My shipment from Amazon has crossed the Atlantic to England & delivered into my hands a luscious, lavish & extraordinary book, namely ’Links’ by the well known American jewellery designer, Jean Yates. I have the good fortune to own an extensive library of reference books, but I can't think of any other jewellery book or manual that explains the craft of jewellery design & creation as thoroughly & pertinently as 'Links'. I’ve been assembling jewellery for several years, but even so, I've learnt new techniques & I've certainly assimilated fresh perspectives about design.
Jean’s designs are so glamorous & gloriously feminine - they celebrate the art of the coquette & her womanly wiles. Turn to page 88 & enjoy the allure of Jean’s ‘Gigi Bracelet.’ Trace back to page 62 & behold the enticing ‘Blooming Chain Maille Earrings’. Tiptoe through the pages once more & prepare for the glory of the ’Sun & Shadow Necklace’ on page 118. Jean’s jewellery is sumptuous and, as I once wrote in a fan letter:
'Am I Madame de Pompadour?' Where is my Salon?' These are the daydreams that drift through my head when I survey your earrings. I may long to have the brain of a blue stocking, but I want to look like a luscious courtesan which is why I am so grateful to you for these earrings. They make me feel like a marquise & I swear that my neck lengthens into that of an aristocratic when I wear them. They are a Rococo dream & blissfully baroque! Jean, without doubt, you are a very special magician!'
In ‘Links’, Jean discusses & shares the wide ranging prompts, clues & cues which inspire her designs. In other words, she has created a source book for the imagination! The word 'inspirational' is bandied around a great deal now & there are times when I feel it's in danger of losing its lustre. 'Links' restores it - Jean’s book puts 'inspirational' back on top of the value pile & far away from any commonplace usage.
‘Links’ is also an account of a voyage. It’s an autobiography in jewellery of a remarkable woman’s life. For those of us who have the privilege of knowing Jean, she has created an emotional touchstone for us all. For those of you who are new to her work, read her stories & reflect & imagine. I defy you not to be moved by her words or inspired by her designs & ideas.
This is an extraordinary & extravagant book, richly inventive & full of fascination. Read ‘Links‘& be inspired - make your own links & begin to chart your unique stories.
To find out more about Jean, check out her blog: 'Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done!'
By the way, Jean is a bona fide Rock CHICk ( she puts the chic into Rock Chick, don't you know! )
because her son is in The Ruse!!