Girlfriends and Collectors

 In Inspiration

Anni Stokes is one of my oldest and dearest. We met at Emory College in 1972 where we were both Educational Studies majors. We also shared the memorable experience of being members of Kelly’s Seed & Feed Theater and The Dance Unit: she, an actor, me, a choreographer/dancer. I moved to Skagway in 1976 and after Anni visited, she was inspired to relocate to Juneau. It was a delight to share the bejeweled coast of SE Alaska with her. As I discovered my artistic voice in the vivid landscape, she became a Special Education teacher, using her performance and story-telling skills to gain the trust of  native Tlingit children with learning challenges. She became a beloved leader in her community.  From the beginning of my business in Alaska and throughout my career in Ithaca and Atlanta, she has been an avid supporter and  collector.

1978 Blue Opal, 14KT Filigree.
1999 Black Opal and emerald, hand engraved 18KT.
2012 Indicolite Tourmaline, 14KY, hand engraved sterling

These three rings represent forty years of jewelry making and design.They also represent forty years of friendship. Anni has worn and cherished them everyday since the moment she purchased them. On a recent visit I convinced her that they were in need of some TLC. As we repolished the stones and secured the settings I was struck by how beautifully they’ve weathered life’s ecstasies and agonies. Some things can’t be restored, like the crater in the emerald, yet each gem beams out its beauty consistently, without demand.

Looking at these rings, perhaps you too can imagine the inspired vistas; mountaintop glaciers snaking into fjords of pristine green, icy cold peaks of molten blue, the sound of a distant rumbling avalanche. These pieces are imbued with the love affair between a place in space and time. Anni felt the same way about them. The worth of collectors like Anni who sustain and encourage these expensive artistic endeavors can never be underestimated. Happy “Galentine’s” Day dearest Anni.


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