Thank you for allowing me to take the time to dive into my work and put this blog on pause. The problem with taking a break is that it’s always hard to know when and how to pick back up again. I get so deep into the work, and the thoughts were running in so many directions these last months, it’s been some weeks of trying to let my mind settle into its normal pace of thinking. Does this happen to you?
For the first time in a while, I was dealing with external deadlines. I’ve written and shared some things about this mentorship program that I had been a part of, and I was suddenly bombarded with so many Zoom meetings and juggling reaching out to people to help me with my website, photos and casting, along with coming home and creating my own designs, I felt like my mind was absolutely scattered. My baby girl is also giving me a massive run for my money and anytime we'd fall into a routine, she would suddenly flip the script on me and it was back to the drawing board.
The last posts I had published were a combination of personal thoughts and travel insights. I will most likely continue on that path with this blog. I do enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with you although sometimes (oftentimes) I spoke myself out of oversharing. This blog for me is sacred and the one place where I can share my views on all things art and adornment, personal history, life, and everything in between. Some blog posts will lean heavily on the travel side and others will be a moment where I can share my thoughts.
I’d like to return to a regular pace again, but I think for now the blogging will be spotty. I need the writing to come naturally to me in order to fall into a rhythm.
So what’s been going on these months? Lots. I’ve learned a ton not just about myself and my direction with jewelry, but also about the industry and am figuring out how and what to implement with my work.
The thing that became obvious to me over the course of the mentorship was how niche my work is in comparison to others. It was daunting and a bit disorienting at times to navigate my work versus where the jewelry industry moves/is moving. I had always compared my work to the pieces I’d see locally. The Native Americans and Spanish-heritage jewelers from New Mexico take pride in making things by hand and it’s an honor to contribute to the overall conversation of handmade jewelry from here.
I had always tried to do something different from what was done locally, but hardly considered what was being done around the US or around the world. This mentorship opened my eyes to what is considered ‘industry standards’ and boy, I couldn’t be further from that system. Which is exactly what it felt like to me, learning about a system that I do think needs a lot of shaking up and change. I didn’t fit in, and the inner turmoil that has sat with me over these months has caused me to question—in a good way—where I stand and how I want to move forward.
In a phrase, learning about this system made me want to become more myself. I wanted to be ‘me’ more than anything and practically everything I learned over the course of the mentorship, I’d evaluate and come up with ways to do the opposite. Counterculture mentality runs through my blood. New Mexico is all about the Wild West and embracing a different way of living and that is something that I held on to every step of this process. It’s been incredibly hard to stand my ground and define my boundaries throughout this time. It was mostly self-opposed but I felt peer pressure to do what others were doing. Ultimately it wouldn’t sit right with me and I'd have to search for ways of doing it that felt more natural.
That also doesn’t mean that every single thing is going to be the same with my jewelry and that I didn’t allow myself to grow. I grew immensely during these months, faster than ever, and I did listen and like I said above, evaluated every bit of information that came my way. I'm open to change, but I'm not open to falling prey to a system that was created for others who either had more means, more knowledge, a deeper interest in fine jewelry.
Slowly, I'll begin to unpack these ideas in future posts so that I don't drag this one out. This new chapter for Casa Catalina Jewelry is exciting and a positive one and I'll have a lot of fun, beautifully-crafted statement pieces available to you on September 21 (for email subscribers).
Thank you for reading and for your patience. New work soon!
Cheers, salud, sláinte,