The Whitney Museum chooses silence in an effort to displace, downplay, and negate valid public outrage regarding their policies, ethics and leadership. By Jamara Wakefield May 17th marked the start of the 79th Whitney Biennial. The Biennial is a contemporary art exhibition, featuring typically young and lesser-known artists, at the Whitney Museum of American Art […]
Eyescream Jewelry on Telegraph Ave.
Custom and One of a Kind
Jewelry in Oakland!
I loved Ruby’s jewelry when I first saw her vending at Death Guild in SF. Now she has opened
Eyescream on Telegraph,
just outside the parameters of
The inside of Ruby’s shop is painted red, the high ceilings and angles accentuate the gothic atmosphere, and the jewelry and pieces of art adorning the counters, walls, shelves and displays, are haunting and beautiful.
There are of course, skulls and eyeballs among the pendants, and the decor, adding a feeling of unspoken alchemy to your perusing. Some of my favorite pieces were miniatures made on scrimshaw. These pieces have etchings on them that are then coated in wax and sealed in resin.
Ruby is a storyteller, in addition to being a jeweler and musician. She is from Indiana originally, where her grandmother, Gert, introduced her to arts and crafts and her extensive stash of ever-growing jewelry, which would serve as the foundation for Ruby’s fascination and later on, her own art. “She had boxes under her bed…and an entire dresser sectioned off… there was turquoise, jade…every year she’d pull out a new box for me to see. ” Gert’s jewelry was an inspiration to Ruby. Additionally, around the holidays Gert and Ruby made ornaments out of styrofoam and ribbon, went to Church events and sold them. “When I was three, she thought I was old enough to play with Styrofoam,” Ruby tells me, jokingly.
I ask Ruby about her aesthetic and technique. About the appeal of the gothic and dark arts, she says,”I’m kind of melancholy.” In terms of her approach to the art, she is always learning and incorporating. ” I have 20 different techniques and styles I already work with and about 100 others in my brain,” she says.
Just like most artists,
Ruby’s jewelry is personal to her.
She tells me she wants to say to her customers, “thank you for coming into my womb, so to speak.” Ruby is inspired by darkness, decay and shadows but also light and life, essentially invested in the duality of the two as an artistic inquiry.
Another interest of hers is that of human behavior, asking the question we all ask as artists, at some point: what is art?
Some people are turned off by jewelry with skulls or eyeballs on it. To this, Ruby says, “You have one in your head. It’s keeping up all that flesh and stuff.” Being on Telegraph Avenue, just outside of the ever-popular Temescal strip of shops, galleries and eateries, Ruby’s shop is fun, artsy, and different. It does have a bit of an undertone of here be faced with your own mortality, that I really appreciate.
Ruby’s grandfather, Frank, was a musician, the muse for her other medium. She tells me that “if more people explored a creative way of expression- there would be less abuse” and she believes that “you always go back to something you loved as a child- and that’s what you should be doing.”
“I don’t’ just do screaming, dark Jewelry,” she adds. She does custom work as well and everything in her store is a one of a kind piece.
Eyescream opened just this May, three months ago, though Ruby has been making jewelry for 27 years now. She also makes haunting ethereal music as Dark Muse and tells me “that is my soul and this is my heart.”
While living in Wisconsin for a bit, Ruby had art parties, led jewelry making classes, such as wirework and metals, and wants to bring these casual gatherings into her current space in Oakland as well.
Some Upcoming Eyescream Events:
•Saturday, August 30th Noon-5pm
Haunted Manor trunk show featuring spooky home décor and artwork by Daniel Skellington & the debut of some new pieces by Ruby
•Saturday, October 18th Noon-5pm
Halloween themed Trunk show
Details to come…
•Ruby will also be a part of the annual dark arts showcase, Shadow Dance, in November at the Oakland Metro Opera house.
Stop in and chat with Ruby! Take a look at her jewelry and paintings or stop in to get some gems, rocks or skull beds for your own pieces!
Eyescream STORE HOURS: 12-5PM Monday through Saturday
3816 Telegraph Ave.