Unexpected Sentimental Inspiration

In the early 1960s my father's company sent him to work on the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. I was around 6 or 7 at the time and could not fathom where in the world this was or what he was doing in this far away place. I recall with vivid clarity during his absence, the large heavy boxes that would arrive on our doorstep, much to my mothers dismay, with treasures from the beaches of Kwajalein Island. I'm not talking about a few tiny trinkets but large netted Japanese glass fishing floats, a fractured glass and brass porthole from a warship and other miscellaneous finds. I am so thankful he had the foresight to see the value in washed up sea-drift.  

As you would imagine, seashells were in the mix but not just the expected types. My favorites were these interesting aubergine colored sea urchin spines. Those pointy little shells were like nothing I had ever seen before and I found them mesmerizing. I remember crafting a handful of them into wind chimes I am sure hung somewhere in my childhood home. After a time, those unique spiked shells were packed away and forgotten. 

Fast forward 50 years later and my mom hands me this vintage, draw string, cotton bag containing dozens of those shells my dad foraged so many years ago. She unearthed these somewhere in her home and cared to share them with me, expecting I might do something creative with them.  

I removed them from the bag and immediately added some to a little display on my coffee table and the rest went into a vintage bowl in my studio. As I considered these special shells for several weeks I became inspired to fashion a piece of jewelry to celebrate their sentiment and create something truly unique.  Many had holes in the tops and I am uncertain if they appeared naturally or if my father perhaps drilled them as I assembled my wind chimes. In any case that tiny void provided the perfect anchor point for my idea. 

I created several free form wire shapes, hammered, attached and finished them with a leather cord, in keeping with the natural and bohemian vibe. They are whimsical, unique and special in so many ways. 

I hope this story will add a touch of history and warmth should you desire to adorn yourself with a sea urchin pendant.  They are available on my website at jackiejordanllc.com

Always inspired,

Jackie

 

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Creative Freedom

How does one define creative freedom?

This answer will certainly vary from each imaginative, gifted, artistic soul to the next. For me, being a former design director in the corporate world, there are many meanings. To be fair, there were countless moments of sheer joy and success, but many were hard fought.  Now, I am no longer constrained by deadlines, budgets, opinions, criticisms, and rejections to name just a few.

Creative freedom means I can conceive and build everything my spirit craves, without scrutiny and audit by anyone other than myself.  I can work as few or as many hours necessary to complete a project to my satisfaction. It also means managing every detail related to this small business. The up's and down's are explicitly mine to handle, solve, enjoy and admire. It's a scary thing, but having complete ownership, accepting what comes with this blossoming venture is definitely worthwhile.  

As artists we crave to inspire others and seek admiration for our work, providing validation and a sense of purpose. If by chance we only inspire ourselves, at least we have done so with absolute conviction, inner fulfillment, and most importantly, creative freedom.

I hope you have a chance stop by and visit Jackie Jordan, LLC to see my latest jewelry creations. Each item is handcrafted with pure delight. 

Sincerely,

Jackie  

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on"  Albert Einstein 

 

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Treasure Hunting Tucson Style

One of my ultimate pleasures is treasure hunting for jewelry embellishments. The search can be for something specific, such as a stone or pearl, but the primary goal is discovering unique elements to excite and inspire my creative soul. 

My favorite excursion happens in Tucson, Arizona, where multitudes of gem and mineral shows blanket the city. This colossal exhibition of wondrous extractions from the earth will make you dizzy and in awe of Mother Nature. The magnitude of jaw dropping gifts from the planet to hold and behold is beyond description. 

Navigating such an expo takes planning. Comfortable shoes are an absolute necessity, sunscreen, for the numerous outdoor venues, patience, as the crowds are exhausting, a list of essentials and must see shows, a good friend to tell you “you don’t need that”, and a budget. Save time for random excursions to visit the bead, glass and art fairs scattered throughout the town.

With those criteria met, my trooper pal Marge and I, trekked for miles in and out of hotel rooms, tents, ballrooms, warehouses, and parking lots with row after row of tables overflowing with nature’s bounty. I restrained myself from buying a 6-foot tall lingam stone, behemoth amethyst geode and a dinosaur skeleton, (yes you can buy those too), but instead acquired many gorgeous petite gems that fit handily into my backpack.

After three days of scrutinizing and selecting every specimen, I finally had time to admire my cache of tiny jewels, imagining what they might become. Iridescent boulder opals, sparkling geodes and druzy crystals, lustrous pearls, and slate speckled with shiny pyrite will keep me in creative bliss for weeks to come.

This treasure hunt was an adventure, a learning experience, a reminder of and appreciation for the beauty of our earth. It was also an inspired and successful journey to propel my artistic vision forward and encourage my return next year. 

Now it's back to the bench to create something special with these fantastic finds. 

Always inspired, 

Jackie

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The Tale of Frozen Charlotte

 Late 1800s Frozen Charlotte Doll Parts

Late 1800s Frozen Charlotte Doll Parts

Downtown McKinney, TX is a beautifully revitalized historic square filled with lovely boutiques, restaurants, antique malls and shops. A frequent destination, this place inspires me with its enduring architecture, quaint atmosphere, unique charm and character. The best reason for venturing here however, is treasure hunting. 

On one such outing, several years ago, while perusing one of my favorite little antique stores, I happened upon a small vessel brimming with miniature porcelain dolls, all of which were missing various body parts. Asking the shop owner if there was a story behind them, she gladly provided a brief history. Fascinated, yet not knowing exactly what they would become, I had to have just a few.  

