The Story Behind the Apricots

There's a story behind everything I do.


Sometimes I wish I could go into a project and never think twice about it, but I can't help myself. I love looking for the deeper meaning or to explore a new thing because it brings back these moments of nostalgia.



When I was a little girl, about 6 or 7 years old, I was one of the founding members of the Cool Cats Club. My friends and I were convinced that the only way to save the planet, was by planting as many seeds as possible (I feel like I had incredible insight as a 7-year-old). We took weeds and would transplant them to other areas, or our parents would buy us flowers and we were constantly digging and planting flowers.


When I was alone, I was on the same mission, always taking the pits of avocados, or whatever I could get my hands on, and planting them in our backyard. I distinctly remember sneaking a pit that I thought was from a peach and planting it. Naturally, my 7-year-old self completely forgot about this act and never watered this peach pit.


Fast forward 5 years.


A family friend came to the house and pointed out that we had an apricot tree. My mom looked at that person in shock, and I stood next to her, flipping through my memory bank because something about it felt familiar.


Finally, it hit me.  It was that pit that I had mistaken for a peach and it was blossoming into an apricot tree.


It was by some miracle that this tree survived. No water, terrible soil (mostly clays), in the dry desert of New Mexico, on the shady side of the house, there are large foundations of concrete where my dad had built a huge swing set for me. For over 20 years this tree has survived under these conditions, and each year this tree produces apricots that are usually pretty delicious (depending on the number of Spring frosts we get).


So as I've been turning a new chapter with my jewelry, I decided to turn to the thing that most represents my process of creating: the apricot tree. To me it represents nostalgia but it's also a symbol of playfulness and curiosity. Every year it reminds of the beauty of creating something meaningful because who would've ever guessed that the pit would take root and grow. This year the fruit symbolizes resourcefulness. With everything closed for quarantine, I was forced to look around my neighborhood for a subject that would bring the best out of my work. I was at a loss of how to photograph my recent pieces and the background for my photos was staring right at me: the apricots!  


Taking photos with the apricots felt very intimate. I was connecting with my surroundings in a new way and remembering how my imagination used to run wild when I was a little girl. I remembered how I used to make toys out of anything--paper, mud, popsicle sticks--even though I had plenty of real toys to play with. I could turn nearly anything into a game and my imagination was just on fire all the time.


I also remembered our trips abroad when I was little. My parents took me everywhere and I was seeing art, architecture, ruins, and history that was way beyond my scope of understanding, but it completely fed into my creative fire. This strange intimacy of photographing MY own apricots with MY own jewelry felt like I was being initiated into that childhood creative fire again. In all honesty, I'm just as proud of my new jewelry collection, as I am of having planted that apricot pit all those years ago.


It was fun to play again and capture the dialogue between my younger self and my adult self. 



That's it for now, thanks so much for reading,

Caitlin

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