My relationship with jewelry as an art form started in 1970 while attending Virginia Commonwealth University in the Fine Arts Department, my major – Sculpture. As all students experience at one time or another I needed a ‘filler’ course to round out my schedule for the semester. Therefore as I looked through the course descriptions and looking for an easy filler that would not distract me from my focus in sculpture. My eyes stopped at a listing for “Metalsmithing and Jewelrymaking 101”. I struck gold this was going to be gravy! After all from birth I grew up around metal working. Most notable was the fact that my father, ‘Tinker’ was not only a machinist for one of the world’s top aerospace companies, but he was also selected by this same company to be specifically trained in the art of Metal Spinning (I will be writing some blogs about this incredibly fascinating process and my families part in its history.)
My brothers and I were handling metals of all varies and forms as soon as we were able to sweep the floor in Dad’s workshop. His philosophy was that with all the hours he worked, the best way to guarantee he would be able to spend time with his children on a daily basis was to have them with him – so to work we went. Of course we were also practically the only kids at school that earned their own spending money! I never truly had any idea as to the incredible gift Dad had given me until I went away to college. I had life experiences in all avenues of business, financing, sales, marketing and of course metalworking; experiences that personally gave me more confidence in dealing with life in general.
I had no idea how much that simple 101 course would impact my life. I breezed through the course, there were no real technical issues for me to conquer but my world was opened to the amazing world of jewelry. As a Sculpture Major I was naturally attracted to the art imagery of jewelry and spent a great deal of my time pushing the envelope and making jewelry for shows that was more sculpture than wearable. I did make jewelry for family members and friends which was considerably more traditional but remained unique in concept. It did not take me long to realize that I found a great deal more satisfaction from making jewelry that was worn and treated with fond attachment then I was from making dynamic jewelry that was admired and kept in a box or display case.
“Jewelry – personal ornaments, such as necklaces, rings, or bracelets, which are typically made from or contain jewels and precious metal.” Needless to say this is an old and ridged definition of jewelry, one that does not adequately describe the immense range of personal adornments created worldwide. From plastic finger rings a foot in diameter made from recycled milk jugs, to jewel encrusted bras worth millions of dollars neither which can be worn practically, and then there are bracelets of knotted string that sell for a dollar and are worn by millions.
So who is Violet Rain and what do we do? Violet Rain is a web based jewelry store that sells jewelry designed and made by Violet and company and targeted to the “everyman”. Jewelry that while valued for the rare beads, precious or semi-precious stones, and precious metals, its primary focus is to be worn and worn often. We choose to offer personal adornment that assists you the wearer to share the image of yourself that you choose to portray. As our company grows our lines will expand and the products will no doubt become more diverse and while we will stay current with our designs, we will also choose to stay grounded in classic imagery with quality materials giving our jewelry lasting value. It is our hope to contribute to the jewelry boxes of the world, jewelry that will remain with fond memories attached and will never sit beneath a sign reading “Yard Sale Today”!