it’s always fun to come across a new brand and a new product you are in love with. this happened to me recently when cannon lewis reached out to me about collaborating on a piece of jewelry with her. cannon has a beautiful aesthetic… it feels refined, yet bohemian and playful. her collections are a showcase of unique pieces of jewelry that tell a story– tiny treasures with engraved poems, colorful gemstones and organic forms. i adore what she created for me, so i wanted to share a little bit about the process…
i told cannon that i wanted to design something easy–something i could wear everyday and not worry about taking it off. a piece that would allow me to layer fashion jewelry on top. i also really love sentimental pieces… pieces that have the kids’ initials or zodiac signs, little reminders of them. in addition to that, i am a total romantic and adore things that are engraved or decorative. sometimes i think i should have been born into the victorian era or during the renaissance. cannon also shares a love for that time period and she sent me some inspiration to consider below.
although i loved the idea of the styles above, we both agreed that–for me–it might make sense that the outside be simpler/more modern and the inside would have the engravings. cannon then began to sketch some ideas and make clay comps of what it might look like. here are some of her sketches and notes…
i was so excited to see how the bracelet was turning out, but the most exciting part for me were a couple of the defining details that would happen at the end. two stones were set into one side of the clasp in a pave style–one diamond for alexa’s birth month and one ruby for hayden’s birth month. then, on the inside the inscription says lady & prince with their birth dates on either side. i chose to have the final bracelet in gold because i wear a lot more gold nowadays. someone once told me you start wearing gold in your late 20′s and i laughed… but it is actually true.
i am so thrilled with my final piece… i have worn it every day since it arrived. i love that it is a constant reminder of the two most precious things in my life! not including nate of course, my love reminder for him is on my other hand
i asked cannon to answer a couple questions about her collections and her creative process… here are her answers, but most importantly be sure to visit her site and view her full collection. the bracelet we collaborated on is called vitea and it can be viewed here.
1. when did you start designing jewelry?
i started designing jewelry when i was a junior in high school. i have been doing studio art since i can remember and what began as making my friends beaded necklaces for prom led me down a road of metalworking, wax working, and ultimately a career in jewelry design.
2. what inspires your collections? nature art and architecture are my biggest inspirations.
i love the texture and patterns found in plants – there is so much detail found in a piece of bark or a leaf, and we often are too busy to notice what a beautiful world we live in, so i like to take these small details and illuminate them. i was an art history major in college, so references to art concepts, artists, and architecture are often woven in as well.
3. what do you love most about what you do? what is your biggest creative challenge?
i love to create. the whole design process of seeing what begins as an idea become something material is invigorating. my biggest creative challenge is stress. it is hard when what i produce comes from creativity and that is something i can’t force. some days i am full of ideas, other days i just don’t have anything. over the years i’ve learned to accept the “creative drought” and go read a book or go to a museum and not try to force it, but it is still a challenge.
4. what is your work life like? do you work from home? studio? office? what is an average day like for you?
i have two young children, so every day is different; i think the only consistency in each day is that at the end of it so much has happened that i have a hard time remembering it all! i do most of my work while my oldest child is in school and when she comes home i try to then be in full on mom mode. i do most of my design work from home or my husband’s office, and i am up at the workshop probably 4-5 times a week overseeing production. i try to keep work and being a mom pretty separate, but when i can’t i try to make it fun – my daughter is very good at counting out earring pairs, sorting jewelry styles, and she likes to wear my jeweler’s loop because it is a necklace and a magnifying glass!
5. since we just did a collaboration, what do you enjoy the most about creative collaborations?
i love the dialogue of a collaboration or a custom piece. we are all unique and have different lenses and aesthetic values and i feel like a collaboration stretches me further creatively because it forces me to take more steps in the design process and pushes me out of my personal creative constraints. i love the end result – each piece has a very unique story.