When Passion and Defiance Collide...

It is insidious.

It creeps along as a faithful companion offering solace in a hand held stretched out obscuring that which is kept hidden. With cunning it stands beside us disguising deceit as friendship.

Revelation comes hard as we find ourselves exposed too long. The erosion so slight it continues unnoticed as it seeps poison with patient precision.

It is an artist defined, standing on the brilliance of past achievements, the journey complete, passion left to decay.

Ultimately brilliance fades and the work grows stale. It is an artist with nothing new to offer. The memory of faded glory is all that remains.

It is an indulgence we all oblige, the tendency to find ourselves embracing a formula as we create. It begins innocently yet left unattended becomes the very thing we fight against, a factory endlessly producing genericism in mass.

Continue the challenge, embrace the purity that comes as you explore, push yourself aways....

Evolution stems from the collision of passion and defiance.


It is with passion and defiance that I refuse limitations always searching for the next seed of inspiration.

My dear friend...

You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. 

The path is upside down and backwards, crooked around the edges, uphill both ways, turning upon itself without reason...

It is with intention. 

You cannot rush what turns and changes each second. You cannot find shortcuts that do not exist. You cannot reach what is not physical...

You must accept. You must exhaust all reason. you must give in...

On your knees, with arms spread, with palms open, with complete abandon, you must...

It is not for examination, it just is. 

It will not be 

It will be as it will be. 


It will desire much...

So my darling, stop.
take it all in


It is in the quiet without force or frustration that the whispering can be heard. 

It is when you swallow your words that you begin to listen. 

It is then that your voice can be heard...

To my dearest friend.... you know who you are.

I have gone out, a possessed witch,

haunting the black air, braver at night;

dreaming evil, I have done my hitch

over the plain houses, light by light:

lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.

A woman like that is not a woman, quite.

- Anne Sexton

Yes, I have been her kind and I have not found a woman yet who has not found herself the possessed witch, the woman misunderstood, the woman, a survivor not afraid to die.

We carry this burden as we always have. We know ourselves and one another. We see what others turn away from, we stand when others kneel, we witness...

We fight and claw and bite so we will not have to kneel.

It is okay.

A woman like that is not a woman quite. At least not as they would understand it...

Yet we know... a woman like that is a woman quite... She is all woman... she is the very definition of...

We capture strength and we hold it steady and strong, we do not bend, we do not break, we do not...

That is what it is to be a woman.

It is okay.

As knowing is the part that binds.

It is the sisterhood.

It is...

Path of One...

When you are one who creates, you never rest. You strive...
always strive...
strive to be...
better than you are.

It haunts you in the seconds before you drift off to sleep, a melodic beating like a heartbeat pumping within.

The feeling of satisfaction is fleeting. A moment of pure joy before the critical eye awakens and begins the process of deconstruction.
Always the thought,
can I do better?

It is a virtue and a vice. The part you love and the part that breaks you down,

you know inside that if you were to be released, if you were to truly find that part that feels completion, the journey would end.

It is a craving that gnaws, a promise unfulfilled, a yearning, a begging on your hands and knees...
a desperation...


It is sweet. So damn sweet.

It is pain and it is kind...

And yes, oh so clever, this obsession.

It is the path of one who creates...

And then they inspire you...

It is a moment, A smile, A light in the darkness, Kindness from a stranger, A something given, unexpected, when you need it the most.

it is just a word.

And it is brilliant how it ignites, catches fire, burns through you. Illuminating shadows, Light spreads and you find that the shadows are nothing more but shadows after all. The fear created by the unknown vanishes. The truth sets you free.

We find brilliance in the most unexpected regions of our life.

Brilliance as Illumination.
Brilliance as genius.

You know it not by sight but feel.
It moves through you, the hair rises, the skin cools, you are awakened.

You open your eyes, you listen, you hear the meaning behind words as they unravel, not words, not syllables caught in a string, but a message.

The something more you greet as an old soul whispering into your captive ear.

It is a gift.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde

The freedom that comes with these words is indescribable. It is absolute and without effort we find ourselves direct evidence of their truth.

I found myself today deep in discussion and the words that arrived at the lips of my mouth were a surprise even to me. I find that as I move forward I don't know how to be anyone but me.  As I design and pull the elements together it is organic because it flows from my perspective which has gained a power above and beyond my mind.

It is a reminder to those who still seek something wholly new and unexpected to spring forth from their endeavors. Be yourself and it will come. There is this idea that we are somehow in control but I find that with each year passing I have less control than I would like to believe. There is a certainty in the individual of who I am and the ability to pass this through in my actions and words is what creates the vibration I leave behind.

