Why the name "Natty Dread Rocks?"

The name gives me permission to have fun, to step outside of the box, to embrace my heritage, who I am, who I can become, to face my fears.

My vision for "Natty Dread Rocks" is this- that each piece of jewelry be made with love and enjoyment; that it be made to the best of my ability; that the thoughts that surround the selection of the materials, the fabrication of the jewelry, the name of the piece, be thoughts of beauty and hope; that the wearer may feel uplifted when wearing each piece- that it may somehow enter their lives and bring them joy and peace; that each piece that is shipped arrive safely to its new owner; that the owner may feel the same connection to each piece that I have felt.

The materials that I use to make my jewelry speak to me. I buy things that I love, and then I "listen" to those pieces, and they lead me down the path of creation. Although I have a deep and abiding love for rocks and natural materials, I also work with synthetic materials that appeal to me. Texture and color are very important, but more than anything else, a piece has to "feel" right- not just to the fingertips, but to the eye, the body. In many ways, when I wear jewelry, it feels like an extension of the body- it has its own energy.

Like many other artists I am inspired by the work of others, and am constantly in awe regarding the variety of designs that I see. I love to look at jewelry- in books, magazines, real life. I look at old pieces and wonder who wore them. I remember when I was a child, adorning myself with necklaces made from verbena flowers joined together, and earrings made from tiny flowers glued to my ears with poinsettia glue.

"Natty Dread Rocks"?? the name encompasses so many things for me- from my childhood and teenage years growing up in Jamaica, to the rocks in their many shapes and forms that have always been a part of my life; it reminds me of those early years of Reggae, when it was taboo to listen to it in our household; it reminds me of when early Reggae artist U-Roy came riding with his wife on the back of his motorbike into my little home town in St. Elizabeth, and how I would lie in my bed trying to sleep with his music reverberating through our house from the bar down the road, whether it was allowed or not! It reminds me of the things that we are scared of, the things that we need to embrace, the things that we have to embrace if we are ever to become who we are truly capable of being.

In college, I abandoned my training as an artist for a degree in Interior Design. My reasons- for the life of me I could never get a handle on abstract art, and so I thought I was not talented enough, and even more than that, I had no desire to be a "starving artist." Little did I realize that there is more than one way to starve, because the inability to express one's true self can lead to starvation of the soul. A professional career in Interior Design for over 25 years has brought me to where I am now- grateful to have had the experiences of the past, and ready to embrace more of life, more of my creative self. For many years I have dwelt in a world of black and white, of construction drawings, of paper, where someone else selected the colors, and my creative endeavors with color were outside my professional arena. The Interior Designer in me still lives, and is joined by the artist, the writer, the parts of me that have been waiting to be embraced.

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