These tiny dolls, made in Germany in the late 1800s, are being unearthed as old doll factories are dismantled. They also have a name, Frozen Charlotte, due to their immovable body parts. These “broken” Frozen Charlottes, held more interest for me than ones completely intact. I made my purchase, headed home to research more, and figure out a new use for these alluring curiosities. 

I sat with the Frozen Charlottes for a while and finally decided to wire one to a length of rubber cord and make her into a necklace. She was unlike any other piece of jewelry I had ever made. I fell in love with this little doll instantly, returned to historic McKinney, and purchased the rest.

Since that time I have acquired numerous Frozen Charlottes in a variety of sizes and conditions. Heads and busts, headless, limbless, stained and crazed with decades of character. I have crafted jewelry and objects with these precious dolls, each with its own interesting personality. She is an object of art, a distinctive paperweight, display for your favorite earrings or a necklace to adorn you. Knowing these Frozen Charlottes enjoy a second life and new purpose brings me great pleasure. I hope one of these charismatic gems will find its way into your heart. You can find them here at Shop Jewelry and Shop Objects

Creatively yours,

Jackie

 

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The Beekeeper

The Beekeeper 

 Trial and Error

Trial and Error

Myriad feelings and emotions pulse through your mind when nurturing a new concept or idea. Enthusiastic, inspired, electrified, frustrated and exhausted are only a few.  You can work energetically for hours and even days before you reach that magical moment of completion.  It doesn't matter if the project is colossal or diminutive, the most rewarding and exhilarating feeling imaginable, is realizing your vision. 

I am absolutely confident fellow artists will attest to these emotions. Creativity is embedded in our DNA. It is part of our soul, our reason for living, well that may be an exaggeration, but it's what wakes us in the morning and keeps us awake at night. 

The Beekeeper, a fun little project, had all those emotions surging. A mind-blowing idea no, simply a riff on something in the market but I wanted this inspirational, desktop, memo clip to be truly memorable just the same. This simple, yet complicated part of the design was a paperclip needing to be more dope than any ordinary paper clip. In my mind's eye, the shape had to be "bee" related, a honeycomb, hive, flower, wings, stinger, something! I wrapped wire in so many promising shapes with such potential that sadly under-performed. So, I wrapped, and wrapped and wrapped until, voilà, I had it, combination bee's wings and stinger! I know it sounds so straightforward, but let me tell you paper clip designing is something I now admire. 

So once I had that off my plate I had to decide, of the plethora of "bee" related inspirational phrases, which should I apply to the notecards.  The words needed to be, pun intended, relevant, witty or motivational and offer a touch of joy for each day. I then decided there must be a "teen" version of The Beekeeper which posed yet another dilemma. Not having teens of my own, I called upon my lovely and talented friend Kathy to conduct a focus group with her daughter Kirstin and friends. Additionally, I tapped into the spirit of my 14-year-old great niece Kaitlyn for aid. Both resources influenced the final choice of sayings and, I have to admit, their words surprised me, leaving me delightfully impressed and hopeful.  

The Beekeeper and The Beekeep Teen has buzzed to life as a whimsical accessory. As you enter your workspace or any space, I hope it will bring a smile to your face. 

Until next time, "bee" creative and kind.

Jackie

Dreams Realized

About portrait seated.jpg

Welcome to my inaugural post celebrating the launch of jackiejordanllc.com, a decade of dreams realized. I must admit having a blog associated with my jewelry business was never part of the plan until I had a conversation with my good friend and fellow entrepreneur Kathy Andersson, owner of Rendered Nest Staging. She strongly and passionately encouraged me to create a dialog dedicated to this venture stating it was essential to the success of my website so here I am, awash with anxiety and excitement and officially a maker, entrepreneur and much to my surprise......a blogger.  

For those of you who don't know me I'll share just a little background information that led me to this very special moment in time. In early 2016 I retired from a very successful 30 year career with Sherwin Williams Paints where I directed the company's national color marketing efforts by developing tools for professionals and consumers, researching, creating and presenting color trends and forecasts, designing and art directing interior spaces. It was a profoundly rewarding career that sent me on countless amazing journeys across the great United States and Europe in search of thought provoking trends and design inspiration. Those incredible opportunities and experiences provided fuel for my creative soul, simultaneously influencing and shaping my jewelry aesthetic. 

Creativity is part of my DNA so it is no surprise that I had myriad artistic passions outside of color and design, but the one that captured my heart and soul was jewelry design and fabrication. It all started in Scottsdale, AZ at a small metal arts class at the local Boys and Girls club where an amazingly gifted artist in the techniques of metalwork instructed me.  I discovered how tremendously rewarding it is to take a flat sheet of silver, a spool of wire or found objects and transform them into something special, wearable and functional. I continued to evolve and explore this craft for well over a decade always with a dream of having my own website to show and sell my creations. Well that day has finally arrived and I am more than thrilled to share my art with those who appreciate handcrafted jewelry and small objects with an architectural and whimsical edge. You can learn more about my work and collections on my about page and I hope you will visit and be inspired by my shop!

My goal is to post each week showcasing a new design or work in progress, share new finds and inspiration for my jewelry or just to ask a simple question or share a creative thought. 

I hope you will enjoy my posts and I look forward to our weekly visits.

Creatively yours,

Jackie

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