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Intersectional Cuff

Intersectional Cuff with Heat PatinaLately I’ve been reading about “Intersectional Feminism.” And, while it’s a lot more detailed than what I’ll get into here, I love how it approaches things. The basic concept is that it is necessary to look at people/life/situations from a multitude of perspectives in order to understand and address a problem. It fits in well, in my mind, to the holistic approach I learned in graduate school through the diversity classes which were part of my Clinical Psychology training. None of us are “one” thing or identity. Within each of us are representations of an assortment of “identities” including gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, cultural identity (which may not match our ethnic heritage), age, etc. Any time we face a form of privilege or discrimination, it could be a response to any one or combination of these.

 

It is in the huge diversity within humanity and the world that I find beauty. I find joy and inspiration in the “intersectional.” As messy as it can feel to try to understand people and situations through this lens, I love the ways in which it stretches me as a person. It makes me grow into a better human being, even as I struggle against our societal pressure to be “one” thing (a task at which I will- always- fail joyously).

 

In this “Intersectional Cuff” jewelry piece I wanted to create a beautiful artistic representation to remind me of the beauty of intersectional identities and the infinite possibilities they can embody- even within a single person (or piece). I also wanted to capture the rainbow of diversity which intersectional identities create, and so added a rainbow heat patina to the design.

 

In my case, I hold many identities within myself. I am woman, victim, survivor, disabled, multi-racial… and my list goes on. I have been discriminated against during my life for any number of these things in isolation or combination. I have been told to pretend that some of these identities, part of who I am, do not exist…. and yet they all exist, in me, and I would not be the person I am without them or the experiences I have had because of them.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about intersectional feminism, here’s an article from Everyday Feminism to get you started!

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Romance & Mischief by Design

Celebrating old romance and fantasy novels with imperfect printing, this new etched cuff is a great accessory for the mischievous!
Celebrating old romance and fantasy novels with imperfect printing, this new etched cuff is a great accessory for the mischievous!

 

I love romance and I really like creating mischief. Blending those two things together isn’t always easy, but I discovered early on that- occasionally- the turn of a phrase can satisfy my desire to have both.

 

As a youth, I read a lot of romance and fantasy novels. A pastor’s brat, there were lots of things I wasn’t supposed to do or say (most of which I didn’t miss, but I felt irritated at not being allowed to watch Dirty Dancing). With ultra-conservative family members (primarily grandparents), I often felt restricted by the rules of propriety which were imposed on me. I learned, however, that the use of a good double entendre could often satisfy my personal need to create mischief or rebel.

 

When I started developing the designs for Butterfly Sundries’ Bookworm Collection (inspired by and supporting my current Featured Charity, Sound Learning), some of the first designs I started sketching drew on those early experiences and memories. And, with Knights of Veritas having also been a recent Featured Charity, I had knights on my mind… which is how this design (which supports both non-profits with 10% of the sale profits, though it is only officially part of the Bookworm Collection) came to be developed.

 

Being a person with a healthy sense of self-preservation, I also learned to always ensure that- should the need arise- I could point to the completely innocent origins of my statement. To keep with my tradition of always having a way out, I included shelves of books on the ends of this design (an easy disclaimer the wearer may use, if needed, for those  with sensitive dispositions or concerns about propriety; I recommend also feigning dismay and shock that their mind would go so quickly to such- delightfully- naughty places).

 

Incorporating my loves for old romances, fantasy novels, imperfect book printing, literature, a passable double entendre and mischief all in one design? My work here is done, at least for now (Yes, it is available on Etsy).

 

I think I’ll go hook up my old VCR to watch my taped copy of Dirty Dancing (one of several “forbidden” movies I taped on VHS, during my youth, and left unlabeled for viewing when my parents left the house).

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Finding Inspiration in my Creative Roots

 

This etched floral cuff took design elements from the sketches and doodles of my artistic roots and brought them into the form of jewelry design.
This etched floral cuff took design elements from the sketches and doodles of my artistic roots and brought them into the form of jewelry design.

 

In school I was a doodler. Almost every paper I turned in had margins that were covered in sketches- vines, flowers, animals, cartoon characters from my imagination. In college, the trend continued (at least until graduate school) with faculty who would appreciate my sense of humor; I would include cartoon shorts in the cover pages, often pertaining to the subject matter of the paper itself (that got really fun for me when I was studying the different psychological theorists- each major theorist had a dedicated cartoon-animal counterpart with its own individual personality quirks). While some would take the practice as a sign I wasn’t paying attention in class- in reality it was my way of staying focused and creating visual representations of what I was hearing; my doodles helped me remember the content of the coursework.

In a moment of insanity, I recently decided to open some of my boxes still unpacked from my last move (a year ago); I was happy to find papers covered with sketches- and inspiration for new jewelry designs. Choosing a few of my favorite elements, I began the endeavor of creating new jewelry designs which integrated some of those elements into new copper etching designs. This is one of several designs with elements from my creative past which are coming to Etsy; I hope you like it!

 

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I won my spurs!

"I won my spurs!" eched cuffs
Part of the Knights Collection, these "I won my spurs!" cuffs are a great celebration of the knight-spirit in you and your loved ones!
Part of the Knights Collection, these “I won my spurs!” cuffs are a great celebration of the knight-spirit in you and your loved ones!

 

Did you know spurs are medieval? In the middle ages a squire would receive silver spurs; a knight would be given gold spurs. If a knight behaved dishonorably his spurs would be hacked off by his peers!

Celebrate your love for history and the middle ages with one of these beautiful etched “I Won My Spurs!” Cuff. Each of these beautiful bracelets are one-of-a-kind items; I couldn’t create exact duplicates if I tried.  Each is original- just like you! They are available in my Etsy shop!

These items are part of my Knights Collection, a jewelry collection inspired by the programs of one of my Featured Charities: Knights of Veritas. They recently celebrated the addition of a genuine medieval spur to their traveling museum program; this bracelet is my way of celebrating! If you’d like to learn more about their programming, please visit their website.