Many of us make resolutions each new year and while I have several (hundred) of my own, I’m going to try to stick to one main mantra for 2014…. “Embrace imperfection.” “Embrace imperfection,” “embrace imperfection,” “embrace imperfection.”
This mantra is what drew me to making jewelry 5 years ago. This week, while on vacation, I spent two days at my former jewelry school working on some new things and I was reminded of my beginnings there and what sparked this jewelry love affair of mine. Always a perfectionist, I was (and still am in some ways) obsessed with many things in my life being a certain way (I’m working on it one day at a time). As a teenager in school, I created a stress on myself just in taking notes during class. Every i had to be dotted and every t had to be crossed. I would only write my notes in pencil so that I could erase and if I made a mistake in pen, I would go home and re-write all of my notes until they were acceptable to me.
In architecture school, my perfectionism, in many aspects, worsened. I would agonize over the straightness of a line that most of the time no one could even see. Architecture critiques were everyone’s nightmare, mine included. Standing there amongst my peers, watching the red pen pointing out all of my imperfections all over my project, was agonizing. One professor wanted everything left justified, one loved the abstract, the other symmetry. “Embracing imperfection” was not the mantra at the time.
Just a few weeks into jewelry school, I knew I had found my passion. It was a place where I could accept that some days the metal would do as it pleased and I allowed myself to see the beauty in the process. My teacher would push me to make things as perfect as possible, and when left on my own, I would hammer the piece all over in a bit of rebellion. I wanted to put a texture on everything especially when he asked me to make it all polished and shiny.
I began ash hoffman jewelry just over two years ago. My hope was (and still is) that the men and women that bought my jewelry would appreciate the hand-crafted nature of my work; that they would find as much beauty in each hand hammered and hand engraved piece as I find joy in creating them. In 2014, I hope to continue to grow my little dream and continue to spread the love I have for hand crafted jewelry with this great big beautiful world. Thank you all for your support on this journey and in this new year, “embrace imperfection.”