Nashville is fortunate to have some seriously fine jewels created right here in our fair city. Patricia Mathews’ collection is gorgeous and personal, as each piece is unique, often made with a person or specific outfit in mind. She is currently working on her Fall 2012 Collection. She does keep daily studio hours and takes private appointments where she enjoys working with new and existing clients alike. As she juggles motherhood, a house full of pets and a career, her ability to embrace the day and help everyone around her feel special makes her a standout!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Southern California and lived there until my early twenties. But my “real growing up” did not happen until I moved here to Nashville. My parents still live in San Diego, so I like to think I have the best of both worlds.
How did four sisters from California all make their way to Nashville?
My eldest sister, Debbie Mathews, was the first to make the move shortly after she married her husband, who was to attend Vanderbilt School of Medicine. The next to make the move was my sister, Carolyn Kendall, who attended O’More College. I was next to make the move when I was hired by Harry B’s* boutique to coordinate the purchasing of accessories and fine jewelry. My sister Christie Andrews was the last to make the move. Her husband was asked if he had any interest in working in Nashville, and of course, there was only one acceptable answer! (*Harry B’s was a beloved Nashville boutique that closed in the 1990’s.)
When did you start making your own jewelry and what inspired you?
I officially started my business in 2000. I had always been involved in fashion, accessories and fine jewelry buying, so it was a gradual shift. Being the youngest of four girls, I spent a lot of time with my father at the hardware store and was always in awe of his tools. To narrow down my inspiration specifically would be impossible, as I am constantly inspired. The jewels themselves inspire me, with their unique qualities, shapes, sizes and colors. I love both the perfection and imperfection I find in them. I love the element of fire, seeing the precious metals melt, take shape and transform from an idea into a treasure.
What are your favorite pieces to make?
Currently I am loving casting precious metals into new and interesting organic shapes, and then dressing them with more perfectly cut, faceted stones. However, I always love when someone brings me a gown that needs that perfect piece. There is nothing more decadent than having the perfect jewel to accompany your outfit. With my retail and jewelry experience, I am in a unique position to bring the two together. Nothing thrills me more than to receive a phone call from a client who has a special outfit or a particular event that they want to feel and look great attending. Sometimes they bring past pieces of mine and we pair them with something new, or we create something entirely unique for the event. Ultimately, though, I like it when a special occasion piece can transition into a client’s day-to-day life.
How has your style evolved when it comes to your collection?
My style very much changes as I change and grow as an artist and as a metalsmith. I can look back at past pieces and very much identify where I was, and it’s like re-visiting old friends.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
“Imperfection is beauty.” “Madness is genius.” “It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
What do you have your eye on to add to your 2012 summer wardrobe?
I’ve added a lot of whites and neutrals this year and am pairing them with vibrantly colored gemstones. I’m loving combining silver and gold together, as well as oxidized silver accents.
What books are found on your bedside table (or Kindle)?
- Alchemy- A Passion for Jewels by Temple St. Claire
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Favorite restaurant in Nashville?
Do you have any weekly rituals that help you stay centered?
My boys Selden and Wylie constantly inspire me. Their love of creek walks with our dogs keeps me in touch with both nature and the unseen worlds around us. We have a family tradition of hunting for heart-shaped stones, as well as worn, colored glass that we find in the creek bed. These finds become our treasures, and our time together is priceless.
Favorite place in Nashville to escape and relax?
Cheap Mexican food places where I can bring my boys, my sisters and my friends.
Favorite meal to cook for dinner with friends?
Indian! Or really anything ethnic. This is the first season I have ever grown curry fresh in my garden and I am loving it. Also, with my Southern California heritage, Mexican food is definitely my comfort food. We had an avocado ranch growing up in California, so guacamole tops the list!
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God.)
- My jewels
Thank you, Patricia! For more information on her jewelry, click here. Her trunk show at JAMIE will be September 6th and 7th, a Thursday and Friday show. Be sure to stop by!
And, thanks to Ashley Hylbert whose photographs each week prove to us all what an amazing photographer she is! For more photos, see her site: here.