I’ve always been driven to create, compelled by an urge to make things with my hands. Along these lines, I’ve always thought of myself more as a “maker of things” than as an “artist.” From making “mud pies” in my parents’ back yard when I was five to my first attempts at sewing my own clothing as a teenager to the jewelry I design and create now, the same jewelry you see in my Etsy shop, I have always been most at peace with myself and my place in this crazy world when I am engaged in the art of making.
Inspiration for new pieces and designs frequently comes when I least expect it. . . Or at the most inopportune times! In this way, creating jewelry very much reminds me of the process of creative writing. With writing, finding the beginning threads of ideas for that next short story or poem, I would always carry around a small notebook for jotting ideas down. Now, I frequently come home from work (that other job, you know, the one that continues to pay the bills until your heart’s desire does) with numerous little slips of paper, receipts, pastry bags (yup, they’re the perfect little size and not in short supply when you work at a coffee shop!) covered in quick sketches with notes like “texturing here” or “small teardrops of labradorite here” or “mixed metals in this one. . . copper and sterling silver?”
Coming to jewelry, at first glance, always seemed to be a completely “out of the blue” sort of a thing for me. . . But when I look back over the years I see how it all makes sense that I am at this place. I’ve always loved jewelry. I was the girl in her middle school class with the largest collection of earrings. During those same middle school years I was stringing beads on whatever material I could find that was suitable for the job. Come high school I had amassed a small collection of seed beads and other what-nots and doo-dads for making jewelry. During my teenage years I would rarely find the time to actually make a complete piece of jewelry, but when I did I would wear it all of the time. Then, one day, a year or two after high school, I decided to pull out the shoebox that I had used to stash all of my jewelry makin‘ findings. The necklace I made that day is one of my most prized possessions, and probably always will be. Because it marks a distinctive beginning for me. Something clicked in me that day, something woke up and said “THIS is what I want to be doing with myself.”
From that day forth, which is still very distinct in my mind, creating jewelry became a part of who I am. Slowly I accumulated the necessary tools and supplies to furnish my new passion. Slowly I carved out a work space in my room, eventually giving over more and more of my space to the work. And slowly I accumulated the necessary skills that would allow me to make manifest the dreams of new jewelry designs that were filling my head. In that way I am mostly self-taught. I have been lucky enough to have one very wonderful friend help me through the basics of metal-work. Otherwise my teachings have been intuitive and from books. I’ve also had the good fortune of having a father who set an wonderful example with his own work. I’ve seen, through him, how dedication and the simple act of carving out time for your passion on a daily basis eventually adds up to something you can be so very very proud of.
I hope you can take the time to follow me on my creative journey here and at my Etsy shop!