Many people ask if I have a personal connection or affinity with matches and fire. Actually, I used to play with matches a lot when I was growing up. With the window open while sitting at the edge of my bed, I would strike them repeatedly just to hear the slick sound as their burning smell dissipated into the air. As the tips quickly charred and turned dark I would toss them onto the roof below and observe a sequence of X patterns form while some of the matches landed in the gutter. My playing around with fire ended abruptly when I attempted this at a friend’s house - accidentally setting their parent’s coffee table on fire. Needless to say I got into a tremendous amount of trouble!
Fast forward to 2009 when I set out to design my first creation in my lost wax casting jewelry class in New York City, I created a vertical pendant with a setting at the bottom and chose Iolite as the gemstone. After the first piece was complete, I continued to design the same pendant with different gemstones. Over the course of a month I created eight pendants in silver resulting in a colorful collection.
As I admired the eight pendants neatly juxtaposed on my dresser, they seemed to resemble jewel-like matchsticks. I had never seen jeweled matchsticks, but if they existed this is what they would look like. I reached for a matchbook, dumped out the matches and replaced them with my jeweled versions. To my surprise all eight of them fit perfectly from left to right and top to bottom inside the book. I took one of the matches and held it up next to the jeweled matchstick and they were exactly the same length. I was amazed and wondered - how did this happen to be so precisely perfect - without planning - and at that moment I knew this was the direction for my jewelry line - luxury, jeweled abstract matchsticks. With a surge of excitement I began to think of how I would introduce them. I thought about advertisements and came up with various tag-lines including “start a fire with matchsticks” and “light it up with matchsticks”. I had so many ideas as to which tagline would be the “one”. I decided to engrave different fire related tag-lines as an option to the Matchstick pendant based on the color of the stone, each creating their own meaning and story with reminders of personal inspiration.
The inspirational aspect has a deep personal meaning for me. I always felt a noticeable burning sensation in the pit of my stomach when I became passionate about an idea, a goal, or if I needed inspiration to stay focused and positive. The more I focused on this sensation, I realized this feeling is my inner fire and that mine is identified as the color red.
I chose to pursue the creation of this collection - to stay focused, inspired, and to assist and honor others in their personal evolution and expression. Each Matchstick pendant is its own powerful story within a vertical space that the wearer can connect with and hold dear to their chest. The tip of the Matchstick is the spark, and the basis to determine which Matchstick is the perfect one for you. It begins with the color of your fire.
Over ten years later, the Matchstick continues to burn bright ! I have designed well over eight different pendant styles with gemstones and diamonds in various textures and metals and expanded the collection to include earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and badges.
“Express your uniqueness with the color of your fire!”
Original 8 Matchsticks 2009