Here are some shots of our studio that was in the historic jewelry mecca, The Phelan Building dating back from...who knows when. My studio and offices were there for 18 years. We grew organically in that space- by just breaking through walls to add suites when we grew. It was a bit like a crazy rabbit warren at one point, but fun. Our new space is better organized, efficient and airy with big walls for artwork and a giant bookshelf. I really love having people visit us here, but when I look back at these photos I feel nostalgic for the old days and for the people who worked there with us.
My jewelry book collection is complete with this rare book by Paul Villiard! No topic seems off limits for Paul, ceramics, plumbing, woodworking and even candy making! My favorite is 'Moths and How to Rear Them'--who knew the needed rearing! To me his work is reminiscent of the great MFK Fisher's 'Consider the Oyster' or Brenda Euland's inspired classic, 'If You Want to Write.'
Here is an exert that exemplifies his prose, as he waxes poetic about the fiendish endeavor of polishing:
...This is characteristic of the buff. It seems as though they are designed to snatch the work and slam it up against the wall, or dash it to the floor where it will bounce all around the room, each bounce putting a new bruise on your heart! Sometimes you will find a buff so fiendish that it is almost impossible to touch without this happening.
And the book is also chock-a-block full of smart suggestions to ignite some big ideas!
Abby and William are little atoms that when joined together equal more than the sum of their parts. I took them to be photographed by Sven in his Hayes Valley studio, and it was as if Thing One and Thing Two were let loose from their crate. They felt instantly at home enough to jump on the couch and yell at the top of their lungs—they also ferret away Japanese yen sitting in a dish. Soon they are on an adventure going from room to room, looking with wonder at tiny, unusual sculptures and figurines that were both mysterious and beautiful. Abby’s mother and I are really happy to show them a glimpse into another world, a different aesthetic, which is all Sven, world traveler, accomplished photographer, and exceptional sock maker. I love the part of his work that includes children. He captures that authentic child vibrancy, the moments betwixt and between-- they never look like they are in a ‘sitting’. I have known Sven since we both lived together as warehouse mates in a very raw work/live space south of Market in the early 90’s. It is nice to have him take pictures of my son and his bestie, and have them become part of his work, and mine, it is a special connection all around. When he meets the children he points to his Dogwood necklace and asks Will, ‘Do you know where this came from? Your momma's brain.'
My old friend, 'Parberry,' imports Italian paper goods from the Amalfi Coast. My first business card was made from this special paper which was made to this exact size like individual wafers, not cut or torn. And Julie Addison of Addison Endpapers, printed them all by hand. Someone recently sent this in which is great because I haven't been able to find any!!