While I set out as an artist, I really just wanted to make weird, pretty, wearable things for like minded art freaks. I didn't have strong convictions about how I made or what I made. But after some time it becomes apparent to us artists that there's no separating yourself from the world around you even when all you're making is weird pretty objects. Our values shine through regardless. My art is a representation of me that's out in the world, it must speak for itself. Here you'll read my core missions and what matters when I share my art.
sustainability and ethical jewelry materials
I love crystals, I really do. I have a substantial collection! However, since I am a ~producer of goods~ I personally cannot reconcile purchasing crystals in large quantities for resale. Crystal mining is basically a completely unchecked market. Most crystal and stone vendors are not based in the US, which is understandable as most crystals aren't mined here, but this makes it so there is very little transparency about their practices. To add to this, shipping crystals has a hefty carbon footprint.
Because of this, I have decided to form my own ethical practices regarding my materials. I have decided that for the current season of my art practice, I am going to focus exclusively on ceramic works that I form, glaze, and fire in my studio. This gives me blissful creative freedom, while also easing my heart that in this particular instance I am reducing waste, gasoline, labor, and more.
As I shared in my tiffany technique post, size inclusivity is extremely important to me as an artist and especially one who makes wearable art and accessories. It's honestly just gross that there are still companies, big ones with massive factories, that still make size ranges that exclude at least half of prospective consumers. I've developed my business to make resizing easy for both myself and my customers, so that no one is excluded from owning a piece of my art simply because of the way they are.
I also do not gender my products. I often get questions like, "do you make men's jewelry?" Often this simply is asking whether I make extended sizing, which of course I do! And to be clear, I believe men's jewelry is simply jewelry being worn by a man. It is up to my customers to decide if my work is for them or not!
Aside from my own love for soft soldered jewelry as a maker, it is also much cheaper to produce. I started this journey broke, unemployed, and frankly lost as to where I wanted my art to take me. I had some sterling silver stashed around, but the entry point for a whole business based on silver and gold was a major barrier. And, as covid had everyone I knew in a financial bind as well, it was also a barrier for my target market (which is to say, my community!). I am so lucky to have found methods that work for me and make my work available to everyone. I believe in access to luxury items regardless of economic position. While I don't exactly make heirloom jewelry, I know my work can spark the kind of joy that a fancy pants self love and luxury lifestyle promises! Everyone deserves the joy of getting a beautiful adornment.
I hope my missions resonate with you and I would love to hear your thoughts. I'm fully committed to open dialogue and transparency. I also have some thoughts on capitalism but that will have to wait for another post... In time!
with love, Zoe