joy smith of COMMUNION by joy smith
joy smith started COMMUNION two years ago; after many years of working in a gallery with artists, she decided it was time to tap into her own artistic side. but joy's jewelry making is not only an artistic practice, it's also a spiritual one. before creating a piece, she meditates allowing herself to be used as a creative vessel. her line is refined, bohemian, edgy and architectural fine jewelry. instagram // @communionbyjoysmith
local eclectic // in a sentence or two tell us who you are, what you do, where you live, etc. joy smith // i was born and raised in los angeles, california. I have always loved art since I was a child. I studied some art history in college and dabbled in painting and drawing. my calling for jewelry design came when I worked at an art gallery and realized that I wanted to be the artist and not just work for the artist. I started taking lost-wax carving classes at night and I was hooked! I loved the idea of being able to sculpt anything I wanted. when I sit and carve I feel a spirit take over me and I get lost in the process, it is a beautiful meditative experience.
LE // where do you go/look/read, etc for inspiration? JS // I look for inspiration in nature and the mystery beyond the veil of life, which is one of the feelings I try to capture with my designs. my pieces are laden with symbolism and intention. the most obvious symbolism is my take on wings or feathers. the clippings of wings in my collection are meant to embody the essence of protection needed on your journey for self -discovery. I find my inspiration communing with the spirit in nature, animals and people. I love to make jewelry that carries an energy of inner-strength and contains the power from the design or the stones I set into them.
LE // how long have you been designing under this label? JS // i have been designing under COMMUNION by joy since 2012. COMMUNION, is the act of sharing one's thoughts and emotions with another or others; intimate converse. this is what I do as an artist, to share my emotions and thoughts with my customers and hope they can feel my essence in each piece.
LE // you use a process called lost wax carving. can you tell us a little more about this? JS // lost wax carving is the method I practice when I make my jewelry. I essentially drip and build up wax and carve away at the design. I use a flame to heat up the wax on a dripper then build up the wax into the form I desire and carve away with dental tools, files and sandpaper.
LE // you created an exclusive necklace for local eclectic. can you talk about how it relates to the rest of your collection? JS // yes, I created the mini-protective eye necklace exclusive for local eclectic, which goes with the theme of protection and as a reminder that the source and light of the universe is always watching over you! I love to create talismans infused with the highest vibrations to protect us on our journey in life!
LE // in addition to being a jewelry designer, you call yourself a spiritual guide. what does this mean and how does it effect your design process? JS // I am a student of the sacred arts, a creator and delight taker in all that is whole, holy, and sacred and many of my designs and inspirations stem from this practice. I read tarot cards, which is a divination tool that helps birth the souls purpose for the present moment so you can move forward in life. I also create intention candles, which helps us focus and direct our intention, which outwardly changes the energy around us to attain that goal. each of my designs have an intentional purpose for protection or reminds us that we are limitless and boundless.
LE // what spiritual ritual can you share with us? JS // here is a ritual for stillness & silence. when you take a moment to practice this you become more relaxed and focused in your day.
one way to think about stillness and silence is as a void. but what does that look like? the word can mean so many things that your mind goes off in many directions and does not settle into itself. this exercise may help.
sit, stand, or lie down in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing for a few breaths-usually for me it takes anywhere from 10-20 breaths so that your in breath is equal in measure to the out breath. gently allow your eyes to drift closed and envision a door frame in front you with no door, opening out into nothing but blackness. with each in breath bring this door way and the blackness beyond it closer and closer to you-you do not move to it, it comes to you. go through the doorway into the blackness. there is stillness. there is silence.