MEET CHRISTINE MIGHION
I have the honor of introducing you to one of Americas top jewelry designers Christine Mighion. She is a strong, beautiful, imaginative woman plus she too happend to be raised in South Bend, Indiana – small world right?
Christine lovingly hand crafts one of a kind, radiant jewelry in her Northern Indiana studio. Her style has been called a perfect balance between organic and modern and she embraces imperfections and irregularities seeking to create jewelry that coincides with the natural imperfect elements of nature. Her collection has been seen on the front cover of SELF magazine and has been loved and adorned by women all over the world. Christine Mighion is yep… you guessed it, an official bad ass.
And oh the things we have in common. We both share a love of exceptionally beautiful jewelry, were raised in the same home town “South Bend, IN”, which inspired adventure and travel in both of us, and we embrace imperfections within our art and personal lives. Pretty fun ehh?
TWO ARTIST COLLIDE ON ETSY.COM
You see, one day not to different than a day like today I was browsing Etsy.com doing my typical scan through for cool handmade Christmas presents for my family and friends. Then I stumbled into the jewelry section and typed into the search, “modern American made jewelry” and a bunch of artists poped up. As I was scanning through the images… boom there it was, a site in all its glory filled to the brim with stunning organic inspired jewelry named Christine Mighion Jewelry :: Eco Friendly Fine Jewelry. A match made in heaven. I naturally had to spend the next half hour or so meticulously looking through all of the jewelry and bouncing around from her Etsy.com shop to her Facebook page, and then website.
As I was jumping back and forth from her sites I noticed Christine’s artist bio said “Indiana” and I thought “no way is this amazing jewelry designer chick making this fine eco friendly jewelry in Indiana?” After I saw it I had to verify that it was true. I did a quick search on Facebook and her photo came up and it said Indiana again which solidified that it was a fact right because it was on Facebook hehe. Then to top it off I read she was “From South Bend, IN” and I thought oh my gosh now I have to message her because not only did I love her work but she was raised in the same town as me.
She even graduated from the same high school as my family members. Thus, I struck up a conversation with Christine via Facebook Message and then midway through our conversation she said I looked familiar to her and then she asked me if I had performed at one of her friends events a few years back in Indiana and I said I knew her friend and that I had performed at that event and then we realized how fantastically weird this all was but somehow serendipity was making sense of it all.
After we finished up our conversation she had become a living inspiration to me. I became inspired by how she eventually chose to follow her dreams even though it was not easy and how she came from the same small town in Indiana thus guiding me to realize that it really was possible with enough heart and drive to come from a small town like South Bend, IN and flourish in the world.
Phew, now that I got that off my chest… I have found that one of the best parts of being a full time musician in our band The Bergamot other than the creative process of writing and performing is getting to meet some of the coolest people in the world and Christine surely is one of those people.
Though we have only met one time in person (and actually that time I think we really just brushed shoulders at a event) I realized after I got to converse more in depth with Christine I found that she is a joyful, upbeat women who loves life, and absolutely loves what she does.
ARTISTS DIVULGE : THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND MORE
You might be wondering what in the world does one of Americas top jewelry designers/makers have to do with music and The Bergamot? Well to be frank at first glance nothing really but as you peel back the layers of our common creative human nature there are a ton of cross-overs. Starting with the creative process itself.
When I asked Christine, ”What is your favorite part about the creative process?” she replied, ” I absolutely love watching a piece of jewelry come together! Some designers draw out an idea and methodically put the piece together. I experimented with that when I was developing collections and found the whole process frustrating. Although a lot of my work is simple due to fabrication process I employ, when I create something like a multiple stone ring I tend to sit quite for a while with several stones out in front of me and play with the combinations and angles.”
By doing so she lets the stones and metals speak to her in order to create a one of a kind piece that will light up and shine bright timelessly throughout the ages. Note, the first major cross over is how the creative process effects Christine jewelry making experience.
Similarly, when I get a melody or lyric started in my head it typically ends up becoming pure combustion. There is no way of telling where the song will end up or what it will sound like throughout the process of the songs evolution. Yet I have learned to just go with the spastic and at times daunting process while leaning into wherever the inspiration is moving me. That natural process is what allows for organic songs to emerge and burst onto the scene.
My own process is quite similar to how Christine organically designs then crafts her jewelry. I value Christine’s raw creative approach and how she explained her frustration in regards to the methodical approach to creating pieces. This touches a chord in me because it is so important for me to be free in the creative moment, to move with the melody until it works, and never force anything.
Actually, the moment lyrics are un-naturally forced is the moment one should stop and walk away from the piece because it is no longer magical it has crossed over into the methodical realm which is not a good place to be at as a artist who focuses on the raw side of art. So, yes there are so many things we have in common and I believe these creative crossovers are the very fibers that allow the heart to beat in all creators and artists. However, now I would like to share with you a fun Q&A Christine and I did together earlier this week.
JS: What did it feel like to see your jewelry in top magazines like SELF for the first time?
CM: My first piece of press was huge for me, because I landed the cover of SELF. Many designers wait a long time to get a cover placement, so that felt amazing. It also just confirmed that I was on the right path.
JS: Why do you think women love your jewelry – how do you think it makes them feel?
CM: Wow, that is a really tough question! I can only guess how wearing a piece of my jewelry makes them feel, but I hope that it serves as a special talisman of the quiet strength, depth, and natural beauty that all women possess.I continue to receive feedback from many women who have told me that they truly appreciate the fact that as a designer I am very accessible. I love connecting with my customers and they seem to enjoy the experience of working with me directly. Additionally, philanthropy is a big part of my business. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love every day, so giving back is my way to say thank you.
JS: What was it like growing up in South Bend, Indiana? And did it influence your passion?
CM: I can’t say that growing up in South Bend influenced my design esthetic, but it did influence my passion for travel and exploration which I believe is reflected in my work. I moved to Hawaii shortly after college and that experience alone changed me forever. I love to combine the sunny warmth of gold, organic textures, and the soft, but moody colors of the sky and sea. The ocean continues to play a huge role in my life and work. As I’m a scuba diver and I donate a portion of all of my sales to charitable organizations that are committed to protecting our marine environment and educating the public.
JS: What is your favorite dessert?
CM: CAKE, CAKE, and more CAKE! If you have cake, I’ll be there!
So there you have it music and jewelry lovers alike. I hope this inspires you to live a with more passion and zeal.
Be sure to check out Christine’s websites and please LIKE her on FB too every LIKE counts.
Breath Beauty. Love Extravagantly. Shine On.
Jillian signing off from The Bergamot Head Quarters