Monday, October 31, 2011


I want to talk process.
There's this post I keep running back to....
A post about good design.
And bad design.
A post about sincerity in your work.
And about application of this sincerity.
and about insincerity.
construction and destruction of a simple truth.
That your work is simply that. YOUR OWN.

Please meet this woman. and read this post. Whoah.

I started reading this woman's blog about a year ago, when I was still in classes at the school, filling my brain with technique and tech-skills necessary to MAKE: the skills to even CREATE good art. I looked at styles, strengths of other metalsmiths, what they do and why....but you can't make good design if you don't have the skills to do simple things well. You can't jump from beginner, barely soldering, stumbling through setting a stone correctly.....
to great designer.

(Part of my beef and constant struggle with Liberal Arts education in the world of metal is exactly that....HOW on god's green earth can you teach design without a proper skillset? HOW are you to make good work if you can't even do simple stuff right??!! and sometimes I still struggle with the simple stuff.)

anyway. I digress. maybe another post.

At school, in class, I gobbled down visual stimulation from every angle... like a hungry child waiting for that next spoonful. I worked hard to learn what it's going to take to make a go at the metals world, at the jewelry world. I dove into Etsy with gusto, into this blog.
I watched. And I still do.

I want to be a rosy. I am not afraid to say that. Nothing bad about wanting that kind of success for your own work.

your own work.

And every time I look at her work...I am looking at it through novice eyes....trying to figure out "how did she DOOOO that?!!"

And I can't get enough.
She is strong.
And talented.
and articulate.
I mean a.r.t.i.c.u.l.a.t.e.
and her work is an inspiration.
and I love what she says about inspiration:
"Flowers do not grow from Flowers"

basically, where are your roots?

is your idea rooted?


I can't stop thinking about what she has said in this particular post.
Mostly, it has haunted me.
I can't stop thinking that....
shit, am I guilty of some of these faults as a designer?
Am I willy-nilly throwing things together?
Do I think through my pieces?
are my pieces rooted?
and worst of all.......



I do know this.
I don't draw out what I do.
Not a lot of planning....(which I know should change)
Maybe a shape in my head, or a word. or a color.
Sometimes I just go with it.
Pick out a stone and go.
I work hard.
Some days I forget where I am, and whether or not I've eaten lunch.
I am involved and focused.
I finish things I like. and things I don't like.
I scrap a lot of projects simply because they aren't "IT".
And I re-work a lot of stuff even halfway through a project.
Does it need another layer, another texture, maybe less of those things?
chop it off, chop it up, add more, keep going, re-work.




And I wonder, is that bad?
Did I finish with the intended idea?
Is some essence of the beginning of the piece still there?
is that PROCESS?

I really don't know yet.

But then I start thinking about me.
About my process lately.
this very new process.
I get up in the morning.
I find some clean clothes. Dress for the weather.
Chop wood if needed. Build a fire (we heat our house with a badass wood stove).
Turn on pickle pot.
And sit for a black cup of coffee, usually in muddy boots and carhartt pants.
and this time of year....long underwear.
my fingernails are painted red. bright red.

And this is now my job.
my only job.

"Go to your studio and make stuff"
~Fred Babb

That is me. Today.
That is my process. for now.

I am working on the rest.

I don't believe process is something you can force.
Even with french-press coffee.
rather you let it grow.
a little sunlight, fertilizer, and TIME.

I carried around this quote in an antique locket when I was in another school, on another path, in a different place....and sometimes I think it was the only thing that kept me afloat.

"Treading a way does not consist in mechanically applying a technique until liberation is achieved. There are no magic formulas or assembly-line techniques. Each person must come up with his or her OWN WAY - by giving up most dearly held convictions and habits, by making use of all resources, by doing the most extraordinary spiritual somersault."

~Piero Ferrucci

And even saying so, I love this post Rosy has put together,
because it hits me right in the gut.

punched me in the stomach.
and my favorite part of this.....
I kind of like it.
Someday I will figure out what my flavor is....what my work is evolving into.
ever-evolving. changing. moving. re-changing. and changing again.

to quote this woman, even as I cut and paste her words, I have a tingling suspicion I am crossing the line.
Rosy (or rather JJ, who is the artist behind her creative second-self, Rosy Revolver) Says, and I believe every bit of it......

"You'll not be content to try on other's shoes.
Rather you'll stomp awkwardly around in your own,
unsure of your footing,
until one day the stiff basic steps you've been practicing become
a dance that is completely yours."

(God isn't that just the best! Hurraw!)

"Look, if you're making it because you love it,
because it speaks to you,
because you wake up in the morning and your heart and brain and soul sing
and you feel that, regardless of whether or not the world loves it or not,
it MUST be made,
you'll be alright.
I really believe you will be alright.
That you will know success at some point."


Thank you, JJ. for the punch. and the love.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ben Howard - Diamonds

This music absolutely amazes me.

Ben Howard is playing in my studio now...

background thoughts for the day.

I can't get enough of his voice lately.

And all I can think of is....

that talented mother-F*#!er



There are days where I wish I was a musician.

a really good one.

But for now,

Ben Howard is my fix.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

better late than never....Harmony's debut

oh Harmony.

Harmony is the youngest of three sisters.....and the most patient.

