THE SAN FRAN LOGS: A JEWEL DATE WITH JOSIE ADELE
Unbeknownst to myself I was drawn to the work of Josie Adele.
On my second day in San Fran I stood in the corner of Wonderland SF playing dress up. You won’t be shocked to hear I had accumulated a rather large pile of jewellery to try on. I worked through the pile admiring one piece after another. Each piece of jewellery completely different than the piece I had tried on before it. In between serving customers, shop admin and trying to locate the whereabouts of her daughters’ camera, Irene (the owner) would look over to me and give me a San Fran nugget. Such as the name of a jewellery boutique I had to visit during my stay or the date of a cool art party to gate crash. Though no one in San Fran is a gate -crasher only a new face on the scene for people to get to know.
I was preening over an asymmetric 3 layered gold disc necklaces with crystals teased throughout it when Irene’s voice pulled me out of my trance … “you have a thing for Josie don’t you?” I looked back, half blankly half jewel dazed. & then she told me that half of the items in my pull were by local designer Josie Adele.
I left the store a few hours later – one of the bonuses of traveling alone, you can spend as much time as you like in a treasure cave, that or until the owner politely tells you that she normal shuts shop at 19:00 and it’s now 20:15. Pondering on my journey home whether to contact Josie or not.
A few days later my shyness/ British Aloof nature overcome I stood at a Muni station waiting for Josie to collect me after her salsa lesson. I should point at that it was during daylight hours and at least 2 people knew where I was just in case this jewel date turned out to be a sinister episode of Catfish. I like to think Josie had the same backups in place just in case the “Kooky ” British Jewel lover turned out to be crazy … Though my friends will tell you I’m probably borderline on the right side of crazy.
So as we stood in her kitchen (Josie juicing) she told me how she first became aware of jewellery aged 3 and that her steps into designing and making were taken when she was 7 and presented with the gift of a shell box. With that her first collection was born.
Beads replaced the shells and throughout collage Josie sold her beaded jewellery whilst studying for a degree in interior design. Now, Josie creates eco-friendly, up cycled jewellery made from recycled metals such as silver, copper and brass.
The movement evoked in Josie’s jewellery is captivating. Your eye literally dances with her designs. As you follow the twists and turns of a piece you forget that it is made from a structured metal based material and instead you get lost in the fluidity of the piece.
Nature and its relationship with art and people is one of Josie’s main influences. It is her understanding of people and their relationships that makes Josie stand out as a designer. I knew instantly when I met Josie that, she’s a people person. She is the kind of woman that just gets you from the moment she meets you. & draws out pieces of you from your core that you don’t expect to reveal.
This probably explains why she has a fridge with notes and cards affectionally layered upon one another each thanking Josie for the bespoke piece she has created for them. My favourite was a ring which matched the beautiful of the story from which it was born. Incorporating a piece of driftwood collected on their first date Josie created this ring for a husband who wanted to give his wife the type of engagement ring he couldn’t afford to give her the first time.
Josie has just successfully closed her Kickstart Campaign and is now woking on her new collection Silver linings which she will debut next month at San Francisco’s Ultimate Women’s Expo show. Josie posted this sneak peak of some moulds for the collection on her Facebook page.
I was extremely honoured that Josie not only agreed to this Jewel Date but also took me into her world for the afternoon Our Jewel Date evolved into a mini tour of some of Josie’s favourite stores in the Bay area including an great boutique; Wild Feather who carries an amazing selection of home-made SF jewellery. & ended with an impromptu lunch date at one of her favourite cafes with more giggles and tales.
I never know quite where a Jewel Date is going to take me. I left thinking my date with Josie Adele was more about a meeting of spirits than the jewellery. But looking back now I realise the two are very much intertwined. Josie’s spirit runs through her designs. Each piece she lovingly hand makes is infused with her positive infectious energy. It was this energy I was drawn to when I unknowingly tried on piece after piece of Josie’s creations in Wonderland SF.
On her website and in her sign offs Josie encourages you to do as she does and live passionately. Something that I will take with me from now on. & if I ever need a gently reminder or a boost of Adele charm and spirit then thankfully I have one of Josie’s pieces with me. Reminding me always of my time in San Francisco and my date with a very special lady.
Thank you for having me Josie.