By Ashley Goodman | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Ashley Goodman
Anchor Boutique owner Laurel Baker has partnered with Heather Gabel, artist and wife of Laura Jane Grace, lead singer of Against Me!, to design a jewelry collection which launches Dec. 14.
The Seventh House, which is referred to in astrology as the house of partnership, is a limited edition jewelry collection that will feature 10 pieces made up of metal, arrowheads and even a few wild surprises thrown in like snake skin.
“It’s a killer collection that I’m really proud of,” Baker said. “One of my favorite pieces are a pair of hoop earrings that have a wonderful delicate metal shape with an accent of real snake vertebrae that are small and unassuming, so they keep a sophisticated edge.”
Heather Gabel has been drawing and painting since she was a child. Inspired by the unordinary, she dabbles in many mediums and materials. Gabel has done design work for many bands such as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Rancid, AFI, Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Alkaline Trio.
She and Baker met through mutual friends. The collaboration came about when Gabel brought in some things to put on chains or have fixed.
“Despite the differences in each of our aesthetics there are a lot of things we agree on visually. This collaboration project showcases organic objects that we both agreed on together, things from nature or from the past,” Gabel said.
With Gabel’s eccentric appeal and Baker’s timeless design, the collection is certain to compliment each others’ creativity.
“I think she’s a classy lady and I like to think I’m a classy lady, too,” Baker said. “I think the things we have in common with our styles are sophistication, wit, and beauty. I’m excited about what we don’t have in common as well, because that’s the fun part. It’s nice because you can go in a different direction than you would normally and the combination of both our creative tastes is what I think gives this collection its unique identity and appeal.”
Baker has been designing jewelry for 10 years. She opened Anchor Boutique on St. George Street two years ago. She is heavily influenced by the materials she works with.
“To take a rough, un-cut rock and cut, polish it, then set it into a delicate sparkling necklace is exciting to me. I will always love metal because you can do so many things with it and it is the foundation of jewelry,” Baker said.
Her father, John Baker, was a treasure hunter and inspires much of her designs. Many of the jewels in the shop were found by him in the 60s and 70s.
“I’ve always been a creative person and my father was a treasure hunter who got into jewelry-making, so we always had a little studio at the house where he taught me jewelry-making and stone-cutting techniques,” she said. “I just kept going with it and now I’m a full-time designer and shop owner.”
Being a store owner is a full time job, but has its benefits. “There’s definitely pros and cons of owning a store. One of the pros is I get to have a professional presence and hear people’s response first hand. The con is the overhead of a retail space and the responsibility and duty of the shop can take away from creating and designing,” Baker said.
The collection will be showcased at Anchor Boutique on Dec. 14. There will be free food and drinks and music by Jacksonville’s electronica band Ritual Union in the courtyard. The collection is also online at www.etsy.com/shop/heathergabel