In my last post, I redacted the name of a jeweler who publicly criticized my ANZA PURE x Wendy Brandes collaboration because I didn’t want to create undue trouble for him even though I was like …
I figured it was one thing for me to write about his mean-boy comment, but another thing for him to suffer any consequences that were more severe than warranted.
However, what I thought of as a kind attempt to protect him from himself was perceived by jewelry designer Richard Kimball as a lack of “courtesy and … courage.” (Wow! Men really are from Mars, women from Venus!) I don’t want to make that mistake again, so rather than simply approving the comment he left me on yesterday’s musings, I have elevated it to its own blog post.
Please note that typos are his. These earrings are also his. You can judge for yourselves whether the elements of good design — definable, available for study, and beyond the scope of taste — are present in those.
Notions of beauty come and go, fads and trends are ephemeral. Granted, there are always people who enjoy and buy an idea of the moment. If, however, you were not so busy with your life of “jewelry design… bookeeping, blogging, vlogging,tweeting…”etc. you might have found the time to discover that the elements of good design are definable, available for study and go beyond the scope of taste. To equate a financially prudent and technically simplistic solution to using attractive but challenging material, dreamed up over lunch, with good design is either highly self- delusional or the hight of arrogant advertising and promotion. I have no quarrel with simple solutions, and celebrate any and all income passed back to the miners who struggle to make a living. What I find difficult to accept is calling a product something that it isn’t. Sadly, our current jewelry world is far too full of these breathless claims of beauty and cutting-edge design, and the products emanating from it are, as I claimed, often the result of lazy conception and are technically undemanding in this age where every technological advantage imaginable is available. Putting points on18k round wire and bending it around an uncut stone is not ” thoughtful ” and there is nothing “exquisite” about it. Please feel free to conceptualize it, manufacture it, sell it with great success. Please do not call it something that it isn’t
On another note, to imply that my criticism is gender biased is nothing but a smokescreen on your part to obscure the gist of my commentary. I did not speak ” badly” about any woman. Issues of design and promotion are universal, belonging to neither women nor men, and my discussion of them has no basis other than the material facts. Do not be so presumptuous as to tell me what I feel. And if you are going to quote me or reprint something I wrote, have the courtesy and the courage to use my name.
Interestingly, the Spacenook post that first raised Richard’s ire didn’t contain overt praise for the designs, metalwork, or concept of the ANZA PURE pieces. Only the original poster could say for sure, but I understood this as an enthusiastic response to the gem colors, which are, indisputably, freaking beautiful.
Other people chimed in with “Nice to see the natural beauty of the crystals” and “Fantastic. Colors,” so I do believe most of us were focused on how vivid these pink and green stones were. I went back to check, because Richard Kimball’s initial comment was …
… which reads like a non sequitur to me. I wouldn’t have used “homage” in that context.
Anyway, at the risk of repeating myself, I’m fine with people hating on the rough look of the ANZA pieces. If it’s not your style, so be it, whether you’re a potential customer or another jewelry designer!
I’d be okay with that even if the ANZA PURE jewelry was all I did — even if I didn’t spend most of my time doing the kind of technically demanding, more traditionally designed work that Richard Kimball claims to prefer. I do so much of that that I’m not even sure which piece to insert here as an example. Let’s go with this (award-winning! LOL!) anniversary ring.
As I said in the previous post, I’m not sure why Richard Kimball felt duty-bound to share his opinion on the ANZA PURE designs. No one is being forced to buy it, and there is so much jewelry in the world! The first couple of times I went to a jewelry trade show and saw hundreds of thousands of designs under one big convention-hall roof, I thought, “Why am I doing design? Everything possible has been done!” (Then I decided, “Hey, what’s one more person?”) There’s truly something for everyone: Expensive jewelry, inexpensive jewelry, classic diamond studs, rough spinel studs, earrings that look like sperm, pink-sapphire elephants rings … almost anything you can imagine …
… even a solid gold snake tiara for goth brides!
Here's a closeup of our most luxurious piece to date – two twisting 18K snakes embrace in the center, holding a large South Sea pearl. The snakes are peppered with 76 white diamonds and each snake has ruby eyes. On the left you can see Wendy's eye for function peeking out of this gorgeous redhead's hair – the tiara's band was created with 18K rose gold wire that was engineered with loops for bobby pins or sewing the piece in place, to be sure it's secure for an entire day of celebration. Photo credit: Heathwood Photography. ⠀ #WendyBrandesWedding⠀ -⠀ -⠀ -⠀ #bride #bridal #oneofakind #highjewelry #jewelry #jewellery #luxury #luxurious #eternity #wedding #congratulations #luxebride #diamond #pearl #southseapearl #18k #victorian #tiara #queen #princess #snake #snakejewelry #heirloom #futureheirloom #diamondjewelry #hautejoaillerie
There are too many options to waste time on what you don’t like! My old blog motto was wear what you want, and that applies to jewelry customers too. Spend your hard-earned money on what you love, even if it’s not mine, and as long as you’re happy, you’re not going to hear any criticism from me. Of course, if you tell me you’ve gotten bad service from another jewelry store/jewelry designer — as so many people have explained to me when they bring other designers’ work to me for repairs — then I’ll tell you what I really think.
UPDATED APRIL 4, 2018, TO ADD: When I wrote this post, I hadn’t yet seen the version of the blog comment that Richard Kimball sent to one of my company emails. (He really wanted to make sure I got his message!) I feel obligated to report that he corrected both typos in that email.