Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Swaps - The Spirit of Giving

Recently I was in in Manchester doing a photo shoot for my upcoming book on recycled materials/found objects in jewelry. The book focuses on my work as well as the work of 5 other jewelers. One of these jewelers is Emiko Oye of San Francisco who creates jewelry with LEGO®. I admire her jewelry very much for it's thoughtful use of materials + amazing colour scheme. There are a number of examples on the internet of people using LEGO® to make jewelry but I think Emiko's LEGO® jewelry is without a doubt the best out there.

This bracelet here is a limited edition bracelet made of repurposed LEGO®, patinated sterling silver tubing, synthetic ruby corundum set in 14k gold, rubber cord and is titled 'Fruit Stripe'. I fell in love with this bracelet the very moment I saw it. The colours just made me salivate and totally made me think of my childhood chomping on Fruit Strip gum as a kid in my Nana's kitchen.

After I returned from the shoot I became very reluctant to send this baby back to Emiko so asked her if she would be interested in a swap for some of my jewelry. She happily agreed!! I am now the proud owner of this sweeeeeeet thang and Emiko has my Fluff Vent Necklace + Fluff Heart Ring in purple. Two very happy artists sharing their work.

As important as it is for us to sell our work so our businesses thrive sometimes it is just nicer to get back to basics, ignore the money + barter. It never hurts to ask. And in these harder economic times it's a little easier. So if you have a talent making jewelry, art, cooking, writing etc. share it with someone and barter.

The Holidays don't have to be stressful. It's all about being thoughtful + giving, not how much stuff you buy or what it costs. What to barter? Let me know.


photo courtesy of Emiko Oye


Anonymous said...

I agree with the art of swapping and the spirit of giving, even in collection of materials, it is the old saying of "what goes around comes around." I have found that some components that I have , are of use to other designer makers. "one mans trash is another's treasure" But what do others value, of knowledge and making?
Is it the individuals name and experience and skill? or is it the price of the materials?
Could it be in who collects your work and wears it? x

skowood said...

Thanx very much for you comment...

It's very hard to determine what other people value since everything you mentioned comes into play.

Saying that I personally don't buy into branding or feel strongly about "who" made a handmade item. I look at the quality and uniqueness of the design and this determines my response. If a handmade item is a wicked cool design but not made well I sadly walk away and do not hand over my money. I just don't respond to things that are not made well no matter how much I love the idea or design of it.

Who collects and wears ones work seems be an outdated concept to me. There are so many talented makers out there and so few who collect. I think there are a lot of designer/makers who still believe in this but there is also a growing movement of makers who do not care about "collectors" and make work that is accessible to everyone. There is a problem with quality sometimes in this movement but I think it will work itself out.

I am following you okay?