I took a break from blogging and then wasn’t sure what to write as a big piece to return to. Would it be addressing the past or focus on an industry issue? I had drafted something and left it. Returning to my blog this piece still holds up with a few edits. Please read on as I address both.
After seeing so many from the jewelry community sharing their political preferences over the past 18 months, I took a break from the online writing as I thought about what course I want to take for my blog and future aspirations. Over that time, I had a post pop up in my feed from a designer I follow and whose pieces I liked, it had nothing to do with jewelry and was very divisive. There was no war of words, but I am no longer following or supporting the designer.
Recently I was curious to see if that designer was having any improvements to their situation. In a word, no. Since the beginning of June, they had 36 posts:
- 9 Political
- 13 Jewelry
- 14 Other (food, costumes, etc)
Barely a third of that jewelry designers Instagram feed was for their craft. It made me realize I should not get so caught up with others social media and most importantly I need to continue to be positive with my media and not alienate those that only wish to enjoy what I enjoy: jewelry.
This was not the only sad tale of a jeweler getting too focused and overwhelmed with current events to realize that if their jewelry outlives them a strange history may follow it. When you look at a piece from the workshop of Faberge what do you see? How does it make you feel? What comes to mind?
I see fine craftsmanship. A feeling of awe and excitement comes over me as I wish I could find out more about its past. The piece above is coming up for auction at Christie’s, so I know some of it’s importance and time period (1913). The mention of Faberge brings to mind a world of grandeur and splendor, many happy moments and the end of an era. I have done several articles on Faberge that you can read here and here if you would like to know more. Honestly, I do not look at it and say, “I wonder if he supported the Bolsheviks” or “Wow how terrible he did business with those Elites”. I’ll never really know his deep political leanings and that is all the better for me. He had many artisans under him whom I’m sure had opinions (some fought in the army), but they just came to work and did a quality job.
What concerns me with the jewelry industry today is that more “designers” are trying to be recognized and bought for their call outs than their craftsmanship, for their conformity to the mainstream versus their creativity. Jewelry should be enjoyed not create disharmony. There is a difference between expressing yourself and shouting at others.
I see the trend reports and social media marketing tips about personalizing your brand. My question for you to think about is, when you buy for yourself do you value how well the product works for the maker or how well it would work for you? How would you feel if a designer recognized the death of a person in another state but ignored their neighbor that died protecting a store near you? (That is a true case for me, I will never look at that designers work the same again after they ignored the death of an innocent person in their own town)
This has also taught me something about the art of jewelry, I need to look at the piece not the person. Do I like it or not? The designer I just referenced has quality items, but it is not something that wows me, I just liked the idea that there was someone near my Midwestern home that was recognized for fine jewelry. That sentiment will be true for others down the road, a piece may be bought for the branding but if it is not a piece that has a timeless quality, it will not thrive long after its purchase.
Now what do you want to focus on, the things you have no control over or the things that you do? What do you want to be associated with? How do you want to live your life? I want to master my analytics skills and take Data in the Rough to a higher level. I can do more and do better, so can you. If any of this resonates reach out on my Instagram. I’d love to connect and see where this year takes us! Thank you for reading this! Please return soon for more Data in the Rough and ignore the haters!