Archive for February 2014


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Sutro Baths  //  San Francisco, CA

There has been a lot of self reflection lately. This is the 8th year that I have been doing business as Prismera, the little jewelry brand that grew out of a desperate need for a creative outlet.

I had been out of school for 3 months when a hiring agency called me for a position doing data entry for a private label garment company. I was told there was potential for a hop into the art department but did I really want to create allover prints with characters from the Simpsons or Spongebob? None of the skills I developed at RISD seemed usable in the real world. (I was wrong.) I didn't understand then that it was only the beginning- I felt like a failure, like I didn't fit in with the rest of the world and that I had let my alma mater down. Like I had let myself down.

The first pieces were made using basic techniques I had learned from Youtube videos. Really simple stuff, made from wire and crystals (prisms, hey yup). I pored over Adobe How-To books at Barnes and Noble, because the Photoshop course I had taken less than a year ago was completely useless. I needed an online store. I needed a WYSIWYG. When you can't afford help, you learn to do everything from scratch and beg for information from people you barely know. Thank you, Mr. Hanson.

I looked for mentorship and found other women who were doing what I was doing, sprinkled across the US. Took a proper basic metalsmithing class- breathed toxic fumes, sliced and burnt and ground my fingers many times over. Played with molten metal. Began to develop the style of work that I ended up staying with for many years. It started as brass, then sterling silver, then stainless steel. Multiple outside forces came together- the recession was the largest. But I was hungry, literally and figuratively, and I was going to make this happen. There was no safety net.

Scarfshop  //   Muji  //  Mane Message

So. At first it was just about rebranding because it was time. As that process continued, there was an itch to change more. There is so, so much to come and I cannot wait for it all to be public but right now, I am reveling in the minute decisions that need to be made. Prismera is getting a complete makeover and it's both bittersweet and very, very exciting.

When the new year started, we took a couple trips into San Francisco proper. There was this strong desire to escape without going too far a distance. I needed to be close to the ocean and to feel small. I love that we ended up here, at the Baths- and with the word symbolizing cleansing, renewal- those trips turned out to be a harbinger of what is to come.

That is pretty cool.