Back when I was a Freshman in college, I found myself with a paycheck. I took that paycheck, promptly deposited it into my bank account and took my hard-earned money right on down to good 'ol Etsy, where I came across a ring that would wear everyday for the next three years. Fast-forward to, er, yesterday, and I am sitting with the designer of said ring, Kaye Blegvad: illustrator, ceramicist and jewelery-maker extraordinaire, and I'm giddy with awkward giggles.
Kaye's fantastic, and she welcomed me into her studio ever so graciously after an email correspondence spanning a couple'a weeks. Upon arriving, we sat down and she gave me a brief li'l overview of her life since graduating: from London, she studied illustration in college, came to NYC to sow her work deep in a sense of adventure, and then started her jewelry line: Datter Industries, after TEACHING HERSELF how to make jewelry. Like dude, lemme tell ya, times is hard for creative-types, especially if you're in such a competitive field such as illustration or design, and Kaye has managed to make a fantastic career for herself out of how she shapes her world and takes joy out of the tactile crafts she works within (she also polished and breathed new life into my ring, as documented above, and it was SO COOL TO WATCH!).
...All of which is why I found it fitting that so many of the photos taken during our visit involve hands; Kaye's journey has been predicated by her hands and her vision, and I have infinite respect for her and how much she has accomplished. So much of her work stems from motifs of ancient strength, from natural elements and from a sense of instinct. What drew me to her jewelry was her choice to make symbols of strength wearable: the arrow, the third eye, the soaring bird or the open hand- even a laurel wreath, these are all symbols that are as old as time (most of which, are symbols of the Greek warrior goddess Athena/ she also turns to medieval manuscripts for inspirado), and they all (to me at least) point back to this inner intellect that is steeped in both sinister cynicism and bright light. Her illustrations are beautiful in that they are quiet, yet they're really strong in what she intends to express.
Ok, so what I've been able to share here is Kaye's space, but y'all should really check out this fantastic interview she did with Need Supply so that you can see her illustrations and craftwork along with her very personal and inspiring explanations. She's great, seriously.
Thanks again, Kaye!