Putting the feeling on the outside

Small spaces for expression and jewellery to say how you feel and keep people distant and close at the same time. I wrote this, and made these pieces, in the beginning times of Covid, last year. But as it rolls on, it still feels relevant to share, and to make wearable pieces for the outside, when the inside feels all of the things.

“How are you?”, has become an impossible question. Should I say I’m fine, because everyone is overloaded? Or OK, to indicate that I am coping, staying afloat in the rolling sea of change that we are all experiencing. The answer is always a long one – too long. Some days my heart beats very loud and fast. I need to write lists, otherwise I am incapable of action before 2pm. Instead I read the news, stare at the sky, and wonder which thing I should be focussing on anyway. 

I need a shortcut. If I say I am fine, we stay on the surface. You’re fine too, right? We bob around, and walk away feeling more isolated than before we spoke. 

And we can’t touch. A hug is a shortcut, if we let it be. I hug my dear friend for a long time. There’s no need to speak. I feel her heart – strong, calm, and slow. I feel her gentle, clear wish to be there with me, standing against one another. I let her feel me. I know I am acceptable here. 

These pieces are a short answer to the question. They respond: delicate / complicated / only just holding together / with bright moments / flashes / layered / difficult to explain / processing / carrying everything I need / sploshy / stuck / vulnerable / hopeful / afraid / small / spreading / protective / 

I wear my heart of my sleeve / around my neck / on my lapel. It sticks out. It is difficult to hold me, to get close. I’ve been making these a while, and I thought that was a problem. Because we touch each other. But now there is a different need, and they are right for now. You can see my heart, so I am not alone with it, and I don’t need to explain. 

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