Avec l'amour de france. With love from France. And now we come to this bold statement piece. This ring is easily my favorite piece of jewelry. It was custom-designed for me by an American jewelry designer that I met in my hotel in Nice, France. We were the only guests at the hotel (hmm maybe that's a bit of a stretch- more of a hostel?) and we became fast friends. When you travel alone you make friends quite easily with people. I always feel that in the same measure your guard is up (and to be fair, in foreign countries by yourself it probably should be to some degree), you're also more open to newness: new opportunities, relationships, possibilities, adventures. Such openness has paved the way for many friendships made at a bus stop in the middle of the Tuscan hills in Italy, at a train station in France, over 25 hour flights to Australia and many more that are still nurtured to this day. In the case with Mr Jewelry Designer, we hit if off very quickly one evening in that little rundown ho(s)tel in the French Riviera. I marveled at his extreme nomadic-ness, sustaining his Mediterranean adventures with the jewelry he made and sold as he traveled along. I loved his work. I bought his entire stock over breakfast and as a thank you, he made me this beautiful, one-of-a-kind ring that I've treasured for over 10 years. At the time, it had a ruby-red gemstone that rolled around in the middle but that I sadly lost somewhere between Australia and Africa about 5 years ago. Now I've come to love it more, with its silver, geometric maze. It's eye-catching, curiosity-piquing and is always a conversation starter with people when I'm out and about. I myself have even wondered about the imprint that it could make if I sucked-punched somebody with it on. I don't supposed in the name of art I could 'experiment'? And to this day, the second I put it on, it always takes me back to that solo, back-packing Euro adventure and reminds me of my deep-seated need to keep stepping out of my comfort zone, dare all, bare more, risk plenty and live with abundant abandon. Like the ring, I hope that feeling never goes away.
P.s: Mr Jewelry Designer, wherever you are, thank you. Where for art thou?
Kele Mogotsi is the