Chasing the Muse

I am inexorably drawn back to painting. The jewelry studio will be tidied and moved aside for a time. The last jewelry market is coming soon. I feel relief at that thought. Yes, it is harder to sell paintings but it’s drawing and painting that have been channels to the heart of things, the channels to home. Here might be one of the last little ones:

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Silver and Glass

Glück und Glass, wie leicht bricht das. (Happiness and glass break easily)

It’s very hot here in North Carolina. That means I’ll spend more time in the studio. I only have a month left before I go back to work. Better get cracking. I am thoroughly enjoying working with silver and vitreous enamel.

What a long, strange trip it’s been

Today was my first full day making jewelry after a semester of teaching. The political climate in the USA can be felt everywhere, even in the classroom. Like a pinched nerve, it nags the spirit. In the studio, I felt like a castaway on an island surrounded by treasure, not really sure if I ever wanted to be rescued. I made two collages and a couple of necklaces. The work flowed out like a long sigh. It will be several weeks before I return to teaching. Until then I will enjoy being marooned.

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Take Heart

I found my words again although the geo-political atmosphere continues to be contaminated. Lots of shit flinging, a behavior observed in monkeys and apes, and the insane. And it’s contagious. I’d best stay clear and take a watchful position.

It appears that the heart theme has displaced the spiral theme and enameling has displaced the knotting. The colors make me feel childlike and cheery. The urge to place a heart on a piece seems to be a calling to “take heart”. Loving the clarity of Czech glass beads, too. I feel aligned with the work.

I see the path back to painting. I miss painting like I miss a lost relationship; the effort to reestablish flow is sometimes too much. But the energy is rising.

There are new options on the horizon. I hope 2017 will not be as steeped in loss as 2016 has been for so many of us. Let’s take heart and look to the future.hearts

Learning as refuge

The election is over. I am grieving. I really want to say more, write more, but I feel mute.

So I am taking refuge in learning new ways to work. Here are the first steps. Torch fired enamels. Fussy like etching, fussy like printmaking. But the colors are rewarding.

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torch-fired enameled earrings

My Tired Heart

My Heart And I – Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning 6th and 7th verse

VI.

Tired out we are, my heart and I.
Suppose the world brought diadems
To tempt us, crusted with loose gems
Of powers and pleasures ? Let it try.
We scarcely care to look at even
A pretty child, or God’s blue heaven,
We feel so tired, my heart and I

VII.
Yet who complains ? My heart and I ?
In this abundant earth no doubt
Is little room for things worn out :
Disdain them, break them, throw them by
And if before the days grew rough
We once were loved, used, — well enough,
I think, we’ve fared, my heart and I.

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knotted long jasper necklace

 

Winds of Change

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Long jasper necklaces 8mm to 10mm beads, knotted on silk cord and 8 gauge copper spirals

When I make pieces, whether painting, jewelry or collage, the impulse comes from a reaction to the materials at hand…it’s what I see in front of me at the moment. That’s why the studio almost always looks like a bomb went off in it. The scatter of available materials lets me see, all at once, what is available to play with. When everything is tucked away neatly, inhibition sets in and I feel blocked.

Right now the studio is covered in stone beads and knotting cord.  I feel an almost oppressive urge to knot stone beads (cool stone, self soothing, rhythmic movements) into long necklaces, with spiral focal pendants. The movement in the spiral symbolizes change, turbulence and transition which is something that’s pressing on my consciousness relentlessly. These are turbulent times. It’s windy out there.

The colors triggering the impulse are earthy, and subdued as if to counter the wild emotion I am witnessing in the political digital universe.

Bear with me. I suspect new themes will emerge after November 8.