MENTORSHIP // I recently lost one of my mentors, Frances Smersh, to early onset Alzheimer’s. Tonight I attended an incredible celebration of her life and I am overwhelmed. They had a beautifully curated retrospective of her work which made me feel like a kid in a candy store. From books with post it notes that inspired drawings from which jewelry or paintings were made. It was a delicious feast for my eyes of the creative and amazing woman she was. The conversations amongst other jewelers and friends about her left me with a full heart and a very tear soaked face mask.
I have known that she was an inspiration to me but it wasn’t until tonight, looking at her work in its entirety, that I could see and feel the depth of her true inspiration on me. From her constant sketching, to her wonky geometric shapes, to the systems in place for keeping her business organized, to her creating a business with her husband that sustained their livelihood and the way they loved each other so fully, and of course her love of people paired with her kindness. It all made such an impact on me.
I hope that night she could feel the sense of pride I felt about being her friend and for having worked under her. I hope she could hear my thoughts when I realized just how deeply her impact has been on my life. I hope she knows how much in hindsight I wish I could have seen that earlier so I could thank her for it.
The gratitude and sadness I feel is raw and intense. Thank you, Frances. Thank you, John.