We are wholly unique and each of us have something wholly unique to offer. Perhaps it is the intense effort we put in being wholly unique that creates the divide between what is and what is forced.



As an artist so much is demanded of our creative genius. It is constantly being tested by both ourselves and those who follow our work. We demand a constant flow of new ideas and those ideas must be good.

It can be exhausting this constant push and pull of ideas. I know you've been there. Started off the morning ready to take over the world. So completely sure of your own amazing talent and so full of ideas that you can barely fabricate them fast enough. You finish setting the last stone and you look at the piece in awe, look what I created. I'm amazing, I'm brilliant, and I’m untouchable. By that evening as you allow your eyes to drift slowly downward, just before they start to close, the thought comes like a splinter and antagonizes you until you find sleep useless and you wonder if it's possible to creep back into the studio for another look. The alter ego arrives with a force, what if it isn't that good, what if nobody likes it, what if everything I fabricate is only mediocre at best and my belief that I could actually be someone, that I was brilliant even is like the voice of my mother who thinks just about everything I do is amazing and let's face it, we all know mothers fib!

This is the path of an artist and we all find our own ways to deal with it. I know that it is part in parcel and it is those who would even dare to choose this path that harbor the harshest self-criticism.

So how do we continue to build the momentum we need everyday to continue to create and to continue to come up with new ideas. This is something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about because while some navigate these waters calmly, others find it a great difficulty. For me this has been a strength and one I would like to share.

The key is in evolution. I find the idea for the next piece from the piece I am working on now. So often as I am fabricating I am thinking about that next piece and what the current piece would look like if I were to go in another direction. I try to keep my eyes open constantly to the next possibility. Taking an idea and branching out within it's many parts to all the different and unique options gives your initial spark of an idea a full and complete journey allowing you to store your energy for the next great spark. Complete the process within each cycle and you will find that not only does your collection begin to build a variety of options within it but also so many options for those looking at your work which is always a good thing.

I try to leave production work to the days where I really have nothing new and my creative force is truly drained. This allows me to continue to work and as I am working I can process to find the next great beginning of another idea.

We as artists have a natural inclination to want to crack open something new each day and evolve at a frightening pace but when we allow ourselves to capture all of the many elements within each new idea we offer ourselves a broader range and usually the next great idea is hidden within the many pieces of the current one.

What follows is a short series of pieces I fabricated in order as I allowed each idea to evolve:


Argue your limitations....

Yes, argue your limitations and sure enough, they are yours.

It is amazing to me how many talented and incredible artists I meet who set their own limitations. They somehow create a space in their head defined by what they believe they can achieve. I never understood this. I don't know how far each of us can push our own creative endeavors but I believe that we should continue to push ourselves and see where it will go. I never wanted to embrace the idea that I couldn't or I might not... I just want to see and continue down the path to where? I'm not sure but I certainly felt that anything was possible.

So why is it that as of recent I feel a tremendous amount of weight upon my shoulders? It is new, this feeling. I can barely describe it but it is here hanging over me. I've spent the last few months pushing against it, not wanting to give it root but it continues to grow even beyond me as recently my husband spoke it aloud from his own mind and words and the consequence of that is that what I have tried to ignore has its own truth.

The path I am on now has gone as far as it will take me. I've known this quietly in the back of my head. Pieces popping out and lingering in the shadows but I have tried to move past it hoping that time would find a break in the pattern, a momentary relief from the inevitable. Yet, here it is. Time for tough decisions and the question that gnaws at the back of our heels, where do I want to go? I feel unsure and off balance. It is significant and a question I have not had to answer before now. Each step before this brought me closer but not past where I thought I would go. Now, I must honestly look inside and find the words that will propel me forward by my own force and determination.

I know the answer will change everything. I know that moving forward the sense of purpose will be different and unique. It is no longer a matter of split second decisions but somehow more tangible and significant. When you describe in words and write down what you really want, failure is more true in a way that is measured inch by inch, liter by liter against that which is your spoken and verifiable goal.

It is almost overwhelming and I find it difficult to focus on it. I keep thinking that I have time, time to think it through, time to process, to make a decision but the truth is I don't know and procrastination like a holding pattern has become a comfortable home. At least I know this, I know where I am, what is expected of me, what the road here holds but moving forward it all becomes uncertain and my belief that I can overcome the obstacle not certain quite.

There are truly so many different places to go. The thoughts tumble from my mind multiplying from each cross examination. So many wonderful ideas.

Yet. It is spoken aloud. The words have permanence beyond me and there will be so much freedom ultimately in a decision. I continue to toss and turn searching for the light that will illuminate the answer.

