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violet femme

carolyn forsman

Accepting Freedom to Read Award
c'est moi
I grew up in the tenements of the Bronx. My escape was through mathematics and reading. I earned a B.A in mathematics and philosophy at NYU. The beauty in simplicity that is at the heart of mathematics is a strain in my designs

With a M.L.S. from Berkeley, I was a public reference librarian, and then a library educator, and endured long professional meetings designing beaded jewelry. When I moved back to New York I decided to pursue my dream to be a jewelry designer. My philosophy professor taught me that there was only freedom within constraints. "Freedom in a harness," is how he put it. I have focused on affordable pieces. Hence, I use materials like base metal, acrylic and paper. Most of my stuff "does something." My company logo "Voila! it spins, sparkles, flips, flashes, glows, winks, snaps & slinks" encapsulates this unifying theme.

I have been an observer of the pop culture scene and trends since my reference librarian days answering trivia questions. Today this translates into DNA bracelets, John Lennon mini glasses, recycled newspaper pins , and snow globe rings.

My jewelry is sold in stores from the Toy Chest to the Pleasure Chest. No matter who the customer, I am always guided by the necessity for it to "work": bracelets that fit every wrist, rings in a wide range of sizes, unbreakable elastic for jewelry, barrettes that really stay in your hair.

I am delighted to have my designs represented in over 120 museum shops, including MoMA Design Shop, NY, the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

My dream has come true.

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