into writing that is a little bit more meaningful now, I feel the need to touch on why it is I am doing what I am doing. I am sure we all ask ourselves that these days, especially now that we are in the new year it seems everyone is questioning where they stand - both internally and in relationship to the outside world.
Back in 2012 I was an art director for a prominent fashion company here in Istanbul. I sat at a desk in front of a huge Apple computer, tablet in hand, and generally stayed still for about 8-10 hours a day working on photo editing or all sorts of graphic layouts. The work I did was rewarding, but after some time in front of a screen and under fluorescent lights, one would start hallucinating.
I don’t know why, but on a particular day I was working late when a voice popped into my head;
- ‘Are you going to be sitting here when you are 40?’
- ‘No’, I replied.
- ‘What do you want to do?’, the voice said
- ‘I want to make things. I want to make beautiful things for myself and share them with the world. If people like them, they can have them. If they don’t, they won’t have to. I need to feel what I am creating. I am going to make things’.
The next weekend I was in jewellery school. My mother had set up a metal workshop in our home when I was young, so I naturally gravitated towards this. Over the course of five years I learned jewellery metalsmithing and stone setting from master craftsmen in the Grand Bazaar. They taught me the technicalities, but through being with them I acquired so much more. Over the years through thick and thin not only they, but metal itself became my teacher.
Here are a few of the lessons I learned:
Unlike any other material, metal is forgiving. You can make mistakes in your work but then melt it down and remold it again. You can break it and remake it - an important lesson for life itself.
Jewellery metalsmithing requires patience. You cannot rush anything in this work. You need silence and a clear mind. Nothing should be rushed. The slower you work, the more meticulous and well-made your pieces will be. Patience, persistence and time are truly necessary to create beauty. This is also true for relationships and self-worth.
When creating, first create things for yourself. When you start thinking about what others will like, you lose the true essence of what you are doing. When all that you create comes from within, you can truly engage in the flow of creativity and all that manifests is fluid and whole.
Jewellery is special in that it carries meaning for the wearer. Meaning is based on who it was made by, who gifted it, where it was bought, how it is worn, or any other number of factors. Fine jewellery carries an energy with it, that is placed upon it by the maker, giver or wearer. This responsibility in utilizing and the symbolism of jewellery is something to be aware of.
Whatever you make can always be better. The process should not be a chore but a journey to be accepted and enjoyed. When you stick with one talent that you can cherish for yourself and not share with anyone else, this is what will get you through the good times and the bad.
I have found the relationship between hard metal and the soft human hand/body to be a transcendental and ongoing experience. Needless to say, I left corporate life to create Emma Krafft Jewellery. The process is ongoing…