i first met jean from 3squares while researching crafty locales for my “shop local” series over on try handmade. i, too, share a passion for jean’s jewelry inspiration: food! she deftly & creatively takes everyday food items and creates modern, strong jewelry pieces in their image. keep reading for more information on how jean found her passion!
your line is based on the joy of food and your passion for metalsmithing. what other passions do you have? and what’s really inspiring you right now?
I’m passionate about comforting things. Good books. Old movies. Down comforters. Earl Grey. Cashmere. A robust bottle of red. Pasta. Sinatra. Sounds contrary to my modern tastes, but it’s true. Actually I’m not 100% sure, but I might be channeling my grandmother.
At the moment I am crazy into silk. I have a pile of scraps and more ideas than I can get out of my head, but I’m working on a bunch of new pieces combining metal and fabric. Love the unexpected combination of rustic, oxidized metal and bright, luscious silk.
tell me about an obstacle you overcame in finding your passion for jewelry making and turning that into a business.
I think the hardest part was preparing to take the plunge and quit my job to work full-time on my jewelry. I have a marketing degree and had worked hard to build a solid resume, but I knew I couldn’t keep with it forever – I was burning out. If I was going to make a change, I couldn’t wait much longer. But leaving the security of a “real” job is a scary thing, and I certainly couldn’t have done it without my husband’s support, literally and figuratively.
your work is geometric, colorful, and inspired by food! tell me about your design process in creating a new piece.
Many ideas are inspired by my habit of reading cookbooks. I have a collection of more than 100, and I read them like novels. Really, at least a couple are sitting on my nightstand as we speak. A recipe or ingredient can spark an idea for a shape, color or texture. I generally sketch out my thoughts, and those often mutate into other ideas until I have pages (or envelopes or napkins) full of variations on a theme.
tell me about something you struggle with on a daily basis in living out your passion for jewelry.
I struggle every day with finding the right balance. Funny how when you’re doing something you love, it can really consume you. My daughter tells me when it’s time to put the computer down, and I try and listen. And my husband (a bit of a neat freak) has relaxed his clutter standards a bit.
People talk about time seeming to move faster once you have a child, they grow up so fast. But running your own business makes time zip by even more quickly. For the first time I’ve realized the huge list of things I want to accomplish, and the small amount of time available to do them. But I guess that really does force you to prioritize and focus on the top of the list. At least I’m trying.
The kid says it’s time to put the laptop away now, but thanks for listening scoutie girl!
metalsmithed jewelry by 3squares :: $22-75