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Women of the Gold Rush | Part 1

A jewelry designers hunt

for the Extraordinary Women of history

who through their courage, empowered women of the future

to have opportunity, justice, education, equal rights

and a better life to hand to their children.

I tell their important life stories with what I know, jewelry design.

Where did this idea come from?

This unexpected question about my new inspiration; designing a jewelry collection for extraordinary women of history, has been posed to me dozens of times. Answering it seemed a good way to begin this new blog.

It came out of loss. The loss of my son Wilder devastated my creativity and passion for my work. Grief is a thing that takes the place of every waking and most sleeping moments. Nothing seems to have value or interest anymore-not relationships, not daily life and most certainly not my career of designing jewelry. It

was like the very color of my world was suddenly gone and everything was fading into a haze.

Unimportant, Insignificant, Small.

No words by friends or family could ease my ache so in February of 2015, as if the city literally spit me out, I drove all night to Colorado see if the the mountains had anything to say to me that would help. It’s been a remedial place of solitude for me for most my life. I intended to stay a week and after three weeks, felt restored enough to drive back to Minnesota.

Three weeks can not mend a broken heart but the experience illustrated what could comfort me, what could sustain me.

In January 2016, I packed up my car and set out again. This time with a plan on how I could contribute to my shop while I was healing my soul, I would design a collection of jewelry inspired by Americana. I searched the landscape for images that inspired me as I drove and pulled over to take pictures every time I saw something iconic or at the very least, something that looked like jewelry to me!

Jack Kerouac wasn’t a jewelry designer, but it began to occur to me this idea had been done already and it wasn’t long-or many states-before I was bored. This was clearly not the inspiration I was looking for.

As I pulled into the town of Frisco where I would be living, I was overpowered by the feeling you get when you drive down the block you grew up on as a kid. All the buildings,signs,trees and sidewalks as familiar as if I had only been gone a moment.

I pulled over, cried, talked to Wi and took a picture. This was a series of actions that would repeat itself hundreds of times in the next three months.

To be continued…

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