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The Art of Embracing Damage: An Interview with Jamie and Jeremy Joseph

jamie open Every once in awhile a designer comes along that dares to look at jewelry in a transformative way. Jamie and Jeremy Joseph have been doing this since they began creating their namesake collection over 20 years ago. Who would dare drill a gemstone and set a diamond into it? Only these two crazy kids. Their diamond studded rings immediately became highly coveted by jewelry connoisseurs. Those who were in the know immediately began building their personal collections. We have two clients who became fast friends after meeting and striking up a conversation over a rainbow moonstone Jamie Joseph ring. (Their second encounter happened here pouring over our selection, natch.) Yet another client’s collection spans 40 rings and 10 years of fandom. It’s tough not to be fans of the design duo. Their pieces are not only beautiful, wearable and original but they are filled with the intense good energy of artists doing what they love, creating beauty and sending it out into the world. I took a few minutes to chat with them while they were in the store today about their work and the new collection, Golden Joinery. GreenwichJewelers 030415_081

Let’s talk about Golden Joinery. This collection is very special. The concept of embracing, adorning and presenting imperfection in a beautiful way really resonates with me. Tell us how it came to be, how long have you been working on it?

Jamie: Well, 20 years! We’ve been throwing broken stones in this beautiful African ceremonial bowl, we call it the boneyard, forever. And when I read the Kinsugi thing it was like a lightbulb moment. I knew right then why I’d been saving the stones for all those years. jeremy Note: Kintsugi is the Japanese pottery-mending technique where broken ceramics are repaired with golden seams. As a philosophy, Kintsugi can be expressed as an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.  It treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

How did that happen?

Jeremy: A friend of ours sent it to Jamie and was kinda like, I saw this and I thought of you. And then Jamie saw it and took it to the stones. Jamie: After that aha moment, I got to work and it took about a year to create the first small collection which I presented at the Couture show this past June.

Tell us about the creation process. What were the challenges?

Jamie: I love 22k gold, it’s so rich and ancient feeling, and I wanted the pieces to look like something buried, like an archaeologist would unearth. The fabrication process is all handmade and stones would break again or I’d have to send them to Jeremy to re-cut to fit the design I was working on. Its super-labor intensive, but I love the fact that it’s so thoughtful.

Are you pleased with the end result?

Jamie: Oh, I love it! I feel it’s such a great message about sustainability in gemstones and I feel the new joined stones are almost more beautiful than they were originally. For example, the green tourmaline necklace we brought in for the trunk show, that stone came back to me as a resize and during the work we broke it. When that happened, I literally cried because that stone was so amazing. jamie

It sure is! We’re all obsessed with the new work. It’s such a sophisticated evolution of the collection and I love the meaning and intention behind transforming perceived damage into wearable art.

What’s next for Jamie Joseph? Jamie: We’ve become kind of like a machine and with Golden Joinery my creativity really began to flow again. You’re going to see lots of changes to the line.

How exciting! We'll be waiting with bated breath to see what that means!

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