It all started ever since I can remember. My mother had nice jewelry. Of course in those days, women seemed to make do with only a few pieces, a pearl necklace, a good pair of gold earrings, a bracelet, some rings. My dad seemed to be a really good jewelry giver, as my mom had some pretty good pieces! I loved to take everything out of her jewelry box and just drape it around, set it store-style, and just admire each piece.
I have an aunt (mom’s sister) who had even more jewelry, and since she lived abroad, she would stay as a house guest with us about two times a year, and yup, she brought her jewelry which I would borrow and admire.
Ever since I could read, I would collect magazines, catalogs, and every book I could find on the subject. Then, at around age 10, I began buying my first pieces: simple, inexpensive silver things. As I grew up, my taste evolved, each piece getting more expensive and sometimes elaborate. After I got my first job and began making money for myself, I started getting into gold, and some gems. I then started having that gold melted and made into new pieces.
The next logical step was to make the jewelry for myself, so I started beading. I make wire wrapped pieces, using sterling silver, gold-filled metals, pearls and gemstone beads. I even have some pieces I have made for myself in 14K gold.
I collect gem and jewelry books. Big coffee table books with lots and lots of photos. I consider this to be my version of porn, since jewelry is what turns me on. Come on, wouldn’t you be all hot and bothered looking at Cartier, Mikimoto pearls, Harry Winston diamonds and the colorful and plain gorgeous designs by Paloma Picasso?
A college in my city just opened a jewelry course and of course I had to take it. According to the program, I will be able to design and make more complicated pieces than what I’m making now. I can’t wait! And you bet I will brag and write about it as I learn new things!
The Style Files: Gil Schafer
19 hours ago