Today I have pics of my very first dog pack. I love them so much already! I stayed with a very ancient-looking prototype, with long snout, upright and slightly cocked ears, and a curly tail. The curling tail seems to be the discerning characteristic of a dog versus a wolf or coyote. I could be wrong, but I’m going with it for now.
I also have two little otters who are different from their brethren. Their backs arch up. I think they look like they’re doing that thing kittens do, when they arch their backs and hop sideways. And look–see the tiny toes on this one’s feet??
Can’t take my eyes off Robin or the necklace. I’m doubly blessed, not only to have such a great kid, but that she looks so good in my jewelry! (Doug is cool, too, but he won’t wear these necklaces….!!!)
Second portrait is the one I had done at a mall photo studio a few years ago. I still love this photo and use it as a large poster in my booth. It shows my daughter Robin wearing my necklace, “Ceremonial”, made with my horse, shell and bone artifacts. Charms made with antique trade beads, electronic resistors and vintage buttons, and tons of semi-precious stones such as turquoise, amazonite, jade, etc. The look is tribal and nomadic and fits my artwork beautifully.
Last night I made the most wonderful earrings. They are so amazing, I put them on and have been wearing them ever since. I think I’m keeping them!
I’m really feelin’ the cave these days…. And it feels deep, and rich.
On a lighter note, I found this fascinating page while surfing the net for ideas for new markings. (More complete reading can be found here. Incredible!!
This sends another shiver down my spine…. The second artifacts I made were fossil fish. The story I made for them was that they were trapped in layers of sediment, dreaming of forgotten oceans. “Where is the water they were promised?” I wrote in the little gift cards for them.
How eerie to think that these ancient people perhaps also made stories about these creatures trapped in the stone. Stories that were important enough to include the fossil images in their art.
I can’t even begin to think about what this all means. Perhaps it means nothing. But the on-going synchronicity of it all brings me, metaphorically, humbly, gratefully, to my knees.
Lately I’ve been “shopping my stash” for new design ideas–going through my countless drawers of goodies (beads, findings, wire, chain) to see what inspires me. It’s a concept that’s become popular in home decorating, seeing what’s already on hand that can be repurposed/rearranged/upcycled.
I have some examples today, riffs on an older design. I’m using tiny, tiny hand rolled silver beads culled from strands of Thai hill tribes silver beads. I used these a couple years ago, alternating the silver beads with turquoise chips.
But this week I’m using tiny, tiny, tiny turquoise chips. And teensy tiny pearls. And very, very small faceted crystals of smokey quartz.
How tiny? Well, the pearls are about 2mm. The turquoise chips, about 3mm. I cannot even imagine how the holes are drilled in such tiny beads. (For reference, I’ve put a #2 pencil in one of the photos.)
My thumbs hurt from picking up such tiny things, and when my eyes began to swim a few minutes ago, I decided to take a break and write instead.
But it’s worth it. Because I love the extreme delicate look of these. And I especially love how the tiniest of my artifacts (stones, otters, birds, bears, horses) look with them.
The weird thing is, sometimes as my brain struggles to wrap itself around this miniscule work, I can feel my thoughts narrow down, too. For example, this is what popped up as I made a little stone for one of these necklaces today.
I realized I’ve always hesitant to show my work in “real time”–as I’m making it, etc. So much of my work has been copied over the years. A “crafter” here in NH actually “borrowed” my popular Sea Stone and Pearl designs a few years ago, to make her own line of jewelry with the same colors, identical components, even a similar-sounding name. She was on my mailing list for awhile, so she either bought some from me or visited my booth the year I introduced them. She now sells them at smaller fairs in the region. Ow. Last year, a customer came in who’d bought a piece from her and raved about her work, saying that I would really enjoy it, because “she does stones, too.” I had to bite my tongue….hard. I see some evidence she is evolving in her designs so that it’s more her own work.
I console myself with the idea that I must be one of her artistic “heroes”. And pray for her to evolve faster….!!!
My lizard brain wants to dwell here, nursing old hurts and grudges. But I try to let go.
After all, I can’t control this. And though it’s painful, I’m trying really, really hard not to give it too much energy anymore.
We are ALL inspired by others. I am. I just try to make sure that, as an idea comes to me from someone else, it gets substantially transformed into something that’s truly mine.
It also happens that different artists work through different ideas from different directions, and innocently converge onto similar territory. That’s happened to me a lot, too. There are, after all, very few truly new things under the sun.
Whatever. It happens. It’s time to move on. And so, in that light, there will more images in my blog from now on.
Who benefits? YOU do! You get to preview my new work for the show. You get to sneak a peek at the less messy parts of my studio.
Hopefully, I benefit, too. I get to spread the joy as I work.
A few years ago, I began a series of “Shaman Necklaces”, inspired by neolithic artifacts. I wanted big, bold pieces, and I wanted them to look OLD.
I decided to attach the artifacts with leather cord. But I had no idea how to tie them so they would look nifty. My daughter’s boyfriend at the time, an Eagle scout, suggested the collar and capstan knot.
He couldn’t quite remember how to tie it, though, so I searched for it on the internet. And found this amazing video.
So a big shout-out to the Marinews website in Australia and Andy’s World of Knots animated tutorials.
I absolutely love watching these knot videos, though some of them make me dizzy. And I couldn’t have made my beautiful necklaces without them. I actually had to modify the technique a little, since I needed to connect two objects together.