I’m going to start with a little story from my past working life. One of my most capable and fiercest bosses once told me that I’d left out the full stop on a Powerpoint presentation that I was going to email to a large audience. I know what you’re thinking, but read on.
She acknowledged that it might seem trivial since it made no difference at all to the content – people would understand it just as well with or without the full stop. But her point was that the people who were going to receive the presentation didn’t know me. Their impression of me was going to be based purely on what they read. And those who noticed that tiny error, might think that I was lazy, careless, inept or any combination of these. Even worse, they wouldn’t know what bigger and more significant mistakes in content may be hiding behind this tiny one. And that’s why the back of your pendant matters.
Those who buy my jewellery, and even those who receive it as a gift, have only the jewellery to judge me by. And if that piece of jewellery tells them everything they know about me, then you can see why every detail counts.
I’m not saying that I would ever be able to achieve machine-made perfection. Of course not! My jewellery is completely handmade. It’s designed on paper, not on a computer, it’s prototyped by hand, and each and every piece will have those little things that will make it unique. But if every piece is made with care and dedication, that care and dedication will show through.
And as they say, first impressions last. If the back of the pendant is sloppy, somewhere in your mind, there will always be that tiny thought that the maker is perhaps a little lazy, maybe just cares about appearances, or whatever you’ve associated hidden sloppy workmanship with in the past. And I can be pretty sure that you wouldn’t have attached any words of praise to that workmanship.
So I know you won’t be surprised to hear that I spend almost as much time working on the back of the pendants I make, as I do on the front. Because, to me, that pendant is much more than the materials it’s made of, or the techniques I’ve used. It reflects not only my design style; it reflects my values. At least on some level it tells you who I am and what I care about.
An interesting aside – I was showing the rose quartz pendant in the photograph to my father a few weeks ago. He’s a very wise 93 year-old, who knows next to nothing about jewellery. One of the first things he did was to touch the prongs, and said “Oh, the ends feel nice and smooth.” The next thing he did was to turn it over to look at the back. His comment was “And the back is nicely finished too. It looks as good as the front.” I rest my case.
If you follow me on social media, you may already know by now that my favourite jewellery quote is “Your jewellery introduces you before you even speak”. I’d say that applies as much to the maker as it does to the wearer.
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