In the Garden with Janet Mavec
In a studio overlooking the expansive landscape of her New Jersey farm, designer Janet Mavec crafts jewelry that celebrates familiar objects from her own garden. When we saw her collection of exquisitely detailed birds, beans, and bluebells, we were eager to learn more about the place that inspired them and, lucky for us, Janet kindly obliged.
“This was a working farm during the 19th century, although the land was somewhat rocky for farming. The original house is very old, with thick, stone walls. In the mid-20th century, it was the country home of publisher Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, who wrote many of the Nancy Drew novels.
Today, the farm includes landscaped gardens, an orchard (we love making fresh and sparkling cider), vegetable gardens, and a monastery garden. My husband and I built the monastery garden after a trip to Italy. Early Renaissance monasteries almost all had a working garden for produce and herbs, and we modeled ours after one at Santa Maria Novella in Florence.
My studio in the barn looks onto the garden, a wonderful source of inspiration since my jewelry is based solely on things found at the farm. I try to see the garden microscopically, choosing a single object and reinterpreting nature’s designs into something wearable. In early spring, I especially love the apple orchard—it’s very architectural. Birds at the garden feeder inspired one of my first designs, the peace dove, which is still one of my favorite pieces because it can have such unique meaning for each wearer.”
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Inspiring! Happy Nesting!