Over the past decade, designing jewelry in Mexico, I developed a fascination for the Mexican self- portrait artist Frida Kahlo. A feminist icon, she was a revolutionary woman in the 1930s-40s. She suffered a lot in life and I wonder what she would think of her current fame and her portraits on postage stamps and Mexican money.
I felt a connection to her when I started working with a silversmith who lived in la Casa de Diego Rivera. Frida was married to the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Designing jewelry in their historic Casita gave me the feeling of going back in time. Picturing peacocks floating around the garden, I would call on her creativity and strength for inspiration.
Frida Kahlo wore very daring accessories. She wore skull earrings and bold chokers made from jade and old Aztec beads. To celebrate her life I created a "Frida Collection" that combines the rough shapes of the Aztec jade with new faceted jade and turquoise for a unique, modern version of her look.
Farmers in central Mexico often find old stone beads in the fields. It's like finding old Indian arrowheads except they are strung in to necklaces to sell at market. Some are real and some are fake but it doesn't matter because they are so cool. I bought a pretty large strand of grayish stones from an old blind man 15 years ago in Mexico. They were probably knock offs and I probably paid too much for them but they are magical to me. I lost them a few times over the years and some how they always came back. I used these magical stones as a centerpiece in my "Frida Fantasy" necklace.
If you haven't heard of Frida Kahlo, check her out! She was a powerful artist and a beautiful woman way ahead of her time. Last year I dressed up like Frida for Halloween and was surprised at how many people had no idea who I was. I thought the huge painted on uni- brow was a dead giveaway.