The Silver Plate – My Favorite Product Photography Background

This plate, which you have seen over and over in my product photography, was a wedding present for my paternal grandparents and the initials are their last names joined: B&H – Bellows (grandfather Rowland) & Hammond (grandmother Emily). It is silver plate with the silver plating on the center of the dish obviously now gone.

I love the contrast in textures between the center and the edges, and I love the art nouveau design of the botanical elements and how they meander over the surface of the border.

It’s oval. I love that too. It is a treasure for me. I don’t know that it is valuable.  Probably it’s not as it’s not solid silver but plate with part of its plating gone.  But it is one of the things I have that I really love for its combination of refined elegance and rusticity from use.

It was well-loved before it ever came to me, obviously used many times. I really enjoy the evidence of the social lives of objects, their wear, their damage, their patinas and how these vestiges evoke particular pasts and unknowable moments of human interaction.

I find that really beautiful.

I don’t remember when this came to me.  I moved many times over the years and had things packed away in storage for a long time while I was living overseas in Indonesia, then in Australia.  Things stayed in storage while I lived in a small apartment before I bought my house.  It’s one of those things that I feel I discovered, uncovered, like some amazing artifact from an excavation of things lost and finally found.  This plate is one of those things that made me gasp when I unwrapped it and say – involuntarily in a whisper – I love this!  I want to feel that way about everything I have.  I want to feel that, even say it, every time I pick up the objects in my house, put the jewelry pieces on.

Objects can carry quiet, gorgeous, recollections that flit across the mind daily and almost unnoticed every time we touch them, see them, like the shadows of birds flying over us.

I have a colleague who started doing research on attics.  I can’t remember whether he extended his research to include (household) storage in general but I have always thought of the attic in his research to be a conceptual one as much as a (flexible) physical location. Don’t we all have our attics, even if they are only in our minds? This treasure-plate came out of some space-time-mind attic and is now part of an inspiration center in my creative life where the things I make each rest for awhile so I can show them to yo

The Silver Plate – The Background for my Product Photography

We are working on an amazing, new, full collection of silver jewelry that we know you will love!

We decided to tell you about it now because, honestly, we are so excited we couldn’t wait to let you in on our secret. Some of your favorite yarn shops have already expressed interest in carrying the line and once the first collection is ready, we will announce a list of shops where you will be able to go see it in person. And, of course, it will be available on our website as soon as it comes in.

I am not just a designer.  I am an anthropologist.  I did my research on contemporary culture in Bali, Indonesia.  I lived there for a total of 3 years.  I speak the language.  I understand the culture.

My full-time creative collaborator, Agus (pronouned Ah-goose), is Balinese.  I have been working with him for 10 years.  He was trained as a jewelry designer and he is an integral part of the design process that brings to you the shawl pins and shawl sticks you have come to love and wear with your gorgeous handmade knits, crochet, and weaving.  He and I work together by video-chat to develop and tweak designs that have a relationship to culture, history, art, and architecture.  Each one of our designs has this kind of foundation in meaning and my lived experiences in Bali, traveling to other places, and conducting research about other life-ways and cross-cultural modes of thinking.

Up to this point I haven’t shared these stories with you.  And for that I apologize.  Because it makes a difference when you know the story.  I can offer to you not only a beautiful object, but the beautiful, sometimes funny, sometimes sad stories behind those objects.  I can share with you my memories and in this way they can become your memories, embedded in the object, something you can carry with you every time you wear something from JUL.

Our first full collection of silver jewelry – which will consist of 11-13 bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and earrings – will be available in time for your Christmas shopping in late September or early October.  We are making our prototypes right now.  Once we know they are all exactly as we want them, we will go into production and will definitely keep you posted as the collection comes along.  We already have a few of the pieces and decided to tease you just a little so you can share in our excitement!