I first visited Arcosanti in February 2020 and it felt like love at first sight. I’m a fairly timid person, but within hours of being there I was talking to people and remembering people’s names. I still remember a lot of them. There was Pete who I ran into as I was trying to avoid being caught taking pictures outside the cafe. Jessica gave me my first tour – it was a brisk February morning – so I was the only person on the tour and she showed me all the ins-and-outs of Arcosanti. Then I hopped on Helen’s tour the next morning to see the bronze pour I missed the previous day. Heath, I met in the community kitchen and he told me that I could let Spring – the cat who had been pawing at the door – inside. It was, in fact, Spring’s home.
As wonderful and welcoming as the community was, I couldn’t tear myself from the architecture. The shapes and shadows and the ways they mixed together. Every corner had something to marvel at and every little thing caught my eye. I was drinking it in. Soaking in it. But my mind wouldn’t stop whirring. I kept seeing infinite possibilities for jewelry designs everywhere I looked. It wasn’t even a conscious decision. I was just a vessel for these designs and they had to come out and be realized. I knew within hours that I would have to make a jewelry collection around Arcosanti.
Over the course of my first three days at Arcosanti my whim to move there became a deep seated desire. I kept asking people how to move there – jokingly at first. By day three I marched up to the visitor desk, took a deep breath, and asked the woman behind the counter – Melissa – who I would need to talk to about moving to Arcosanti. From Jessica’s tour, I knew that Arcosanti was instating a microbusiness program – I had a very small business, maybe this could actually work. Melissa put me in touch with Tim and I met with Tim before I left site that day.
Over the next few months, I kept pouring over the hundreds of pictures I had taken at Arcosanti and started building a cohesive jewelry collection. In July I launched a collection of 15 pieces directly inspired by Arcosanti. It’s my first proper collection and I’m immensely proud of it. There are earrings that look like the keyhole entryways in the Crafts 3 building. There are studs that look like the walls that line the staircases in the amphitheater. And of course, the bells of Arcosanti are featured heavily – in earrings, rings, and even a lariat. Twenty-five percent of sales from this collection go directly back to the Cosanti Foundation to help further their mission and I couldn’t be more happy to give back to the place that has inspired me so much.
In the middle of September, I uprooted my life in Austin and moved to Arcosanti. I’m still in the process of making this wonderful architectural playground a home. Still in the process of preparing for the winter. Still getting used to the joy and love the community provides so freely. Still learning how to navigate a place that’s so close-knit but has people from all walks of life.
Over the next few months I’m working on integrating myself and my business into the community and way of life here at Arcosanti. There’s a new collaborative collection in the works that’s inspired by the work of four amazing architects. It should be completed and released in November. After that I’m hoping to create a second Arcosanti collection. My experience as a visitor versus as a resident is completely different and I would love to share a bit of that journey with you. After that, I don’t really know what the future holds, but I’m so excited for my time here and to take in what Arcosanti has to offer.
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