Guest Scribe: Jill Platner "Design by Nature"

Posted by Guest Scribe on 6/8/13 in Inspiration

Cover Photo: The author & designer, Jill Platner, at her workbench


Jill Platner as a kid in Maine

I had an idyllic childhood in many ways, or at least in ways that provided me with the luxury of countless hours spent outside. Though I didn't know it then, this time turned out to be very pivotal for me, for it ended up informing and inspiring almost every aspect of my life. I grew up in Massachusetts, not far from the ocean and just behind my house were meadows and a river to explore. I also had the mountains and forests of Maine, where my grandparents lived, as my playground. I collected rocks, gathered and identified seeds, tromped through mud and slipped into streams. I caught frogs, climbed up trees, ran down rocky hills and slept on ground covered with pine needles. Though much of this adventuring was time spent alone, I never felt lonely; I was both content and thrilled by my discoveries and surroundings.  I was very much at home.

"Falcons In Flight" sculpture installation in Maine

Though I decamped to one of the largest cities in the world, while in my late teens, the things that I saw, smelled and touched in the water and forests of my childhood never left me. Like most artists, I didn't decide one day to make things -- I needed to make things. And the things I needed to make, as it turns out, are deeply rooted in my sense memory from my time spent in nature. The shapes in my jewelry and sculpture could be rocks or leaves I once collected. The way the pieces connect and hang together might be a field of high grass or a wave on the ocean. There is virtually nothing I make that isn't somehow linked to the world in which I was so fortunate to grow up.

"Armadillo" bracelet in Mexico

As an adult, NYC is definitely my home. It turns out we can have more homes than one! I love the people, the pace, the architecture, noise and even the grit, and honestly, I can't imagine ever fully leaving this place. However, I depart whenever I can, making the necessary sojourns to the ocean or back up to Maine. Taking the much-needed time to replenish and dig deeper into my creative coffers in order to continue what's become my own cycle of art and nature.

The Jill Platner "Wanderlust" bracelet

When I was asked to design a bracelet specifically for Wanderlust, I didn't hesitate in accepting. Besides having known the incomparable yogi, Schuyler Grant, for many years, the idea of making something for a community that embodies so much of what I hold dear (adventure, health, nature, music and of course, yoga), felt perfect. Since I design and build my jewelry with this surfing, thrill-seeking, beauty-loving, mind-bending, might-get-a-little-messy, yogi in mind, it was an easy decision to make.

The Wanderlust bracelet is a take on one of my most popular pieces, the JP clasp. The clasp on all my jewelry is one of my most important design elements and is emblematic of my work, representing the openness between the beginning and end.

For this bracelet though, I changed my signature clasp to a bird and a Wanderlust W to symbolize flight and freedom. Made with unbreakable Gortex thread, Sterling silver and lots of love, it's meant to be worn and worked over, over and over again.

Tags: bracelet, design, inspiration, jewelry, jill, jill platner, platner, wanderbird

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