"Everybody needs a totem"
I was familiar with Lisa Jenks because once upon a time I had sold her work. People lined up around the block for her trunk show in the early 2000’s. I won several pieces of her work because I sold the most. Her work had been a huge inspiration for me to get back into the jewelry design field, and I was very excited to meet her. I knew that after 9/11 the character of her production changed and she downsized from a huge manufacturing facility in NY with 25 plus employees to a much more modest production.I also was intrigued by how she had expanded her jewelry design line to other objects like flatware and tableware, and I truly could not wait to meet her. I interviewed her in the airbnb as well. She no longer had a studio for us to visit, but she had revitalized her business. She also elevated the world of sterling silver, and that was also something of interest as gold is the vogue metal right now. I met her at the outside stairs, NYC still brutal still hot, and we walked up the steep flight of stairs to the airbnb. I always have a cannoli and coffee waiting for the interviewee. I was really excited to meet her and she kicked off her shoes at the door and walked in with such ease and grace. Physically she is lithe, slim in top shape and she moves like water, very fluid very easy. She was so open and delightful as I told her how much I appreciated her work and how stunning it was to have people waiting in line to get a piece and why her talismanic energies created a desire for her work that was unexplainable, but her person was the same way. She was so interesting, and funny and kind and generous and open I truly could not take my eyes off of her. She was art in her own person, and there was something so interesting about her yet undefinable. I loved the interview because of her fearlessness of discussing difficult things in her life, but that she also had some great things in her life that kept her going, and that was refreshing to hear. She told the story of 9/11 walking her 5 year old to the first day of school and how that affected her production in the next few years. She is spiritual, kind, funny, wise, dressed in simple black clothing and her jewelry fit her perfectly, her style, her personality and her philosophy of life. I loved every word she said, and she was so impressive with her stories and her inspirations. Once again I was madly in love with her work as we looked at dozens of pieces, but now I was madly in love with her philosophy of life and what she wanted to do with it, and how jewelry was a manifestation of her experience in life, and how a life changing health crisis was to change her style forever.