Just since September, I’ve been back in the studio and have resumed teaching, after over a year of maternity leave and becoming a mother. My friend and jeweler, Joy Franklin, owner of A Thousand Joys, has also recently “reclaimed” her studio time for the same reason. Our boys were born about 6 weeks apart.
On a class field trip, where we visited the historic and contemporary jewelry collections of the Pitti Palace, and a stop to the contemporary jewelry gallery of Antonella Villanova, I brought my class of Jewelry Design students from Studio Arts College International to visit Joy’s studio. Working just meters away from Florence’s famous bridge of gold, the Ponte Vecchio, she has found a successful way to do what she loves most. Joy talked about taking the leap to become a working artist and how to manage creativity along with business. As most freelance artists know, it’s not an easy task to juggle. She discussed her processes and techniques as well as things learned on the path to starting a business in Italy.
Originally from Michigan, Joy (also a SACI alum) has been living in Florence for over a decade. She is inspired by historical ornament, cultural adornment, and anything antique with a story to tell. Each piece of her jewelry is handcrafted using traditional metalsmithing techniques with a focus on craftsmanship and sustainability. Designs from her newest line include Art Deco and Victorian inspired delicate hand-engraved 18k gold and diamond engagement rings, necklaces, and earrings.