One of my daughter’s favourite stories is Peter and the Wolf. A central tenant to the story is the dangers of playing in the meadow. Peter is under strict instructions not to leave the safety of the domestic garden however, he cannot resist the temptations of the meadow. Containment, order, safety versus the unpredictable, wildness and freedom.
What makes me think about this story is that one of the jewellers that came up in my initial conversations with Francis was Hermann Junger (b. 1928). Junger is considered one of the forefathers of contemporary jewellery. Technically he was a brilliant goldsmith, yet over his career, Junger welcomed a more unconventional approach to jewellery making:
Junger concentrated on the “act of making” because he felt it was a crucial part of a wider human experience and one that was becoming increasingly rare. The analogy that illustrates Junger’s alternative concept is that of the contrast between a well-groomed and tended garden and the effusive energy and unrestrained natural beauty of wildflowers in a meadow. (https://www.ganoksin.com/article/jewelry-hermann-junger/)
I love this idea of the meadow, letting things evolve from the process and inviting the openness of a field into a jewellery practice. I can connect this way of thinking to Francis’ mentorship style of encouraging the making and letting this process guide the end product. For me, this means letting go of preconceived ideas and welcoming what comes up from being in the studio and playing. Not always an easy task, especially working in a medium that technically often demands precision and conciseness on small surface areas. However, inspiration can pop up in unexpected ways, such as finding a drawing in my studio by my daughter, Willa…