Letter From the Editor: Welcome to Future Heirloom
by Jackie Andrews
On a midsummer Saturday, NYC Jewelry Week co-founder JB Jones called me with a proposal: NYCJW was launching a blog, and she asked me if I’d like to contribute writing. Of course, I gave an enthusiastic yes; we talked about some ideas, and I set to work on some pitches. Fast forward a few weeks, and I sent in a few pages worth of ideas—definitely too many for one writer to execute. JB reviewed them, liked many of them, and got back to me on a Friday evening with feedback: then I was faced with the struggle of which one to write first.
I spent that weekend deliberating, without any conclusions, and Monday night brought a new proposal: a new email from JB was in my inbox, inviting me into a wildly different role: would I like to be the editor of the blog instead?
Clearly—I said yes, and the past two months have been a whirlwind of building content and developing the vision for how this new platform would take shape. After working tirelessly on this new platform, I’m excited to introduce you to Future Heirloom, the NYC Jewelry Week Blog.
Launching in conjunction with the 2021 NYCJW Theme, “The Power of Jewelry, ”Future Heirloom will feature content ranging from interviews and photo essays to reviews, columns, and long form personal narratives. We want to provide something for everyone, and engage readers from a variety of perspectives in an ongoing dialogue about the power jewelry holds in our lives. Jewelry is such a powerful medium: it sparks conversation, fosters connection, carries personal narrative, tethers us to our heritage and history, and more. The NYCJW team and I want Future Heirloom to amplify and celebrate all of the diverse traditions, purposes, and stories behind the jewelry field. For this reason, “The Power of Jewelry,” represents not only the 2021 NYCJW theme, but the permanent theme of Future Heirloom—there are infinite stories about the Power of Jewelry, and we couldn’t possibly cover them all in one season.
Now that I’ve introduced you to Future Heirloom, here’s a bit more about me, your Editor: my name is Jackie Andrews, I use she/they pronouns, and I’m a queer jeweler and multidisciplinary artist, a writer, an art historian, and of course, an editor. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree (barely!) a year ago, in Fall 2020; I co-founded a digital art publication, Power Clash Art, in July of 2020, and began freelance writing for Metalsmith magazine and other publications around that time as well. I’ve always loved to write, and it has always been a part of my practice—previously relegated mostly to writing academic papers. As my freelance career has built momentum this year, I’ve discovered just how much I truly love writing and editing. Of course, I love to read about, research, and write about my passions, to share them with others and spark conversations—but beneath all of that, I just love to tell stories, and I love to help other people share their stories and strengthen their writing voices as well.
When I first fell in love with making jewelry a few years ago, I pored over books and magazines, reading about jewelry and the people who make it and wear it. But I also know how many stories were (and are still) left out of books and publications, and how much else there is to learn. I know what stories I wanted to read, and how hard they could be to find.
There have been multiple days where I questioned whether or not I was right for this role: surely there were many “more qualified” people, people with more experience than me. This will always be true. But as I set to work developing the vision for this new platform, I realized why I was meant to be here—not because of any line on my resume, but because I love jewelry, and I love all of the stories it tells. I love this field, the people in it, and all of the people who are passionate about adornment. I’m so honored and excited to get to learn and share all of your stories, and share my own as well.
As the Editor of Future Heirloom, I’m excited to be at the helm of a platform that is truly dedicated to all the different facets, histories, and perspectives in the jewelry field. It’s a privilege to have the space and support to produce the stories that I would want to read—the stories that represent what is most important and most exciting to the jewelry community.
I hope you’ll join me.