Joey Azoulai is an independent filmmaker who saw our original video series, Handmade Portraits, and was inspired to shoot one of his own. This wonderfully playful portrait of his mother, jewelry maker Jaz Jewels, reminds me of one of my favorite filmmakers, Agnes Varda. It’s a lovey homage to a talented woman who has obviously instilled a drive to pursue creative passions in her son.
In May I moved back home from Los Angeles to discover that my mom had transformed my old bedroom into a jewelry studio. I knew she’d been hard at work, but when I finally saw her collection in person I was stunned. I am a writer and filmmaker and wanted to use my skills to get the word out about my talented mom. I wrote a script, and over a weekend, with the help of my dad and younger brother, shot a “day in the life” of my mom, the jewelry artist. It’s the most rewarding project I’ve done yet.
Something wonderful happened along the way. I became really excited about this company called Etsy. Here I am, back home after an adventure out West, trying to figure out where I fit in a world where practical considerations are forever at odds with my ideals about community, artistic integrity, and a DIY lifestyle — when Etsy comes into my life and proves to me that there is no contradiction between pragmatism and principles.
Plus there’s never a shortage of cool crafts to drool over. I’m shopping for a pair of leather sandals now, but if I had a special lady in my life you can bet I’d be shopping at Jaz Jewels.
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