This post is about jewelry I swear, but please, just indulge me in a quick back story!
After I graduated high school in 1996 (gulp), I moved to Mexico to learn Spanish. Seems like a bold move, I know, but it was really more the result of a complete lack of a plan (and a persuasive Spanish teacher). Everyone around me was applying to collage, the deadlines came and went, and I was stuck like a deer in the headlights. Senora Sprunger took pity on me, and convinced me that a C grade Spanish student actually had potential.
So, terrified, I moved to Veracruz, and it was honestly one of the best things I have ever done. Meanwhile, on the opposite coast of Mexico, my dad was tagging along with a friend who was in search of a quiet spot to expatriate. They both fell in love with this dusty little beach town that no one had ever heard of, and both bought property- one of the best things my Dad ever did! After leaving Veracruz, I met my parents in Sayulita (which I’m sure 90% of you have heard of now!) and have lived there part time ever since. We built a house, and keeping with tradition, we gave it a name: Casa Solana.
My Dad and me at Casa Solana in Sayulita not long after it was built.
In addition to Spanish, I have learned SO many other things while living in Mexico, including a lot of my jewelry skills: bead weaving, metalsmithing and stone setting.
My new collection is called Solana, which means “sunny side”, named not only after our house, but after a love of the sun and as an homage -so to speak- of life in Mexico.
All the pieces in this collection are made with Sterling silver, which has a been used for jewelry by Aztec artisans in Mexico long before the Spanish took over. The sun design is hand stamped (by me:) into the silver, making each piece a unique creation.
Me in my studio working away!
Turquoise, has also been used in Mexico for thousands of years and although the combination with silver is a well-known classic, the art form did not begin until the 1800’s, and was uncommon until the 1920’s.
These days, silver and turquoise together reminds us of Navajo jewelry of the Southwest, another artistic influence of mine. The turquoise in these designs comes from an old mine in Mexico.
The other stone featured in this collection is Kyanite. Not at necessarily related to Mexico, but a personal favorite. Kyanite is found around the world and considered a very unique mineral crystal. It’s one of only two minerals on the planet (citrine is the other) that doesn’t retain or accumulate negative energy. It’s known for its high vibration, ability to align chakras and open the mind.
If you’ve been with me on this jewelry journey for a bit, you’ve seen the sunburst theme before and the evolution of this design.The idea has been with me for a while, and I’m excited to finally see it as I’d always imagined it.
Early prototypes and sketches.
Not only that but, technically speaking, despite being a jewelry maker for over 10 years, this is my first actual collection. What can I say, I’m slow!
My hope for this collection is not only a slightly modern take on a nostalgic classic, but also reminder and a tribute to the sun. Symbolically the sun represents ourselves, who we are and who we’re becoming. No doubt that we are in some dark times at the moment. But the sun gives us hope, gives us the “new’ every day, and reminds us that everything is a cycle.