Through October, our favorite jewelry designer, John Wind, is honoring Breast Cancer Awareness month by selling unique ombré baroque pearls. Ten percent of all sales from these beautiful pieces will benefit the Cancer Support Community, which provides services and support to those impacted by cancer—free of charge.
John Wind took some time to answer some of our questions about his connection to the Cancer Support Community and about his designs.
Q: Has anyone in your life been affected by cancer?
Yes, I lost my mother to ovarian cancer in 2014. She was an artist and a great inspiration to my work. (See more about her work and legacy at Dina Wind Art.)
Q: How did you learn about CSC, and why is it important to you to give back to this organization?
I was first asked by my friend Jill Durovsik to design a piece of jewelry celebrating the opening of CSC’s research facility in Philadelphia back in 2008.
As I learned more about the organization and got to know Kim (CSC’s CEO), Linda (CSC’s President) and the team, I wanted to do more.
I felt that my interest in empowering and uplifting women through jewelry was consistent with CSC’s own mission to “empower by knowledge, strengthen by action, and sustain by community."
So we just keep coming up with new ways that my company and I can contribute and make a difference in ways unique to us—through custom designs, trunk shows, and projects like this. It’s been a wonderful partnership and one that has created a kind of community of its own—CSC + JW fans!
In 2013, CSC surprised company president Robbin Cook and me with an award for our partnership at your annual gala in New York. That was very moving. At this point, we are family!
Q: How did you get started in this creative industry?
I always wanted to be an artist and had the good fortune of going to the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the early 1980’s. I got swept up in the fashion, music and club scene there (think Culture Club and the Thompson Twins) and started making funky jewelry for my friends and me to wear. One thing led to another, and by the time I graduated I was supporting myself with my jewelry. But with an artist mother (who loved jewelry) and a business professor father, in retrospect, it all kind of makes sense!
Q: What inspired you to do this particular design?
The Ombré Pearl Collection combines two of our customers’ favorite things—our pearlized-glass baroque pearls and the gorgeous tonal color effect known as Ombré. It was an idea I first sketched with my trusty box of colored pencils, and we were all delighted when the first samples arrived at the studio a month or so later!
Pearls are symbols of wisdom, purity and calm. I wanted to offer these gifts in the face of the stressful cancer journey.
Q: In addition to designing jewelry, are you involved in other artistic pursuits?
Yes, I have continued a studio art practice since art school days, making collages, assemblage sculptures, and large installations. I’m currently working on a series of assemblage portraits of the women in my life, Kim Thiboldeaux, CSC’s CEO, among them! (You can see the series.)
Q: What’s next?
I am interested in bridging my two worlds even more with more artistic, limited edition jewelry and also a collection inspired by the women of my portrait project. I hope that the new designs, plus seeking to bridge work and passion, will inspire others as well! Stay tuned for more on this in 2018…