Jess Mccloskey is the genius behind Paper Treasure, and the newest bright star on the Flutter team of designers. Her free-form approach to jewelry making results in truly inspired, one of a kind pieces. Jess names all of her jewelry pieces after actual shipwrecks, and includes a small historical note with each piece. Growing up near the ocean, she was always fascinated by the idea of lost and buried treasure, and I imagine that her work area must look a lot like the contents of an old treasure chest. I admit my first experience with her jewelry was a bit like that rush a treasure hunter would get upon a discovery. There was a necklace with a heavy silver coin, really old and worn and mysterious, and as I held it I could feel a link to the past and to what that coin had meant a hundred years ago. It is thrilling to be around such gorgeous relics when I am at work, but sometimes it’s the small pieces that really give me pause. Jess likes to work with vintage pendants, aged beads, bits of filigree and chain, and she is always hunting for old lockets, charms and trinkets. Her jewelry reflects genuine love and respect for the materials, and her artful arrangements make each piece feel like the end of a magical treasure hunt. See for yourself at her trunk show here at Fluttter December 4th, from 5 to 8 pm, or check out the paper treasure website.

the Paper Treasure interview, Flutter 2009

-what works of art do you find inspiring? music? film? books?

Right now I am listening to lots of Kristen Hersh, Galaxie 500 and Jana Hunter. I discovered Jana Hunter on Pandora and I can’t get enough of it. She’s the most exciting new musician I’ve discovered in a long time. As for films, I really like watching documentaries on artists, my favorite of this sort is How to Draw a Bunny about the incredible collage/ performance artist Ray Johnson. I also really love period movies because I the costuming is so inspirational. I just watched Aimee & Jaguar which is based on one of my favorite novels and the 1930s/ 40s styling in it is so spectacular. Anna Karenina is my all time favorite novel as well as anything by Rick Bass. I am currently on a Henry Miller kick and recently discovered the joy that is listening to books online! (Now that’s what I call multi-tasking!) I also love looking at circus photography books from the 1930’s and Victorian jewelry books.

-if you could choose a few other professions, any at all,
school-be-damned, what would they be?

Lately, I’ve been dreaming of going back to school to become a metalsmith. It seems like the next logical progression for my jewelry. I’d love to be able to cast my own charms. I’ve been keeping a little sketchbook of designs so that I’ll be all ready when the time comes! Other professions I would consider are speech pathology or something involving natural medicine.

-if you could live in the past, in any era, when and where
would you live? why?

I would live in 1920’s/30s Paris because I’m so intrigued by the portraits that both Anais Nin and Henry Miller created of that time and place.

-if you had an astronomical budget for materials, what
strange and beautiful things would you work with? where
would you live?

If money were no object then I would use gold to create my own charms and I would have oodles of beautifully carved Victorian lockets. In fact, I would have piles and piles of Victorian and 1920’s jewelry to reconstruct. I would have tons of volcanite and jet glass. I would still live here but I would have enough money to constantly travel around the country to collect beautiful bits of jewelry to use in my creations.

the best way to spend a rainy day is..

Wandering through thrift stores in search of treasure.