In itself, this labor I’ve chosen is like a tree that bears fruit year-round. Even as I navigate my off-hours life: family, relationships, and responsibility, I find that creativity is a welcomed outlet (and very often a respite) that nourishes me in its own way. What I’ve noticed recently is how even through some of the hardest times, creativity can help create meaning and hold us through uncertainty and grief.
Recently I was talking with a client who was grieving the loss of her beloved golden labrador, Toby. She described the joy she felt when she was with her, and the comfort Toby brought to her daily life. When I hear stories like this one, my clients’ feelings and experiences touch me deeply, and the piece we’re making begins to take shape, embodying this shared emotional resonance.
My client fell in love with yellow labradorite, a mineral which she chose specifically for its color and the place where she lives in Alaska. This gemstone displays a bit of iridescent color play caused by internal fractures that reflect light back and forth, dispersing it into different colors.. Labradorite is so well known for these spectacular displays of color that the phenomenon is known as “labradorescence.” It holds up well to cutting and faceting making it a radiant choice for this memorial ring.
The simple design reflects her casual lifestyle in the north. The paw laser imprint was created from Toby’s actual paw print. I designed the yellow bezel to highlight the stone and make it stand out. The true secret of this piece is that we even set a few strands of Toby’s hair into the bezel as a way to carry her memory and the love her human family had for her.
I’ve experienced loss and grief of my own in the past year, and it’s precisely projects like this that keep me feeling with my heart, and opening myself up to the fruits that are often only possible when our hearts have broken open.
I cannot put my gratitude into words for how this work continues to feed all parts of me. I am so honored to help bring this creativity into the world.
“Thank you so much for your kind way of interacting with clients, and for the emotional impact of your awesome work.” – Julie O.