Meet Joy Franklin — Owner of A Thousand Joys Handcrafted Jewelry

Posted by on Sep 09, 2013

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In celebration of our new marketplace, we're giving you the inside scoop on the artists we have on board with us for this exciting new venture. Joy Franklin is the owner and artist of A Thousand Joys. She makes handcrafted fine jewelry made from sterling silver, gemstones and natural materials. They are all handmade and intricately hand cut and adorned. Some comments from customers have been "These are the most beautiful earrings I have ever seen with this style of craftsmanship!" "Absolutely gorgeous!" "Joy was an amazingly warm, prompt, thorough, helpful, and honest communicator through all of our convos about a custom order, often giving me updates when others may not have done so." We're very excited to have her with us in our marketplace!

| Birgitte Brondsted Photography |
How did you get into your craft? When did you start? 
In college I got a B.F.A. in studio arts where I mainly focused in clay, creating sculptures using porcelain. I love anything I can get my hands into and get dirty, and I was able to play with many different mediums. I got to dabble in metals but mostly on a large scale like welding and bronze casting. It wasn't until I went to Florence, Italy, 10 years ago to further my studies, that I found jewelry. I fell in love with it immediately and knew it was my calling. 

What inspires your work? 
My number one greatest inspiration is Mother Nature. We can only attempt to create something as amazing as what you find in nature. Everything down to the tiniest cell has a purpose and an awe-inspiring beauty that man can never come close to. The deeper you look into even the tiniest leaf, the more you can see the intricate detail, the purpose and the order in everything nature creates. My other inspirations are historic ornament and architecture, which tend to be modeled after things found in nature as well. Wandering around Florence and other historic European cities looking at all the details on church ceilings, iron gates and palace walls really impacts my work a lot. My latest obsession is with old religious relics and reliquary, and Victorian mourning jewelry.
How did you come up with the name for your shop? 
I love poetry written by the Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi. When I was working on what I wanted my shop to be called and what I wanted to say with my name, there was one poem in particular about our connection to nature that really inspired me: 

Let the drop of water that is you 
become a hundred mighty seas. 
But do not think that the drop alone 
becomes the ocean. 
The ocean too becomes the drop.

I try to celebrate the minute beauty of life and nature and all its intricacies in my work, and hope that it reminds you to appreciate the "thousands of joys" that are hidden in nature.

How many hours a week do you spend crafting? What's your favorite time of day to work?
I usually work about 25 hours a week. My favorite time of day to work being ANY time I get to immerse myself at my bench.

What’s your personal favorite item in your shop?
My favorite item is probably anything from my "worship of nature" collection because they are a worship of the delicacy and beauty of nature. Little fragile leaves, flowers and shells encased in resin, inspired by my obsession with nature, antique religious relics and natural history shadowboxes... 

Do you have an official site or blog?
I have a fan page on Facebook at where I like to share not only photos of my jewelry, but pictures of things that inspire me from nature, Italy and other little things that make you stop and remember life is beautiful.

What is your dream project? 
My dream is to expand and grow to go full time with my business. 

What's one important lesson you've learned about your craft? 
One of the hardest things about being an artist and making a living from it is having to put a price on your craft. Figuring out how much your time and talent is worth is not an easy thing to do, and something I'm still working on. I'm working on not being afraid to ask for what I think I am worth and not short changing myself. 

Have any advice for those aspiring to do what you do?
I think you need a lot of positive energy, passion for what you do, and most importantly the courage to jump in and take a risk.

Come see what Joy has available in her shop

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