A peek into the creation of Diamond Jim, featuring vintage American jewelry.
I loved the idea of the torso as a mosaic – a mosaic of gorgeous, vintage gems that perhaps, upon a closer look would spark memories of a mother, an aunt or a dear friend wearing a similar piece of jewelry. I envisioned those memories enshrined on this sculpture. And, in fact, I’ve seen it already happen many times – even before he was complete. He is timeless, nostalgic and extravagant – serving as a piece of history in today’s modern time.
This piece quickly took on a life of its own, well before he was finished. Placing each of the vintage jewels was like creating a puzzle that had never existed, the challenged lied in balancing the gems in a way that pleased my eye. When he was complete, I stood back and looked at him, as he stood on his chrome stand. It was as if I had looked at him for the first time. He is strong, solid, his own man. I knew immediately I had to name him after famed railroad tycoon Diamond Jim Brady, who was known for his extravagant love of jewels. He came to life as Diamond Jim, without a doubt.