Yes “I was an antiques dealer and have an affection for old things. I sold vintage jewelry and fooled around with the broken stuff. I got bored with it and a show director said it needed to be more deconstructed. I played with the word deconstructed and breaking something into its parts to reinterpret it. I was an English major in college and have a love of books, poetry, and stories. I brought that into my jewelry. I move the pieces around so have they have associations and speak to one another. The memories and the meaning that people give to the objects in their lives, the things in their living room that they have collected and loved — I bring those into my jewelry. It is connecting the flotsam and jetsam of generations to tell a new story. The people in the pictures had their loves, lives, letters, and collections. They had kids and dogs. Their lives had meaning and now they are gone. These were pieces of everyday life for the folks in the photos.
The hand-carved buttons made from bone are woven into metal bibs. The buttons are from underclothing and were not the buttons worn on the outside to show everyone. We love things so intensely that we say they are in our bones. I wove the bids and added fasteners that hold us together. The name of the necklace is “Treasure” for objects that are treasured in our bones. This one with keys and faces in locks is called “Through Many Doors” about all of the doors you don’t open in life. If you don’t open the door, think of all of the opportunities you miss and the people you wouldn’t meet. The antique tintypes are from the late 1800s.
This necklace has one of my favorite Road Dahl quotes, ‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ I am all about eyes. They are the way you see the world and find the things no one else does. The glittering eyes are searching for the magic in the world.”
I am crazy about adventure and what is around the corner. Creating gives me all of that. I became an artist eight years ago after we moved to Alabama. I was mothering and having a hard time connecting with anyone in Birmingham. I was lonely and wanted something to do besides change diapers. If you had told me ten years ago I was going to be a full-time working show artist, I would not have believed you. I love being a mom to my three kids, but I can do this and be a mom. I want this stuff to keep getting weirder and never be the same.”
(Kerry Leasure is at Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival this weekend)