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Forgotten Word: Success

22 january 2009

Jewelry business is currently using all kinds of derivatives from the word “crisis” – there is nothing to do with it, that’s the hallmark of our time. Reports are coming from all sides saying this business is going into dormancy. It is ceasing to bring the desired profit and it means it turns devoid of reason. People are purchasing less jewelry giving their preference to bread and sometimes butter, which of course does not make them look nice – literally. Such preferences ruin the jewelry market and prove that human appeal to beauty is invariantly oppressed by salaries. On the other hand, even in periods of vicissitude, which were quite a few in this country, there emerged individuals ready to exchange their money and life for some derelict ring of a certain grand duchess. It is true, however, that nowadays, too, there may be found a good number of instances when people even risk their freedom for the sake of jewelry masterpieces. In the time of crisis, jewelers should bring this to their notice for there is something that is drawing people to their handiworks.

In this sense, of special interest for domestic servants of the Jewelry Muse should be the persistent signals coming, for instance, from God (or crisis?) forsaken Australia, where jewelers squeezed between the strip of ocean surf and bush were able nevertheless to extract from their being there quite a tangible profit launching two collections of wonderful jewelry, borrowing one theme from surf riders and the other from bush aborigines. Surfing fans, who previously used to wear some kind of home-made trinkets attributing them to this kind of sea fauna, are now plowing waves in “cool” jewelry made by local company BICO and, bear it in mind, are wearing these branded pieces with great pleasure and eagerness. For Australian youths slouching along urban streets in bushmen’s totem pendants on their necks of some backhand make the sharp-eyed jewelers produced “solid” things sold like hot cakes - at a price agreeable for both sides. All this was done in spite of the rigorous logic of crisis behavior. In all appearances, current analytic reports are not a regular post in Australia.

To tell the truth, in quite another place, in Seoul, there is entrenched another group of yokemates who are reluctant to walk in step with the crisis. Min Gee Hae’s jewelry workshop, which out of mere sympathy decided to help one of the hotels against kleptomaniacs, who used to steal there ashtrays, keys, bottle openers and sometimes even bottles for memory, did not expect that those suffering from this affliction would line up in a queue to buy their stuff. The workshop started to manufacture exact copies of those things which put some of the hotel’s patients off their balance. The copies made were a perfect jewelry edition. The success was complete when there emerged another queue at the workshop – this time of hotel managers. We should probably consider it as an example of happy merger between jewelry business and psychotherapy.

In the case of Rodrigo Otazu born in Argentine and living in Amsterdam, his insufficient salary did not extinguish his love of beautiful, but on the contrary set it afire. The now world-famous jewelry artist says that this in every way anomalous feeling visited him due to a money crunch which gave him a jog to start his first jewelry piece. It’s not without reason that in his time Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was so impressed by the power of conditioned reflexes. If there is need to talk about crisis, it may be done only with a full stomach. An empty stomach makes you undertake. Rodrigo Otazu, producing unbelievably beautiful jewelry which is a great success among world-famous legends of the musical and cinema worlds, says he puts in it all of his soul. We should better believe it. No wonder he does.

Tina Barrat who was born in France, but now lives some time in Paris and some time in Hong Kong, won international recognition experimenting with exotic materials, and in particular with beat-up sandals. According to Tina, she is “processing” them making them look fabulous with the help of “feet jewelry”. It all started with one show named “The 1001 Arabian Nights” where the models were supposed to walk the floor in bare feet. So Tina suddenly had this idea of getting them each some jewellery pedicure. This was how this barefoot collection was born, which managed to gain some slice of the jewelry market.

New York jeweler, sculptor, graphic designer and teacher Keith Lo Bue did not fall for old sandals, but for old things in general. He is quite frank about it – as soon as he sees something his head is swarmed with all kinds of freaky visions and his hands are itching to get down to work. He is looking after such junk permanently. It’s a kind of affection, you know. But as soon as he lays his hands on it he starts to work miracles. From under his hands there emerge unbelievably attractive artworks combining the old source and new elements added by the artist, delicately stressing the aura of time. These art pieces started to attract strangers offering money. So the jeweler had to open his own company – you know that in America there are two things you can’t escape, one of which is taxes.

The above artists are probably too immersed in their art to pay attention to the clouds of crisis above their heads. Although they are continuously reminded of danger they are in due to their oblivion, they are accompanied by success, strange as it may seem – the economic mess and depressing salaries do not preclude people from smiling when they see their works. It appears, the jewelry business is not so much the art of sales as the art of making people smile.

Vladimir Malakhov, Rough&Polished