Every act of creativity has a spark from something, maybe an idea, something you see, hear, feel, something that strikes your imagination in just the right way. In many ways, the original spark for me with jewelry was a book I read as teenager, “The Walls of Windy Troy” by Marjorie Braymer. It’s a biography of Heinrich Schliemann, a successful businessman who in 1860 decided at age 37 to put his resources to finding the lost city of Troy by following clues in the classics by Homer and other ancient Greek writers.
And amazingly Schliemann does in fact find Troy and Mycenae which up until then were thought to be fictional. Reading this book as a kid, I was enraptured by the idea of this kind of discovery and adventure, but what really charmed me were the photos of Schliemann’s wife wearing the jewelry from the excavation. So much more exciting that the pictures of pottery shards. I’m not sure whether I wanted to create these beautiful things or to discover hidden treasures, but the memory has stayed with me for these many years.
Schliemann, it turns out was not altruistic in his endeavors and has since been discredited for taking off with the treasure he found. And it turns out he was an inept archeologist, destroying many of the artifacts during is excavation and misinterpreting his findings. Sigh. The man is lacking, but the adventure is wonderful.
On the left Sophia Schliemann wearing part of Priam treasure. On the right a photo of the golden diadem which is now at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Right part of the photo by Francesco Bini (Sailko) under license CC BY-SA 3.0