P A T I N A
As we celebrate John Franciscus's 35 Years as a master hand engraver in Atlanta, we reached out to some of his long time creative collaborators. One such person is Lainey Papageorge, an amazing artist whose medium is jewelry.
John and Lainey met at the esteemed Gemological Institute of America in 1979 as both were expanding their knowledge of diamonds and fine gemstone setting. Though one would work strictly with metal and the other with colored gemstones, they were immediate kindred spirits. Both brought to the table an "articulated focus” and compatible creative visions. So much so, that they can still finish one another's sentences and my conversations with Lainey and John blur into one another with similar phrases and themes. One such recurring theme: "Anything worthwhile takes time and energy."
So where do we begin her story of time and energy well spent?
Before Lainey was a jeweler, before she became bewitched by gemstones, before all that she had begun her creative life as a dancer and choreographer. Little did she know that her study of the human form and her observations of the movement of dancers would dovetail perfectly into her future profession as a jewelry designer. This fluidity would be key to her creations. . . Jewelry that felt as good as it looked.
But before that, Lainey was a child with learning differences in a world that hadn't even coined the term "learning differences" yet. Today she would most likely receive a diagnosis of Dyslexia and ADHD, but then she only knew that traditional school was extremely difficult and overstimulation would leave her exhausted. These circumstances put her on a path that would lead to her greatest gift.
During this time, she learned valuable lessons by being left alone to explore nature. . . to observe patterns and light, shapes and shadows, and the action of water on the creek banks. Unhindered by left and right, experiencing the acceleration and deceleration of time depending upon her activity, and the gift of unstructured time set the stage for learning the most valuable skill of all: How to manage solitude. It is from this quiet place that she returns to again and again to tap into her creative root system.
Lainey Papageorge / photo by Steve Pelosi
In order for Lainey to create she must become still. Her process is not a moment, but rather a synthesis of dreams and life events over decades. And she can only get to that place through that quiet place. . . a place that she meets with the gemstones, listens and gets to know them. There is a meditative quality to her work and the human touch is inescapable. Jewelry created in this way is qualitatively different because so much time and energy has been invested in it. Both women and men enjoy her jewelry because it is easy to wear; subtle, not flashy and comfortable. It’s jewelry that is worn every day and leaves you feeling incomplete when you’re not wearing it. Essentially it “feels good”. . . both physically and emotionally.
We are thrilled to bring Lainey Papageorge to LJLewis Silver Company for a very limited engagement. For three days the showcases will be brimming with her creations Thursday October 19 through Saturday October 21.
So whether you're a long time collector or completely new to her creative universe, do stop by the shop.
And as a special reward for those who have read to the very end, you should know we will be fêting John and Lainey on Thursday from 4:30 - 7:30. This an event you won’t want to miss so mark your calendars now.
Because old friends are indeed the very best kind! ~ lwM