Nature is her boss. Neck like a crane. Numb feet from pounding metal on her knees all day. Hazel Cox is a local treasure in Portland — a good friend, collaborator and darling of Studio J (our friends John and Janet Jay who also make Pearl+ Soaps for us), and an inimitable innovator. She has been designing and handcrafting jewelry for multiple decades, jewelry that, when it hangs off your ears and neck and wrists, incites women (and men) at every street corner to ask you where it came from. It looks like math in a hot dress.
We put some philosophical questions to Hazel in a common language. She’s probably finishing up The View about now and tuning back into other frequencies.
A typical work day for you:
Wake and break, tea or coffee, yoga breath, emails, cat kisses, The View at 10:00, earplugs, hammer, anvil, drill, popcorn, General Hospital at 2:00, polishing metal while situational discussions tramp around in my thoughts, dying silk fibers to the perfect hue, emails, a walk, cutting bronze, engraving bad words onto sheet steel for practice while I have a snack break, packing and shipping out orders, answer the phone when Dee calls, day dream about other projects that I want to be working on with my lady pal Janet, order supplies, sharpen my tools, play some amazing air drums with my hammers to the music of WITCH when it comes on my itunes, etc…..
A tree you like:
Pine trees. They have the best resin for burning and their needles whistle in the wind. Nothing better than a long nap on the soft needle-covered ground in a stand of pines. The best part is they are everywhere on earth.
A song you like:
Right now it’s “A Forest,” The Cure off of Seventeen Seconds (again). I want this song to never stop when it’s playing…it’s playing right now. Well, it just ended so I am gonna play it again. This song where the land and sea meet. “Lost in a forest all alone, the girl was never there, it’s always the same, I’m running towards nothing, again and again,” some of my favorite lines. I have a fantasy of being lost in the forest with nothing but the trees and me forever. If I could play guitar I would play like that. Also, it is a glorious reminder of growing up oh-my-goth…
A cat you like:
Why you got to make me choose? Well, I prefer panthers and kool katz.
Will you please talk about these images in relation to your work:
This person really knows how to accessorize. I am into how gender neutral it is. These are the enhancers and protectors bound to this person’s soul. This is the spirit of their being.
I hope my work is this good. I also try for a reunion of the organic elements and my need to accessorize.
The first thing I notice in this image is that there are 5 eggs — this provides a perfectly solid structure. I also work in 5s. The way it is bound together is clever and simplified to only what is needed to keep the design clean and to make it possible to make many of them accurately every time. I like my eggs sunny side up by the way.
Photo from Natural Fashion by Hans Silvester. Egg photo unknown. Gif from one of our favorite blogs of all time If We Don’t, Remember Me. Go see it and thank us later.
Jeremy Pelley x Fritz Mesenbrink x Mathew Foster of OMFGCo
Arkitip asked Ace’s Alex Calderwood and John Jay of Studio J to curate their latest issue, X: Mark of Collaboration. It’s made up entirely of creative alliances between artists and innovators. After you look at this selection of pages and pictures of John and Alex working on the issue, you might want to get one. You can do that here.