During my second semester at SRISA in Florence, I was fortunate enough to complete an internship as part of my course load, with a local artisan. For three months, I worked with Joy Franklin of A Thousand Joys in her studio across the Arno River in the artisan district of Florence.
While I’m not a jeweller (nor did I know anything of the craft going in), I learned so much and was able to contribute to Joy’s business with my own skillset of marketing, photography, graphic design, and videography.
Over the course of the semester, I rephotographed her pieces in preparation for a new catalogue and linesheet as A Thousand Joys expands into the wholesale market, as well as designing the sheets themselves. My other major project was crafting a promotional video of Joy in her element that she can use on her Etsy shop and social media channels to hopefully connect with and bring in new customers. I can’t imagine having an opportunity to work with a local artisan with a studio inside a historic goldsmith building anywhere else but Florence because there is such a thriving market for handmade, handcrafted wares that you can’t find in many other places.
I think this preservation of traditional handmaking is so important, so with my internship, I had hoped to work with someone who is exemplifying those ideals, and Joy does just that! It has been a pleasure working in an artisan studio that has encouraged and helped foster my skills will providing me with a glimpse into a totally new artistic realm!
And besides, it sounds insanely cool to say, “Yeah, I interned with a jewelry maker in Florence, Italy.”
Bre Legan, SRISA ’16-’17