Myra, one of my lovely clients, recently emailed to say she hopes I will start using a maker’s mark soon. A maker’s mark is the stamp on fine jewelry which identifies the maker, not to be confused with the hallmark used to denote metal content. A maker’s mark is a jewelry artist’s “signature,” and I’ve been mulling one for ages. What symbol to take as my own is a weighty decision which, like the name of my business, can’t be lightly put aside or easily undone. I’ve put this choice off because nothing comes clearly to mind, but Myra is right, and it’s time to decide.
When I named my business Vaka Design, I knew the initials “VD” could be ruled out as a maker’s mark.
I snicker every time the boys and I get in the car to go to soccer, when I ask them if they have all their equipment. ” Do you have your balls? Do you have your BALLS! BALLS! That is so funny!”
Dick’s Sporting Goods is endlessly hysterical, and preparing chicken breasts for dinner only gives me reason to jut out my chest, point to the chicken and exclaim, “Look at these breasts I have here. These are some fine breasts!”
These things amuse me every time, and so I’m quite sure I’m simple enough to look at my jewelry for years to come and snicker, “my jewelry has VD! VENEREAL DISEASE!” I’m giggling now as I type that out, so no, I don’t think I could be trusted with ownership of a stamp enabling me to give everything in sight VD.
What about just plain ol’ “V?” No, because I’m already thinking about VD, so V just makes my think of vaginas. Not that there is anything wrong with vaginas and I’m endlessly happy to have one, but that’s not quite where I’m going with my jewelry. I think that’s a different type of jewelry.
I love circles; it’s a shape which fascinates me. I’m sure there are many circles on jewelry, already.
I have a thing for fish. I have since I was a little girl, and I have a Koi which Karen designed tattooed atop my left foot. What about a fish? Unfortunately, the maker’s mark needs to be quite simple, and I’m afraid my fish would need to be pared down to something too easily mistaken for the Jesus-fish symbol; it would not call to mind Vaka Design, but the broad concept of Christianity.
After mulling through all that is meaningful to me and how it might be symbolized, I’ve come to this: a stylized water symbol. Two roughly parallel wavy lines symbolizing moving water.
Water is almost spiritual to me; freeing and changeable and fluid, dangerous if not respected, cleansing, a pathway to travel, an enveloping coolness which blocks sound and diffuses light, frightening and peaceful.
Some of my happiest memories are of being in our lake in Maine with my sister. Whole days spent submerged in cold, northern lake water. Staying underwater as long as we could until we had tricked the horseflies into believing we were gone; until they flew away to bite someone else. The goggles, the inner tubes, the flippers and the fish and the crayfish and the loons. Yelling at each other for hours, underwater, trying to decipher what the other said. My sister diving to the bottom to bring up a handful of mud to reassure me, again and again, that there was nothing in the deep dark water I loved that could hurt me.
There is nowhere else I feel so elegant and strong and graceful as I do when I’m in the water, and those are the very words I’d use to define my jewelry designs: Elegant. Strong. Graceful. And so I think this might be Vaka Design’s new maker’s mark.