How did this sneak up on me? We are quickly moving toward the holidays and I feel so unprepared. …Almost freaking out, but not quite, as I have been thinking of to-do lists and wondering where I will find time for doing my usual Santa thing.
Although it has been ages since my last post here, I have been in the studio. My passion for purple turned out this pendant. Dyed agate beads and pearls play with a quartz chip featuring milky quartz as well as amethyst.
Lately, work has assembly style. Since I hand-forge most of what I use in my jewelry, it takes time. I work slowly with a lot of thought and trying out options. That’s art. …Making bits and pieces work together in a pleasing, unexpected way is a tunnel-focused mission. …And then there was the day when I was intently cutting small strips of sheet copper and the scissors suddenly jumped and I ended up cutting my finger instead. That was a minor gorey adventure and I’ll spare details. It has just taken a few weeks for my finger to begin to feel normal again. This has resulted in a shift from my usual work and has involved less manipulative wire bending (debatable) and more earring making. It is redundant, but I have enjoyed it, and figure that the redundancy helps with skill building, although that might be arguable too.
Peridot in its raw nugget form has a wonderful luster. It’s my opinion that that the combination of copper and silver set it off in a way that is far more intriguing than a single metal can.
Carved bone beads have a primitive personality that base metals marry well with, and are like little glyphs that remind us of our beginnings
Anyway, with holidays ahead, I felt in a blingy mood and dressed these up for celebrating. For me, leftover chain equates with enticing shoulder-brusher earrings…
They will be fabulous with low-neckline party dresses.
…And these seemed like Christmas tree ornaments with their shiny silver, glitzy balls and druzy beads, gemstone beads, flashy rainbow Svaroraski crystals sparkling away with each movement, the softer shimmer of pearls, and gleaming copper accents.
Roots of my beginnings mean a lot to me. I choose to be selective about all those memories, and single out a place that was frozen in time for nearly one hundred years. Deep in the “Endless Mountains” (also known as the Appalacians) of Pennsylvania, my father’s family has been the keepers for a simple cabin poised by a small creek named Indian Camp Run. My childhood was filled with what I refer to as the “Grandpa Grundy” stories my father used to tell. Although I have no idea who Grandpa Grundy was, or where or when I first heard the name, this always referred to tales of life in the long ago in a different time when there were only a few automobiles, no modern appliances or even indoor plumbing, no social media, and probably set during the Great Depression. My father, being a Boy Scout leader in his youth, took it upon himself to educate my sister and I on the wonders of Nature for a few weeks every summer. Rambling through the hills and into and along the creeks (we called them “cricks”…that’s Pittsburgese dialect). We turned over stones and caught crayfish if we were fast enough to spot them before they skittered away with the current in a cloud of fine silt. We hunted for soft-skinned miniature orange salamanders with black polka-dot spots and made houses for them in shoe boxes. We sampled wild mint, tea-berry leaves and mouthfuls of delicious fresh raspberries and blueberries, green apples, and hazelnuts and walnuts. We gathered huge bouquets of wildflowers that were everywhere in vases around the cabin. We learned to love the sound of rain on a tin roof and rummaging through ancient trunks filled with strange clothing and old photographs. After we were tucked into bed, we watched fireflies twinkle around us in the dark of the sleeping loft. …And the world was perfect then.
And now …well, lets say that I am continually seeking ways to regain that sense of the serenity of nature in my life and to remind myself of that perfection through my jewelry pieces. This pendant made from a worn splinter of shale is one I saved from a trip back to the mountains a few years ago. I plucked it out of the crick because I thought it was interesting, and now I need the memory to come alive again so its on the bench. I enfolded it in a copper bezel with rippling edges like the water and creek-bed that formed it. …A work in progress.
Recently I am super-charged with the idea of showing off the beauty of a stone in it’s natural, raw state. Where crystals and sparkly stones are concerned I have the wonderment of a child and a fascination that it could possibly grow out of the earth and be so special.
This bracelet in copper and silver-plated mixed metals evolved from just three components held together. The metals wanted to swirl like roots around them, capturing and holding them securely as roots do.
Heavily hand-forged chain links and barrel beads of copper combine with the ancient and earthy. Quartz crystals and clusters, a fossilized ammonite, and the raw glitzy sparkle of small mica stones are wrapped together and ornamentally solder secured.