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The Story

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Marks of Beauty

 

Bodily adornment; a condition inescapably human. The compulsion to imprint our dreams and desires upon us has extended as far back in time as human memory extends. Jewelry, like malleable marks upon our skin, speaks to who we are as individuals. It can reveal a part of our nature, express visually a statement of self, and inspire imaginations. I draw upon my studies of traditional body art practices and my time spent living and traveling in different cultures through different lands to inspire my collection of jewelry. From scavenged wood, shell, stone, bone paired with copper and gold, I allow the materials to guide the designs that become marks of distinction upon their wearers. 

                  

 

A Woody Affair

From my youngest days of whittling with my dad, I have had a love affair with wood.  Every ring and grain is different and so organically beautiful. Each stick, log, piece of driftwood has a story to tell and I am a captive listener to the tales that come from each.  I horde my finds that I haul off beaches grayed and water laden after winter storms or drag from the wood with rich earthy spalting. Some pieces become furniture. I love to work in large scale, hand planing, joining, smoothing the wood into the shapes that they seem to request. And then I can contract into small scale, using the beautifully small dense branches and cuttings I find to create intricate and detailed jewelry. I pair the wood with gold inlay and leaf - the shine and perfection of the metal a pleasingly contrasted to the organic randomness of the natural wood grain; a harmony, I like to think.   

 

 

Light and Breezy

I treasure the antique jewelry I have collected from around the world. The large metal earrings that dangle with beads and bits are stunning and impactful but they are all heavy. I would wear them stoically, hiding their weighty discomfort. The beauty of working with wood is that even my larger earrings feel weightless. I have designed them all to move and dance on the ears which they do without the burden of heavy metal aching and tugging. When I wear my creations out and about, I will often receive complements followed by the question, 
"Are they heavy?"
In response, I take them off and place them in the hands of the inquierer. Always, there is astonishment that they feel as light as feathers.
When I wear my earrings, I can take pleasure in letting them dance in the breeze rather than hiding a painful grimace because of a beautiful but terribly uncomfortable pair of traditional earrings.     

Giving Back

A portion of my proceeds are donated to The Global Fund For WOM=N. This organization works to ensure women have the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.


 I pair the wood with gold inlay and leaf - the shine and perfection of the metal a pleasingly contrasted to the organic randomness of the natural wood grain; a harmony, I like to think. 
— Jackie Ranney, Artist
 
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