thank you.

So often my creative mind comes in this dreamlike visual phenomena.... an idea sits on the air in front of me but I can't quite grasp it. I fall asleep trying to focus on the abstraction and bring out the detail but sedation comes and I wake with the idea that there was something there.... the beginnings of something I would like to explore...

My creative mind sputters and grinds out ideas slowly. It begins simply and slowly unwinds itself to multiple concepts and then moves swiftly to the surreal before stopping and leaving me behind in its wake.

And then there are ideas that flow naturally and move with grace and purpose. They build themselves with layers and keep me captive as I examine them from the inside out and I find I am too excited to stop and my creative energy spikes in such a way that I find it difficult to complete any other task or to sleep because I want to capture the magical essence while I have it.

These are the moments when it feels good to create. A perfect harmony.... I feel so completely sure of myself as I work the metal and so confident that the finished piece will bring the satisfaction I search for daily.

The pebble collection came so unexpectedly and easily that I couldn’t help but think there is a genius sitting at the edge of my bench and directing me from the paranormal. The beginnings of this idea came a few weeks ago and I began fabricating some pieces but they were off.... wrong... awkward. I moved forward thinking it just another exercise but then a few days later it came to me so simple and full of unexpected bliss..... And so unlike me; miniature. The collection worked perfectly smaller.

I began fabricating all of the pieces in a lighter weight metal and so much smaller than the originals and I realized that it was a perfect fit. Each piece moving forward has come so gracefully and I am full of ideas on how to expand this concept into a full spectrum of organic euphoria.

It is a small glimpse of light at the end of a very long dark winter and all I can say to whomever might be responsible..... Physical or metaphysical..... Is thank you.

A Difficult Task...

Building a new collection....

It takes time. I have been laughing at myself privately, it seems every year I choose to take on the task of building a new collection. It overwhelms me and brings out all of my anxieties and yet I cannot seem to resist. Perhaps sitting still has never been my strong point but I am promising myself that once I complete the two collections I am working on now I will take some time to enjoy the collections for awhile.

However, I get so excited undertaking a new journey. As frustrating as it can be it is also rewarding to develop new work and find new inspiration. Each piece teaches me so much and helps me to branch out into new areas. I am really enjoying working with color which I have done so little of in the past.  It's nice to add a little extra sparkle to my work.

These new necklaces are called, Embrace. They feature circles that fall within the oxidized cable and I love that they are casual and elegant at the same time. I really wanted to design a piece that could express casual elegance at a price point under $100 retail. I am getting ready for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival so I went ahead and fabricated one of these in each color.

So far this collection has been a lot of fun to work on. I am still developing the line but I thought I would share the process with you. I usually fabricate many pieces and then decide which ones to keep for production. I have chosen this piece as the first to keep in the line out of the first five I have fabricated. Once I develop an idea I want to keep I begin the process of designing accompanying pieces such as earrings and perhaps a bracelet. I am working on the earrings for this piece next...... oh such a process....



Sometimes you must gracefully bow to the alchemist inside and begin down the wandering path towards the discovery of something new.

I am at the beginning of such a journey in so many ways both personally and professionally. I find that I am yearning to break down mental barriers. Fear is something I knew little when I was younger but as the years pass I find myself hesitating just a little longer than I am comfortable with before jumping....  Those who know me find this a trait I might surrender to a little more willingly but it is not in my nature. I prefer a little risk in life. At this recent discovery of my new found hesitation I can think of only one thing to do...... jump of course.

So with this in mind I am pushing forward and have decided this must be a year of new experiences. It is time to shake things up a little. Now you might laugh at some of the things I have chosen to learn as they are, well, quite domestic. However, for me, finding comfort in domestic activities has been alien. So I have chosen to learn to make and can jellies and jams, to knit socks, and for the first time ever will be skydiving this summer.

So too has my work become a little stale to my fingers as I fabricate..... As much fun as I have in the studio, I must also strengthen my creative mind and explore new opportunities in metal. I have been hasty this last year in designing new work and not quite true to myself. So I am taking my time this year. I will enjoy the path of exploration and explore these new ideas fully before presenting them into a line of production. There is calmness within as I am certain of this new direction. A balance in both living with my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground. As physically impossible as this might sound, I plan to grow very tall this year!

This is a new piece; Something wicked, and is a style I worked in several years ago yet differently. It was profound for me to decide to fabricate this piece without a background. Simple, yes, but the clean lines are so much more pronounced and the balance within the piece, even. I find my eye looking further than it once did. So prepare to see many new items from me as I continue my year of exploration. No life jacket needed.

Creative Storms

Recently I saw a link to Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love, speaking about the creative process. Her words were inspiring to me as I am finding myself yet again, amidst a creative storm. In the last three years since I decided to earn a living off of my work I have found that the peaks of the mountains are ever so high while the valleys torment me in a way that I feel I should purge myself of my work altogether.
I have spoken with other artists who have had these same feelings. The sense that we can accomplish anything, the heightened exhilaration that comes with success only to be followed by the deepest internal anguish that we will never fulfill our personal vision. This is a battle as true as any other we face in life and one we must find a way to combat in an effort to save our sanity.
I have found over the years that I have gotten better at exposing my creative demons and yet still they come marching towards me as real as any realized fear. They creep up and grip me in a way that I feel unable to work and throttled in a creative slump of failure. I have never quite been able to put these feelings or experiences into words the way Elizabeth Gilbert has and her speech helped me to find a way to make sense of these demons and to realize that any who dares to endeavor on a creative path will find them lurking in the back hallways of their minds. I think I can label them more aptly than demons however, they are really my fears. Deeply placed fears about my abilities to overcome my shortcomings as an artist and achieve something greater than myself. My reaction to the demons has been one that may make little sense to others but I find myself hurdling my body right back at them and chasing down this deepest fear so I can square off with it face to face. I will not be cast aside by my fears and I will not allow these internal threats of failure immobile me.

When the demons beckon out at me I have found that working on production components has been a great way to defeat the build up of negative energy. I know that if I continue trying to build something great that the fears and nasty words in my head will gain strength so I discourage them by setting aside new ideas and working on items my hands know rhythmically by heart. Hammering a bangle, patterning metal, cutting lengths for earrings...... these things are mundane and do not require my third eye.

But why is it that some of us choose a path riddled with demons and ghosts? Why do we find that we must always outdo ourselves and why does the internal mental balance shift so darkly? I cannot quite answer this except to say that for many of us there is no choice in whether or not we will create.... it is what we do. And yes, like all things, we are looking for the yes in life.... yes, the work is good, yes, you have achieved adoration, yes, you are worthy....... There is truth to the fact that many of us may or may not find this self worth among others or that even more dangerous we may find then lose the public's attention, the academic's nod, or the publisher's praise..... And what do we do after? Elizabeth Gilbert renews the roots by insisting we show up anyway...... we do our job anyway.

Next time the creative demons fill my head I will attempt to seek them out apart from myself as individuals and perhaps realize them for who they are..... Separate and within me, they are my fears embedded and my alternate self who insists I am mad to attempt such a journey, they are the cynics and the thief’s, and within them is not only the demon I fear but the dreamer I seek as well. It comes from the same place. They are not one-dimensional as I most certainly am not..... They are the crowd in my head that applauds, the recognition of a job well done, and the fuel to continue climbing ever upwards....