Earrings inspired by the simple circle.
Eternal Circles - These are the shapes I care most about. There are no points, no hardness. There is only softness, acceptance, wisdom, ancient intuition. The Halo, the Moon, the Spiral, the 12 divisions in a rosette and the Swirl are included in this form.
So, I have struggled to "think big" in the way that most business consultants advise.
I often read blogs that tell me how to improve my business. One thing they all seem to recommend is "Think Big".
The problem is, I've never wanted to have a big business. All I have ever wanted was to be able to make my work for a sustainable amount, delivering it to people who truly want it and appreciate it.
Jewelry That Matters
I have no desire to have any employees, or a big space, or even fame. I'm really happy just sitting at my bench, carving metal. listening to music, knowing the piece I'm working on will be worn by a person who loves it.
If I could think big, it would be to find a way to enable others to see that every person has something to contribute to the good of mankind. When any one person is supressed from contributing, then it is a huge loss, not just for that person, but for you and me and everyone else.
So, how can I let others know this, when I am just a mere jewelry maker? Maybe I need to think small. As small as a word, that I can engrave.
Words hold great power, especially when they are written. Let's start small and if one person becomes more accepting or a little kinder, then our world will be a better place.
The Power of Words
I am dreaming of Words, mostly on metal, in the form of pins, charms, pendants and earrings.
What's your favorite quote, phrase or positive word? Would you wear it? Let me know, maybe I'll add it to the collection.
This past weekend I went to the NY NJ Gem Show, held in Edison NJ. There are very few gem shows in the northeast. I am lucky this one is a short travel distance from me. I go every year and always find a few treasures.
My favorite colors are blues of the water and sky. There are three Lapis stones here that I find magical. I can't wait to set them into something beautiful. There are also two incredible turquoise triangles that will make a great pair of earrings. The rough, raw turquoise I will use for rings. The two stones on top right are Shattuckite from Congo. In the center is a sprinkle of clear Herkimer Diamonds (quartz) that are only found in New York state.
Here are more earthy colored stones. I couldn't resist them. The two cross shapes are cultured pearls. They will be perfect for something to add to the Crosses and Saints Collection. In the center are sprinkles of warm Amber from Poland. An interesting Dinosaur Bone stone is top right , in reds and gray. The two large oval stones on bottom are brown Picture Jasper and a Royal Imperial Jasper from Mexico.
Do you have any ideas for what I should make to set these stones? Let me know if anything here speaks to you.
I usually sketch jewelry ideas with a regular pencil and paper in a sketchbook. That can be bulky when I'm going someplace. I always take my iPad though, so I decided to try a sketching app.
I love this app called Paper 53 from fiftythree.com
"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." - Pablo Picasso
I've always loved this quote from Picasso. Art is often going back to the beginning. I'm drawn to the art that calls at a primal level. Something that stirs the memory of a story that was told before us - a story of the ancients.
Making custom wedding rings, I am often struck how lovers see themselves in their own world and their love as the center of their own special universe.
Spirals are found throughout nature. A seashell's curve, a hawk following it's prey, even weather patterns and beach formations occur in spirals. NASA's site has some wonderful images of Spiral Galaxies. They inspired me to think of how I can recreate the spiral symbol in my jewelry to reflect that special center of the universe love.
This year of 2014 I'm giving myself permission to make things without the creation being shown, tweeted, blogged or sold.
My creative business is a big part of my life. Since it's so public on social media, it's hard for me to make things without feeling I need to take pictures, tweet it, and share each step of the way.
Sometimes, I just need to have fun, without a camera. Fun for me is creating, even in mediums, like fiber and paint, that I'm not very talented with.
Teach Your Parents Well
I learned this lesson from my sons, two creative and talented guys. They practice everyday, solely for the love of the music and art. Over this winter break, as I see them and hear them practicing so hard, I realize I have so much to learn from them.
So, I've gone back to playing with art collages, which I haven't done in a few years. I'm also learning to crochet. I'm even thinking of pulling beads out of storage and making a freeform peyote necklace, another thing I haven't done in years. I have no expectations for the creations. Yet, my creative mind is getting so excited about this, that I am filling up my sketchbook with ideas for future metal jewelry designs.
"The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail."
I have faith, from past experiences, that whatever good lessons I learn from working in other mediums will show in my metal jewelry work eventually. For now, I'm just enjoying the process of creating in different materials.
Isn't that what winter is for? I hope you can also enjoy being inside and be a child again with your art.
My kids sometimes laugh at me, that I have a poster of Bob Dylan hanging in my studio. What can I say, I am an old hippie. I continue to find inspiration in his lyrics and life. Here are 5 sources of inspiration.
"Don't Follow Leaders..."
If something I make happens to be trending, that's cool. But I don't run after what's in style. I feel there are plenty of other jewelers and jewelry makers who are happy to do that. So, there's no need for me to follow. My jewelry isn't about fashion, anyway. I try hard to make jewelry that matters - to me and to you. A memory, a story, a milestone, a mystery - they don't follow leaders, but they are what I try to include in my creations. They are what matter to me.
"When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose."
It can be liberating and an opportunity when my items aren't selling or situations change for the worse. This is when I can make big changes to my style, venue or focus. I did this in 2009, when the economy collapsed. Instead of struggling for little sales, I went to a jeweler's technical school full time and learned the trade from experts. It was one of the best things I ever did, but I never would have had the time if sales were strong. Currently, I'm in the process of making my own website a true representation of my work. Although I've been "working on my website" for years, it was the changes in policy and focus by management on the Etsy site that pushed me to stop relying on Etsy (a venue out of my control) and use my own site to sell jewelry.
"Just keep on keeping on, down the avenue..."
Some people call it The Never Ending Tour. Dylan's done a hundred tour dates a year, for the last 30 years. Plus, he has recorded 35 albums in 50 years. That is an example of consistency. My goal is to be consistent and just keep on keeping on. As I move along on the journey, the inspirations and creations come to meet me.
"May you stay, forever young.."
Young is an attitude, a way of approaching the world and one's art. It's curiosity and enthusiasm. It's exploring new techniques. This is really all I want for life. That's a wonderful blessing to wish on someone. So, let's wish it on each other.
May you (and I) stay forever young!
Are there song lyrics or a certain celebrity that inspire you? Let me know in the comments.
I'm trying to stick with the Brooch a Day challenge again. I decided that each day I will try to incorporate some part of my day into the pin that I create. Today, I was figuring how to balance things in my life. So, I started with a circle. Then divided the circle into a texture and a non-texture.
There's always a pull between one thing and another. Embrace them both and wear them like a badge. Balance.
Follow my 2013 Brooch a Day challenge progress here.
See the full group of participants and their brooches here.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
@PirateTides on Instagram