#jewelspiration: Alexander Calder

While best known as a sculptor, illustrator and toy maker, Alexander Calder’s perfectly-imperfect jewelry collection offers up some serious #jewelspiration.

"My sister had quite a few dolls for which we made extraordinary jewelry from beads and very fine copper wire that we found in the street left over by men splicing electric cables."

During his extensive travels, Calder fell in love with Paris (who doesn't?). While there he surrounded himself with other artistic talents, even impressing a man named Pablo Picasso. 

"I have been making a lot more wire jewelry—and I think I’ll really do something with it, eventually."

Calder attended high school in San Francisco and even enjoyed trips to Cape Cod (two places we’re very fond of). 

"I’d like to make some stuff in gold—but it makes a larger investment—shall we get into that racket?"

In 1930 he made a gold ring for future-wife Louisa, "I thought this would do for a wedding ring, but Louisa merely called this one her 'engagement' ring and we had to go [nearby] and purchase a wedding ring for two dollars." 

Clearly Louisa was a smart woman.

Each time Calder sent his jewelry out for sale or an exhibition, he included a detailed, illustrated inventory--cannot even begin to imagine how long that took.

One review for his 1937 show in London summed it up well, "If the lady of fashion has the wit to see it, she may find that pieces of human ingenuity make rather more distinguished ornaments than Cartier's portable currency."