I’ve been drawn to images of compasses for many years. The simple cross-shape form any child could draw marked with cardinal directions. It must be a natural part of my traveler’s soul – a symbol of adventurous spirit and the seeking of my own True North.
Do compass images resonate with you, too?
Commonly known as a Compass Rose, it is also referred to as Rose des Vents in French, which I love because it can be interpreted as “rose of the winds.” Beautiful! The concept is so simple, yet has remained so important to travelers, sailors and adventurers for centuries. Four perfectly spaced points representing North, East, South, and West, and inviting you to discover them all.
I knew I wanted to take all these collected compass images and create a version of my own to wear as an everyday reminder to stay true to my authentic self. It’s easy to get distracted by all the noise, advice and input from the outside world, and end up getting off your original path in the process. When I put on my symbolic True North ring, it’s like a little ritual, acknowledging I am still moving forward with purpose.
Many people love the ring and its message, so I decided to reproduce it to share with the world. I developed a one of a kind version of a compass, rather than a copy of a real one. It can be interpreted however the wearer wishes, and be worn as an elegant, timeless jewelry piece. Some may think of it is a four-petaled flower, a cross, or a four-pointed star, but however you see it, this exceptional True North motif is designed to have universal appeal.
I chose to produce my jewelry collection in sterling silver, which is the most neutral metal tone and looks elegant with any outfit. Silver is also considered one of the Noble Metals, which include gold and platinum, < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_metal > I have always preferred its soft white luster to yellow gold. The pieces in the collection are designed to be casual enough to be worn every day, with a focus on metal work rather than gemstones. In support of American small businesses like my own, I make all the pieces here in California. Most are hand assembled by me in my home studio.
I now offer this True North motif in three sizes across all the jewelry categories – necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings.
Find the pieces that suit you best – a bold-scaled pendant, slinky long earrings, a bolo-style friendship bracelet, or simple earring stud.
I continue to wear my True North ring every day to remind me to stay true to my authentic self. If you feel the same, I hope you find a piece from my collection that is just right for you.
I still collect photos of the universally recognized four-pointed star whenever I travel. Seeing these all over the world connects me to those who, like me, have chosen to venture beyond their small world in search of something more expansive, exploring new cultures, life styles, and landscapes. I always manage to say yes to travel opportunities because, as I designer, seeing new places is a great source of creative stimulation and enlightenment. I’ve come across compasses marked with their True North everywhere, even right here on Main St. in my own new home town of Venture, California.
Over the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of traveling with my life partner and soul mate, who is also a creative designer. Some other interesting compasses were discovered here:
Whether actually traveling or just browsing the internet, I often come across other versions of four- or eight-pointed design motifs that remind me of the compass rose. These can come in all kinds of formats, whether it’s brilliantly glazed tile art, chalk drawings on the street, or a structural element of a Gothic cathedral. Perhaps they will become inspiration for a new jewelry motif some day in the future. I keep searching for the best elements to reinterpret into sterling silver little nuggets of beauty. This is my passion.
What do you consider your True North – your authentic self, the one you are destined to be?
Claim this confident self-knowledge by selecting a piece of jewelry from the Carol Koch Sterling True North Collection.
Follow your own True North. Be your authentic self.
For the Noble Metals explanation Wikipedia and Ganoskin articles: