THE SURVIVING QUESTIONS
1. IN ONE SENTENCE, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE WHAT YOU DO?
I make jewellery out of whatever I can get my hands on: paper, porcelain, textile, wood, found objects, metal. . .
2. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THANKS TO YOUR HANDS?
I’m learning to be more patient. Anything one-of-a-kind and well done takes time.
3. IF YOU HAD TO SUGGEST A TEENAGER TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
I wouldn’t try to convince anyone to follow my path. I´d expose her to the process of what I do and introduce him to my collection of small, treasured objects. I´d talk about the fact that jewellery artists are fortunate to have the freedom to work in literally any material and with techniques from all different disciplines. What makes our work jewellery as opposed to sculpture, painting or architecture is often simply the scale and the connection to the body. The wearer has an intimate, sometimes esoteric relationship with the jewel. I love the connection between the piece, the maker, the wearer, and the observer. It´s a phenomenon unique to portable art.
I would be thrilled to infect another with my passion for what I do, but I think most people who try jewellery know right away if it´s for them or not. If it´s not love at first sight, it´s probably not meant to be.
THE SURVIVING STORY
My dad, Joe Graham, is a master chairmaker. I grew up in his workshop, sanding and oiling his chairs from the time I could read. He also built our home, where I spent almost my entire childhood. It is because of this that I have always had a deep appreciation for all things crafted by hand. I love the smells of the workshop: the smell of freshly cut wood, of metal cast in cuttlefish bone, of the smoky wood stove smell permeating as it does into my hair and clothes. I like getting my hands dirty; I like arriving home at the end of the day sweaty and exhausted, but with a finished piece to show for it.