When I’m not writing I fill what little time I have left with creating and writing about making jewelry. I began making Murano glass beads and jewelry pieces because I like playing with colors – just as a writer likes to play with a reader’s emotions. One of my signature designs is my “Matrioshka” bead, which is a riot of bright colors and bold patterns. It also hints to my Russian origins: “Matrioshkas” are the wooden dolls which have a family of smaller dolls nestling inside, they are a favorite toy of Russian children. My “Matrioshka” beads brought me 1st Place in the prestigious UK Bead Magazine competition, in the category of handmade lampwork beads.
When I come to think about it, there’s a great deal of symmetry between writing and jewelry making. Not only are they both engrossing occupations, they’re ones that demand care, attention to detail and become all-consuming. But the similarities go further than that. Writing fiction involves putting together a plot which is coherent, engaging and which seizes the reader’s attention. It’s exactly the same with jewelry making.
For example, this necklace, “Pink Flowers”: it took me quite some time designing how all the individual elements – the glass beads, the silver spacers, the hand-dyed silk ribbon and the clasp – would fit together to make a piece which is coherent, engaging and which seizes the attention of anyone seeing it.
The other thing a good story demands is interesting characters: those who stand out from the crowd and stick in the reader’s memory. The beads I create serve exactly the same purpose; they’re the focus of attention and hence I take great pains in crafting them so that you’re lured to take a closer look. Even the plain beads have their role to play, complimenting the focal beads and enhancing their beauty. Their function is like the ‘supporting’ characters in ‘Ghost Love’: not memorable by themselves but serving to put the passions and foibles of the lead characters in sharper relief.
Coco Chanel once said that perfume heralds a woman’s arrival and delays her departure. It’s exactly the same with good jewelry – and with good fiction. I’ve often lost all track of time when I’ve been engrossed in reading a good book. My hope is that ‘Ghost Love’ will have exactly the same effect on its readers – just like my jewelry pieces on those who admire them.