Stephanie Said on Motherhood and Emotion
“I have been designing with a more emotional side of myself than ever, wanting so badly to represent this new depth of love …”
This year jeweller Stephanie Said will celebrate her first Mother’s Day with new baby Neo, who is just 10 weeks old. Despite his tiny size, Neo has already had a big impact on his mother’s creative life and jewellery practice.
The concept of maternity leave is often rather fluid for the self-employed, and even more so for an artist: inspiration rarely takes a holiday. For Stephanie, the juggle of caring for a newborn and finding time for work has brought challenges but also benefits: “Time has definitely become more limited. But when I do have time to work, I find I have much more focus and the time is really productive.
“While I am breastfeeding my baby, I find myself drawing and experimenting in my head. Having the time to sit, breathe, and day-dream has been lovely,” said Stephanie. “There is also a definite heightening of my emotions, feeling more and more meaning with everything I create.”
Stephanie noticed this emotional shift beginning during her pregnancy, which naturally flowed through to her work: “I have been designing with a more emotional side of myself than ever, wanting so badly to represent this new depth of love in something I can hold and have with me always to remember this special time. Jewellery certainly has a greater power than simply accessorising, it is an incredibly beautiful power that you can symbolise the love that you have for someone with the most precious metals and stones.”
One of Stephanie’s signature pieces, the Infinity ring, has now taken on new significance. “This design really resonates with my experience of becoming a mother. It is made of two rings that are riveted together on an axis. The two rings rotate – an inner ring with an argyle diamond on opposite sides is being hugged, almost lovingly, by the outer ring, seemingly protective of the internal diamonds within, which are subtly exposed when the ring is worn.”
Stephanie has been commissioned many times to create special pieces to celebrate a new birth, mothers and children. “They have always meant so much for me to make,” she said. “I love thinking about the beautiful relationship that is being celebrated as I am designing.”
One notable commission was for a client’s mother, using a stone from her mother’s old engagement ring which was unwearable in its original state. After experimenting with different options, Stephanie incorporated the stone seamlessly into her Infinity folding ring design. “The end result was a really elegant double band ring that she could wear opened or closed,” said Stephanie. “My client (and I) cried, she was so happy to be able to remember her mother every day through her new jewellery.
“I feel so privileged to be able to design and make jewellery that is so cherished by my clients.”