My jewellery collection #1

7 08 2009

A few years ago my home was broken into and all of my jewellery was stolen (sad face); save for the ring I was wearing that day, a necklace that happened to be hanging over a dining chair (I had never left a piece of jewellery in such a place before) and two necklaces that were inexplicably left behind (both have significant sentimental memories, one bought in Paris and the other in the Orkney Islands).

So with all of the pieces I had been given for many of my birthdays (and my dad’s collection of cuff-links, my mum’s cygnet ring, and all the jewellery I made in my first course) now all taken from me, my jewellery collection is still a little sparse and made up of mostly recently-added items. But I think because all I now have in my collection drawers I have selected myself (none are gifts), the group may be more representative of who I am or at least how I have evolved in recent years.

One of my favourites would probably be viewed as one of the least fashionable by most: a necklace of carnelian beads.


This was one of the necklaces left behind by the weird stealing-people. It has sentimental value, and while it wasn’t expensive nor is conventionally valuable, it cannot be replaced. I bought it on a sunny Saturday as I ambled around the laneways of Paris with a few friends – I was living in London at the time and a friend from work was having his 30th birthday at his uncle’s mansion on the outskirts of Paris (I’m not joking!).

It is not by any stretch of the imagination contemporary, perhaps only in the sense that it was made in the year or two before I bought it. It is by no means ‘challenging the conventions of what jewellery can mean‘, nor does it ‘push the boundaries of material and form‘ … it’s a simple old-fashioned necklace my nana would have also considered wearing in her bright youth. I especially love the weight close against my neck (it’s more of a choker really), and I often find myself absent-mindedly fondling one of the beads as I think…



3 responses

8 08 2009
Claire O'Halloran

Karen, I remember that horrible event and the beautiful enamelled booches you made that were stolen. I’m finally sending you a link to my website, which has details of the exhibition in October. Hope to see you then if not before. Claire.

8 08 2009

Hi Claire
Lovely to hear from you! I will add your website to my links page – your work is so very beautiful.
I look forward to seeing you in October – I hope the preparations are going well!

9 08 2009
Claire O'Halloran

Thanks Karen. I’ve put a link to Melbourne Jeweller on my website. I’ve enjoyed browsing through your blog this weekend!

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