What does Goethe have to do with crafts? Not much, besides a poem that expresses longing for warmth and beauty, both of which are common themes in the work of artisans. The poem in question is "Mignons Sehnsuch-- Mignon's Longing",
"Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn,
Do you know the land where the lemon-trees grow,Im dunkeln Laub die Gold-Orangen glühn,
In darkened leaves the gold-oranges glow,
Ein sanfter Wind vom blauen Himmel weht,
A soft wind blows from the pure blue sky,
Die Myrte still und hoch der Lorbeer steht?
The myrtle stands mute, and the bay tree high?
Kennst du es wohl?
Do you know it well?
Möcht ich mit dir, o mein Geliebter, ziehn.
I’d be gone,
to be there with you, O, my beloved one!"
This is what I had in mind when I made the earrings pictured above. The day was chilly and grey, and phototropic creature that I am, I needed a reminder of my native place, in northeast Brazil, where lemon trees do bloom. The beads I used were made in the mid-1900s by a gifted glassblower who must have been aided by elves, such is the sweet shimmer and the nearly evanescent quality of the fruit and leaves he created.
My work was simple. All I did was add aventurine roundels, yellow freshwater pearls and sterling silver finds to the glass beads. The result is jewelry might not be as enduring as Goethe's poetry, but I am sure that it will last through many winters.