In my design studio, I have a 250 year old Chinese apothecary where I organize all my radiant jewels. Separated into tiny drawers are luminous pearls, a trove of sparkling, faceted gems, Byzantine amulets, regal gold Florentine medallions, shimmering medieval crests, Edwardian shields and a blend of magical and mystical treasures that are the foundation of my creations.
My design process has evolved over the years, and now I find that my most creative hours begin late at night, when all is still and people are dreaming. I start by getting into a meditative state while sipping my green tea and listening to soothing music from my Café del Mar collection. An ancient, five foot tall Burmese Buddha watches over me in my design studio as I allow myself to open into the creative portal that is the “Flow”. I’ll lay some selective gems and treasures out in front of me until I feel called by a particular stone, casting or color combination. This starts the creative process. I'll pick up a black baroque pearl, a bronze topaz nugget, a Venetian garnet inlaid cross, and behold the transformation as a fusion of textures, colors and history merges and ignites. Before I know it, the piece is making itself! I awaken into an expanding state while I work, so designing is a very healing and unveiling spiritual practice for me. While in this divine grace, I feel a beautiful, transformative energy, a suspension of time. It is my mission to channel this vibration of joy and illumination into every piece of jewelry that I create.
Last night, I was designing a necklace for a friend who emanates clarity and beauty to all those around her through her very presence. While I worked on this special piece for her, I was drawn to a perfect blue topaz cabochon that matched the color of her eyes. When I began working with it, adding golden amulets and iridescent accent stones, the meaning of blue topaz came to me: it helps to spark the laws of attraction by clarifying one’s intentions so that dreams may be realized. Then I remembered that my friend recently wrote a book that will be released in bookstores nationwide. This is the message she represents in her writing. A kind of mystical alchemy happens when I work, when I let my mind step out of the way and let the creative process reveal the magic.
When we tap into our inner source and intuition, a profound awakening occurs. All my designs are born from that place within, and my intention is that each piece of jewelry that I create becomes a meaningful as well as an enlightening part of your life journey.
Images from left to right: Alana's San Francisco design studio; Alana's Holy Buddha; Alana's inspired aquamarine and blue topaz cross necklace; Alana in her SF design studio.