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As a child, I fell in love with fixing and tinkering -  hammering, and sanding, molding and shaping, and   inventing on the family farm. Nothing escaped my    curiosity. The dusty and muddy earth, depending on     the weather, was as much a part of me as my own      skin. I loved everything tacile. This was to shape me       into who I am today. On the farm, my parents taught        me to be resourceful. For example, if you needed a        tool, you made it or fixed it. If you wanted to eat       well, you raised your own food. I was born in Chicago      to very hard working Italian parents and raised on a     vegetable farm in rural Illinois. The farm defined our    family life but in school, my love of the arts and an   appreciation of the human creative instinct inspired me to pursue a career as an art teacher.


In college, my art department courses in silversmithing and pottery were to add a
new layer to my love of the tactile and creative. I also pursued a deep interest I had in the spiritual, attending Mass at the campus Catholic student center every day. I knew at an early age, from my life on the farm, and the miracles that sprang from the earth, and the wonder of creation, that I loved God. In college, this sense of awe deepened and I came to realize I wanted to live my life in the midst of the Master Creator. When I completed my studies and graduated, I entered the Glenmary Sisters, a community of Roman Catholic nuns.


The Glenmary Sisters were home missionaries who worked in the southern United
States. In Glenmary, my spirit opened to music, prayer, the arts, magnificent
community, the needy, the old, and the hidden parts of myself waiting to be expressed. But what was to be an ordered and uncomplicated life, quickly turned into a life of upheaval. The sisters were wonderful and the life they lead idyllic, but the turmoil in the church during the 1960's, following Vatican II, impacted the small vibrant community so much that it could not continue to exist as it was. In 1967 the whole community split into several factions and I left with a band of 40 sisters to form a new lay community F.O.C.I.S.(Federation of Communities in Service), but that's another story.

From Glenmary in Ohio, I moved to a formerly Glenmary mission in Big Stone Gap,VA, nestled in the beautiful mountains of southwest Virginia. I took a teaching position as an art teacher in the public schools and became close friends with a number of local people. After 3yrs of teaching I decided to launch out on my own making and selling pottery for a living. How naive the young! But I loved it and stuck with it and learned a great deal about clay, glazes, marketing, and myself. In 1973 with the help of an apprentice and friends, I designed and built a gas fired kiln and its shed, behind my small retail shop in the town of Appalachia, VA.
During this time, I taught pottery classes in my studio as well as at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap. In 1978, I tore down that kiln and rebuilt it in Big Stone Gap, VA at Christ Hill where, with summer volunteers, we also built a pottery studio and show room. Christ Hill was an intentional community of interdenominational christians living together and sharing work and prayer (some former Glenmary sisters among the mix). I also traveled far and wide selling my pottery at craft shows, music festivals and wholesaling to stores. Once I gave a live demo of potterymaking for a week in a large department store in Washington, DC. The most common comment from the 5 year old or under population, after I threw that magical slippery pot on the wheel, was " I can do that !"

In 1981, with a rainbow to guide me, I moved myself and a pared-down version of my pottery studio to Boston, leaving my beautiful kiln behind as well the beautiful mountains and numerous dear friends. A combination of culture shock and sticker shock were awaiting me.
But I soon made corrections and got connected to other artists. One of my first creative adventures in Boston was to collaborate with an artist friend. She made
tiles and I made ceramic sinks.

In 1984, I spent the summer in the south of France and made the life changing decision to stop making pottery. When I returned to Boston I took a job in a woodworking studio making cabinets and custom furniture. This turned out to be great preparation for the work I would be doing as a jeweler. I learned to read layout and blueprints, and precision measurements, and the use of numerous hand and power tools. After work hours, I stayed in the studio and made furniture and other wood objects for my home. I was fascinated with making small wooden jewelry components for use in making necklaces and earrings. This piqued my memory of an old love for metalsmithing that began in college. I was off and running, discovering Swarovski crystal, semi-precious and precious stones, and developing several lines of jewelry. It was 1989 and Ginny Remedi Designs was born. The name, Jewels for the Journey, came a few years later, but the journey and the jewels have always been there with me. The name only helped me to notice that my life has been so full of jewels in the form of people, events and gifts.

As a child on the farm, and as a potter for many years, my hands became my most useful and indispensable tool. Now a jeweler, I've learned by way of pottery, woodworking, and metalsmithing that what an artisan lacks in the way of professional tools, can be made up for, in expert hands. Of course those professional tools are great for saving time and wounded fingers, but the hand leaves a mark of distinction. Enjoy the mark of my hand, heart and spirit in these unique pieces.
 
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