Bold in her subtle ways. She is the most balanced of the three sisters, but not boring by any means.....She's a little quieter and a little more complicated than her other sisters, but she carries a fiery heart and a charm about her that is sometimes referred to as "depth of character". She is most definitely an old soul.

ain't she purdy.

Harmony folks.

Welcome to the family.

This is the last of the three sisters.

I finally finished it.

not exactly proud of my timeline.

But I learned a lot.

So now I have Glory and Harmony, and Grace has already flown the coop.

She was always so restless anyway.


In other awesome news...

I have a front porch!



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Introducing Pebbles!

very exciting process in the studio for me the past few days....


I love them.

Excited about where this could go....

So I think I am going to do a series. and not like the three sisters....

maybe a little more forgiving than that....(ahem).

Maybe like 5 rings.

with pebbles.

maybe all turquoise.

or not.

we will see.

but, I am excited.



pebbles studs for your ears.....

shiny but not too much.




I love it.


and then on the other hand.


Mama-Jama pebble ring!

I am calling her "First Pebbles"....the first of her kind.

in the etsy store today!

more of these coming!


side note: i still love metal. yup. still love it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall is my favorite time of year.

Hands down, my favorite.

I love color.

crisp mornings.

cozy homes.

hot tea.

and baking.


I love sitting in my studio space, not feeling bad about slowing the day down.

I love wandering around in my yard, getting acquainted with all the change in the season.

Not working this fall has really been a blessing.

I can stop.

and listen to myself.



Take time to fall in love again with metal.

and grow.

maybe draw again.



There's a can of paint for the nemesis wall sitting here.

sparkling sage.

that's it's paint chip name.

try 'er out. maybe.

oh, and I cleaned up my space.

It looks and feels good.

The bungalito sits waiting for me...

we have to move it soon.

have you ever moved a building before?

I guess it's kind of a big project.


not something you just. do.

So for now my clean little corner of the house will be just fine.


There's echinacea tea waiting for me, and maybe a nap.

Fall is here.

which means,

winter ain't too far behind.

and it's cold season.

time to amp up the immune system.



fall is here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

not even joking.

This was my studio space a few days ago.

Holy shit.


I guess I could say our home is in absolute chaos.

It's good though.

Jesse and I have never had this crazy opportunity.....and I am not talking about the house.

Homes are great, and they force you to do things.

Homes force you to organize.


But I really can't remember the last time all our things were in one physical location, an actual compiling of our shit from the past 4 years.....

all our vagabond ways, and our collection of life, has all compounded.

Into one huge mess.

one big pile.


my mason jars that should have garden stuff in them.......

my painting projects that are so fun, and so all over the place.......

The wall that still has no color-choice. dammit. my nemesis lately. there are 5 coats of different colors there, and none of them are just "it".........

the paint guy at the hardware store hides when I walk in.

This is my new table, with stones and un-finished projects....

oh lordy. the desk.

and the rocks....

bits and pieces......

all my projects have piled into one huge disorganized home.

for the first time in a long time.




i don't even know where to start.

but that's kind of cool.

home. disorganized...but MINE.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

rings rings rings

Well hello there! Thought I would share some custom ring projects I have wrapped up since my last post....

These are the first set of wedding rings I have done! VERY exciting! I owe it all to the lovely Karen at the college for her expertise and her Ferric Chloride....we did an etching with some nasty black goo called esphaltum, and some nasty orange eat-your-face-and-your-metal chemicals....very cool process....I hope to do it again much potential...resist-etching is coooool!

Also Tim's awesome spinner ring I should have had done months ago....sorry TIM!

I am so proud of these, mostly just because it goes to show how much I have learned in the past two years in and out of schooling....I can do this! It's nice to sit in front of a piece of metal, see what you want to make, and then just...well....make it. Tim's spinner ring was another of those projects that you just feel good about yourself after you finish it, and also so very glad it all went smoothly. I mean, weirdly smoothly.

But I gotta say. Do you know Murphy?

I do.

Google says this about him: Murphy's law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong".

Murphy and his law....he is a VERY real thing......I think a person....a person who snickers at your every blunder....he stands in the corner of my studio, crossed arms, and just smirks...and waits.....he sure is a finicky guy. I imagine he's probably a picky eater, and an enormous critic. He is that smelly thing, the enigma, the chance that you will melt your metal in the wrong place, ruin your stones, change your deadlines. I think all artists at one point get to know Murphy and his law really well....and all i have to say is....

damn him.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

fill'er up!

we did it!

....packed everything and then some in this awesome little truck, drove it to Montana in two days, and had so much fun collecting all the goodies inside. I think we should be professionals. Yard-sales and junk-stores be warned!

September for me, if you have been following me for a bit, has been all about travel, family, and one large gulp of fresh air....

not gonna kid ya', this summer absolutely wore me out. I got cranky, impatient, and altogether NO fun to be around....mostly (in retrospect) because I was doing things I didn't want to do, and doing things I wanted to do half-assed.....and there was nothing I could really do about it at the time.

So I self-medicated this past the form of my family and some travel...which has always seems to do the trick.

oh yeah. and I gave up my day job.

uhhh....still figuring that one out.

but it's good.

I am glad.

and ready.

for the next move.

the next adventure.

the next challenge.


Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.

~Dr. Seuss


I am over waiting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

me, mom, sister

This is a good portrait of my family.



good lookin', even when you're making faces.

The women in my life.

My mama and my sister.

They rock.

It was so good to see them on my visit home.

I love 'em.