'I've got some bits and..'
...you're thinking about re-modelling but don't know where to start?
Re-modelling jewellery is about story telling and that is where we set off from on our journey into the creation of metal alchemy. How did this jewellery come about into your hands? Who wore it before you? What occasion was it bought for? What does it mean to you? Why do you wish to change it? The ease and confidence you have reflecting upon these things will ultimately guide you in answering the most important question of all ; Is this the right time to re-model your jewellery?
Often these pieces have sat in a drawer for many years, unworn and unseen after we inherited them from a loved one who passed over or we have stuffed them into a box at the back of the knicker drawer after our marriage fell apart. These are not easy or casual situations in which to receive such precious things. Time heals many things but grief can be quite the madam that pops up out of the shadows when re-engaging with these items after the longest of time. So I ask you this before even thinking about the design aspect of your pieces. Dust off the box and take them in your hands. Hold them. Look at them. Try them on. How do they feel? How do you feel? What comes up? Good memories and excitement of their potential or deep sorrow and confusion?
In my experience of doing this work over the years I have found that most people who are ready to re-model sentimental bits feel something in the middle. There is a desire to transform them into something new, to carry the sentiment and stories of the past into the present and weave it into something deeply precious and personal. Yet. There are often feelings of apphrension. Would the original wearer approve of a re-model? Would they want me to wear it in its current design? Will pulling apart the pieces mean pulling apart the much treasured sentiment and memory of the piece? And guilt is thrown in there too. How could I let this sit unworn for so many years? Am I being selfish for wanting to change these pieces into something I would like to wear? Maybe I should hold on to these to pass down to my own loved ones when I depart this earth? Every one of these thoughts and the hundreds of others that may creep in are entirely normal when considering a re-model. For many, having these precious treasures transformed is one of the last steps in their grieving process. It comes at a time where they have processed and integrated the pain of loss into their lives. They are ready to breathe new life into the past whilst still honouring the sentiment upon that it was built. This is the time to explore re-modelling, when things are stable, grounded and at peace.
If you haven't arrived at such peaceful moorings yet, know that you are alone. Just getting the jewellery out and holding it can stir up a lot of bittersweet and overwhelming feelings you might not have expected. You don't need to soldier through these emotions. Sit with them, allow them, listen to what they are saying. It is ok to start the design process of re-modelling and then get cold feet half way through. You can get to the final point of completed sketches and quotes and still back out if it doesn't feel right. And certainly I will encourage you to check in with how you feel throughout the process. Everything in its own time and sometimes never at all. Only you will know.
Now lets say you've read all that and you are at spiritual zen with your decision to go ahead or you're in the 'ehhh, that was a bit intense I've just got some broken bits I want to make into something new.' camp. Then apologies and just keep clicking for the run down on where things go from here. Though just a wee heads up...it's still about 'the story' and there is still a bit of navel gazing to be had. What do you want to create...physically, emotionally, spiritually? Get thinking and get a little gushy. The energy and intention that both of us put into the piece from conception to final creation is one of the most important elements that underpins everything.