I am but a speck in the universe - I cannot be seen
I am only a sliver of this nation - I cannot be heard
I am just an atom in the beauty that is art - I cannot be noticed
Like most people around the globe, I have spent a lot of time in the last two weeks thinking about how different things are now. This weekend I joined the #grabyourwallet campaign and as I was contacting merchants, asking them to reconsider who they carry in their stores - I acknowledged that as an artist, I am a merchant as well. I make art and people sometimes people buy that art.
In the past I have used social media for nothing other than sharing and promoting my new pieces of jewelry. Now my social media is being utilized in a very different way - and it will cost me, I'm sure.
Politics have never truly felt like they had an impact on my life. I'm white. I'm your basic middle class. I've always been employed. I've always had insurance. I've always had a roof over my head and I've never gone hungry. Who was in office didn't seem to have an affect on any of that. All that has changed for me now and I find myself trying to catch up.
Now I am worried about the fact that I am gay. The fact that I am a woman. The fact that I hope to be able to retire in the next few years. About the fact that we can't find food or water that is not harmful to us. The fact that EVERYTHING matters now.
I know many people oppose the way I think about the current political atmosphere and I know some of those people might be my customers or at least have followed and appreciated my art form. I welcome conversations of opposing opinions. Will I change your mind? Probably not. Will you change my mind? Probably not. But will we diffuse the anger - I certainly hope so. That is my main priority, because it's most likely the only thing I can personally change. Along the way I might loose a customer. I might loose a LIKE. I might loose a SHARE. I have to be willing to accept that.
This is the time for me to rearrange my thinking about where I fit into the universe. I will continue to make my jewelry, even though it seems trivial most of the time considering what is happening in the world. I will push myself to sit in the studio and study my craft. I vow to keep my art alive in the face of turmoil. I promise to respect my place in this universe. I will smile at the sun when it comes shining through my window. I will be happy when that piece of jewelry is finished and recognize its beauty. I will honor the universe that served in its creation.
I am but a speck in the universe - and my speck is crucial
I am only a sliver of this nation - but my sliver is important
I am just an atom in the beauty that is art
I don't need to be noticed, but I need to BE
CREATOR (the divine) / CREATE (the action) / CREATION (the art) / CREATOR (the artist)
When I ran into my friend she got this "ah, ha" look on her face. "You might be able to help me!"
She was carrying with her a beautiful pair of earrings that she had inherited upon the passing of her mother. She told me the wonderful story about how her mother had come to have all this jewelry but was torn about what to do with it because it was simply not wearable in it's current format.
"Who came up with this screw idea????"
She had the earrings with her because she had just come back from a jeweler who quickly turned her away. "If I put a torch to those earrings they will be destroyed"
She handed me the earrings and I told her to let me think about it for a bit. The following is how I brought the earrings back to life and the memory of her mother even closer to her heart.
As I go through the box I can see her hand writing, I can see her organization, I can see the quality of everything that she purchased to put into her work.
The last thing I pulled out of the box was a soldering block that she used to carve out special soldering projects. I can still hear her voice in my ear as she taught me how to form hinges using this very type of block.
Years ago, when I cleaned out my mother's home, the only thing that made it OK for her was seeing me pack the back of my pickup truck with all of her crafting 'things'. Everything went from her home to my studio. Now, the things of Judith are with me as well. I've already told my friend Susan that when I go, it's her job to distribute my studio. Until then, to Judith and her family, I am honored to have these precious things with me.
3am found me redesigning jewelry in my head to the point that I got up and went to the the sofa to read my mindless novel. I have written earlier about revamping my entire approach and it's starting to come together bit by bit, but continues to be overwhelming. A new page is entered on the website, another is deleted; a new earring is made and I realize it is a completely different look and feel to my work.
What does a LINE of jewelry look like? After so many years of building piece by piece it is interesting to develop something that looks and feels cohesive. A unit that incorporates and theme throughout. I finally feel like some of the missing parts are coming together in my mind's eye - which is probably why I'm waking up in the middle of the night.
Until it all comes together it's a lot of coffee and a little less sleep. But I' excited to feel the 'click' that happens when it all becomes clear. Until the click - it is all a mystery to you and to me!
The lawn is open at Bryant Park and that deserves a moment of appreciation before I head into the studio.
I opened my email this morning and received a message from and artist in the UK who shared some of the trials she was experiencing at her bench across the pond. It was so nice to be able to step back and help her with some of the things that I had recently managed to figure out.
One of her concerns was trying to take on something for a client that she didn't feel very comfortable with, but she didn't feel like she could pass up the opportunity to take on the challenge.
We are artists and if you are a person 'of an age' you probably don't have the luxury of being in a classroom environment for four years to learn your craft from a professor of one sort or another. We are following our path of discovery and it attracts interest and if we're lucky, admiration and before you know it we are working with clients to help them have something beautiful.
My recommendation - just be honest! We can't be expected to be everything to everyone and all we can do is our own personal best. There is probably not a person out there that looks at a piece of my work harder than I do myself. We are our own worst critics. But it is our love of perfection that makes our pieces worth having. We care and it shows in our work. We notice the smallest of things so that you can put something on and experience all of the concentration and care that has gone into your piece along the way.
Our journey is an honest and open one and that is all we can offer and all we need to offer.
ps - there was ONE person that looked at my work harder than anyone else and she taught me how to see. She passed from this plane this year but Judith Foster was an artisan extraordinaire. It was all good and well until Judith put those damn visors down. We miss you every day.......
- into an unfamiliar, round hole and honest to god, switching the way you think can cause great fatigue, frustration and that dreaded F word FEAR! I'm old enough to know that all of those things are needed if you want to get out of your comfort zone.
What is that place of comfort for me? "Oh that's pretty :) Maybe someone will like it."
That's been really good for me for the last few years because every time I created something I learned so much of the nuts and bolts of the craftsmanship of my jewelry.
Place of discomfort? "I'm building a business." A business is something that will help sustain my life as I want to live it. With that goal comes planning jewelry that can be produced in a timely fashion, designs that will appeal to a larger market, and an artist who can have a day off every now and then. Wouldn't that be lovely?
I started my journey into jewelry making in 2005 while I was working in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, an area inundated with amazing artisans. I started with glass, which led to silver, which led to inlay, which led to joy.