Saturday, October 16, 2010

Holding Steady

I finished a long 3 day event in Los Angeles to promote Camille K. Exhausted, I am on my hotel room bed reviewing everything in my mind. I have had 53 years to figure out what my passion is and now is the time to live it and make something of it. Funny, I didn't expect to be 53 at this junction in the road but life is surprising that way. I met over a hundred people and talked about the vision for Camille K jewels to each and every one of them. It was Carla Labat and Camille K in capsule form. What I know was that there was a lot of buzz around the jewelry--serious buzz and I am making sure that I draw the line between taking myself seriously and taking myself too seriously. I'm holding back yet striving to stay joyful. I want to believe and I want to hold steady.
During my dancing days, I taught students how to work from their "center". Imagine a dancer stopping in high relevé. Then imagine the dancer in that very controlled pose while allowing her arms to swing about through the air, with the head following and the body not far behind. There is freedom in the movement but the freedom comes from being able to control oneself, staying on center. I always loved the feeling in my body of the push and pull dynamic of dance and while I am not any longer dancing, I still feel the push and pull of life going on around me.
Now I am using my creativity to make jewelry. I am still presenting myself as I did in dance but only in a different form. I make the jewelry but the jewelry now performs for me. When it is on display as it has been this week, I am hearing people talk about it as though it is something unique and special. Something created outside the box. This makes me happy and I feel that what I am doing is good . Yet when I hear the words from Vogue and Glamour magazines, stylists for Hally Berry, Hilary Swank, Cate Blanchett, Cher, seasoned costume designers, buyers and young interns helping at this event, I listen, but I listen more to that part of me--my center as it were, that strives to keep me on balance. The biggest gift that their words give me is the gift of seeing myself through their eyes. They don't know me at all except for the expression that my jewelry allows them to see, and yet they offer me the chance to glance at myself from their distance.
There is so much emotion involved in creating anything. People explain their projects, visions, accomplishments and desires to me not knowing what my history is. I smile knowingly as the 2 time Emmy award winning costume designer explains to me how she feels her way through to developing a concept for a singer, dancer or actor. She explains it to me as though I don't know that world. Maybe I don't on her level and yet I do. I keep that to myself. There is no way that I could make the jewelry I make without knowing how to set a stage or choreograph a dance, how to interpret a character or how to feel the spirit of another human being. My jewelry sets its own stage. That is why I make statement pieces--the thrill of the "performance". I see so many things and feel so many things and I hope that my jewelry carries those emotions through to the wearer. If I do have this opportunity to design jewelry for "Dangerous Beauty", it will be the most amazing way for me to have "danced" on a stage of this size. And to design for a Venetian courtesan, well that would fulfill my fantasy of living that life each time I sit in the Palais Royal in Paris and imagine how that would have been. My jewelry is made for the courtesan in all of us and I know that. Somehow I know that and I don't know why. This is one why that isn't important. I am just happy that I know. Knowing is believing and that leads to believing in myself. That's the deal. I believe in myself and I hope my jewelry speaks that for me.