An old silver talisman, rubbed smooth by hands and time . . . that's all I see. It's as though nothing else exists for a brief moment except this rare treasure around a woman's neck, whispering to me. The woman and I have never met; she is gently perusing Ibu inventory in New York at a trunk show last year. The necklace finally introduced us.
Brooke Jaron, I learned, had the same jolting experience 35 years ago when she first went to Japan. Textiles leapt off of dusty shelves and into her heart. In China, she discovered jade toggles, carved wood, small needle cases . . . ancient and rich in soul. Indonesia, Turkey, India . . . the scope of her search is impressive and her findings authentic. With her husband, a professor, Brooke returned again and again, and in over 40 trips to Asia amassed a collection of rare and fine textiles and old things, all before they disappeared and tawdry reproductions began to fill the shops.
A small beauty, something with age and life pressed in, made with intent and the focus of love, something rare and singular holding the scent of secrets . . . this calls her name. Brooke began to put her old textiles together with her rare talismans and make jewelry that lays the precious pieces just at your heart. Protection against the sometimes hostile forces of the world. Strength for the task at hand. And a blaze of beauty right where you need it.
And so it is that Brooke Jaron and I began to talk and talk further and email one another, send pictures and stories, such that now Ibu is proud to offer her strong, handmade, one of a kind pieces and you, too, have begun to wear and feel the powers they hold. What I love is the way Brooke uses old textiles to cover the necklace length, where bits of Japanese kimono and now Central Asian ikat hold together fine nuggets. In the beautiful journal, Textiles Asia, where Brooke is a contributor, I read words about the background of these haori and kimono and understand the value of each scrap that she has recycled.
Of course, best is how these bold statements work so beautifully with the global glamour at Ibu, and look equally stunning on a simple black tee. I love Brooke's attention to detail, to history, to the layers of story these hold. Because we all want to be enchanted again by mysteries we cannot manufacture, do we not?
I thought so.
All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker