Ruby Slippers

Ruby Slippers

The Wizard of Oz made an indelible impression on me the first time I saw it. From the kaleidoscopic landscape to that first glimpse of Emerald City, I was transfixed. And then there was the ethereal Glinda in her diamond drizzled, cotton-candy confection, replete with a matching crown and sparkling star-topped wand. But it was the slippers…the glorious, glimmering, glittering ruby slippers that bedazzled me most.

I asked my mother for a pair. Already used to the musings of her young artist, she smiled and promised that we would look for them for Halloween. Halloween? She obviously did not understand my request. Spring was just beginning; it would be months until Halloween. Besides, the ruby slippers were not part of a costume. They were a wardrobe necessity. I needed another plan ASAP.

Options were pretty limited for a 6-year old. The stash in my piggy bank would hardly suffice, and I had absolutely no clue where to shop other than at the pretend store my friends and I would set up in our yards. Then, an idea struck like lightning: I would make my own. Racing to my room, I grabbed my brand-new, white patent leather shoes, my first “big girl” pair with very low heels that seemed like veritable stilettos to my 6-year self. I loved them. Plus, they made an awesome clickity-clackity sound on floors.

Laser focused, I dragged my chest of art supplies to the sun porch off of the kitchen and set up shop. I smeared a layer of white Elmer’s glue on one shoe, carefully covering the entire surface. Then, digging in my treasure chest, I retrieved a giant shaker of ruby red glitter. My mother appeared in the doorway to see what I was up to. What happened next played out in slow motion. Her violet-blue Liz-Taylor eyes flung open in terror the moment she realized what I was doing. In an instant, she swooped down to where I sat, grabbed the gooey shoe and made it to the sink just in time. Boy, did I get in trouble. Needless to say, glitter was banned from my art supply stash for many, many years after that.

Other than causing my torrid, life-long love affair with glitter, the Wizard of Oz was the very first time I associated gemstones with the beautiful, surreal, and sublime. Gems transcended the ordinary. Emerald City. Ruby Slippers. A new world dawned before me, a bejeweled land filled with dazzling, prismatic treasures with pretty-sounding names like topaz, sapphire, and amethyst. That was the real magic of Oz.

Whether by sheer happenstance or just plain kismet, I actually get to work with these treasures every day at Suna. I am still amazed each time a gorgeous new ruby ring comes to my desk for photography, or when our workshop finishes a pair of stunning emerald earrings in platinum with diamonds, or when Aron and Jonathan reveal a sapphire that they had in what I like to call their “double secret vault.”

Suna crafts the extraordinary.  From solitaire rings to a sapphire rock candy necklace fit for the good witch of the north, Suna creations are classic jewels that soar above the ordinary and commonplace. Jewels transcend, bringing magic to your life, even if only a touch. And who doesn’t love a little magic?

I never did get ruby slippers, but my first piece of “real jewelry” given to me by my parents was a tiny ruby ring to commemorate the incident on the porch that day. My parents were not only very generous, but they also had a great sense of humor.

Danielle Barber