I keep coming back to the words, "argue your limitations and sure enough they are yours." I know the truth embedded in these words. I know that a choice must be made. It is a certain truth and yet.....

Build A Collection, Create A Story....

It's tough when you feel like your work is bits and pieces. A bit of this and a piece of that. You want it all to paint a beautiful portrait yet you are enchanted with this and with that.

I know, I've been there. Just today in fact!

And yet, success hinges on your ability to create a collection. If you dare to venture into wholesale your buyers will demand it and if you choose to retail at shows your sales will soar with it. Those buying your work need options. Big, small, short, long, chunky, thin..... need I go on?

It's a difficult balance between having all the freedom in the world to create and knowing that at the end the pieces must tell a story.

As I have a difficult time not giving in to my creative will I have to work extra hard to try to pull it all together. One of my solutions is the story board. I allow myself time to play and create. I find what works and what I want to build a collection around. Once I have the beginning pieces formed and fabricated I begin a story board.

As you can see above I begin arranging the pieces in small groups looking for gaps. How many pieces are there in each grouping? Do I have enough necklace or earring options? Is there a piece that stands alone? Is there an earring that could be shortened or lengthened to offer another possibility?

With a story board I can see most clearly the gaps and pieces sticking out like an island unto themselves.

I thought I would share this idea in hopes that it will help others. I am getting ready to start show season so as you can see I have a lot of work to do!

Plan b.

At one time I had a manager who had only one frame on her desk. It wasn't a memento or a picture but a collection of words that impacted me and I draw on still; the key to success is how well you deal with plan b.

If you are anything like me, you don't have a plan b and trying to swing from the hip quickly can be a difficult and precarious combination of moves so stunningly acrobatic that it leaves you standing on the tips of your toes and hopeful that there were no witnesses to your near perilous and sudden drop to certain death.

And yet we push through.

It is a wonder to me how we evolve as artists and individuals in any given climate. Perhaps it is the simple truth that we so often have few choices; change or die. Evolve or fail. It is a certainty in life that as soon as you think you have found a perfect balance and harmony, the dance will change.

With the given economic climate and the rising and fluctuating cost of precious metals I find this daring adventure as a jeweler even more of a paradox. How do we face these challenging difficulties.

For each the answer will be different.

The key I know however, is in the elusive plan b.

Into the Light.

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
-Dante Alighieri, The Inferno

Such amazing words, read at a time when their meaning resonated deep within me. I have found that rarely is the path forward straight. It is full of twists and turns, unexpected angles and a need for optimism that a beam of light will bend to find and lead you through.

I am not alone in this. I have witnessed the struggle of those close around me as we become burdened with life's consequences. It seems there is not a person near not touched within the last few years by hardship. It is understandable that one would want to cover their eyes and fall into the deep clutches of depression but as one who has found their way through the recent events that paralyzed me, I know, the only way is through it. Through the denial, the anger, the fear and the numbness. It is with the passing of the stages that we come to acceptance and with that the ability to capture the courage we need to make the difficult choices with what life has spread before us.

But this is the hard truth and I choke upon the words, do I dare give them permanence in speaking them aloud? You can't go back. This is the ultimate acceptance that buries the passage forward. We can't go back, we must find our way to a new place in a new time. When I first heard these words, I shuttered. All I wanted was to go back. All I did each and every day was try to understand how to put the pieces back together in a collage that once formed the portrait of my life. I didn't believe it, couldn't believe it and never did find comfort in the understanding of it, even now. There is no back, only forward. Now as I have embraced the light again I see so clearly that this was always true. The only comfort I can offer is that what comes next could be greater than what came before. As the driver in your life you have the ability to take the bitter and make it matter in a way that offers pure sweetness. Yes, take lemons and make lemonade.

It is a reminder for me. I thought I already knew but I hadn't realized I had forgotten. The journey to find oneself is an evolution. We are not stagnant but continually moving forward and deepening this relationship can only offer more; more of everything. I thought I knew who I was and perhaps I did at one time. I am no longer that person completely, I am changed and I am always changing. I cannot be locked in a box or hung in a frame. I am a flow of constant movement and this is freeing. It is life.

As an artist I am finding new ways to see with old eyes. I feel fortunate to embrace these past experiences and mend the inner conflict with a colorful stroke of my brush. Painting these vivid experiences in color reminds me that I am a part of "their" story and they are a part of "mine." There is so much to offer and express, so much if we just crack open our souls and stand strong allowing all to see the jagged scars and broken pieces of who we are, rich with history and deep as the canyons. We are not stagnant, we are constantly in motion.