A year ago...

I haven't posted in three months....oy.  Not that you don't have things to do other than read my jewelry ramblings, but still.  I had loftier goals yet somehow my school-based job and life trump my best intentions.  Now that school is out, I feel I can breathe a bit easier and create without worrying about planning meals, having track uniforms ready, or getting to bed in time to get enough sleep before I have to do it all over again.  

I actually have been able to spend time in the studio, mostly on weekends.  Much of what I've been doing is custom work, often one of a kind talismans combined with intuitive readings....love it!  And I've discovered a new way of turning my drawings into stamps in just a matter of minutes.  This has opened my world!  I can't wait to play with it this summer.  

But back to the reason for my post's title 'a year ago'.  Last June I flew to Denver to work with Lexi Erickson, a well known jewelry designer.  I'm so inspired by her story and her work!  She's got a PhD in archaeology and is also a jewelry designer who is particularly inspired by the Southwest.  Here's a picture of one of the pieces I created while I was with her: 

I took the turquoise stone with me and worked on the design process and some metalsmithing skills with Lexi.  The ridged area was influenced by the Catalina mountains which border Tucson to the north.  I sawed out two pieces of silver, textured one, and soldered them together.  The result is a big chunky piece (about 2" across) which seems to work in the West where everything is a bit larger.  I don't wear it much here in VT but I do love having it.  

Here's the other piece I did with Lexi: 

This piece definitely pushed my skills and design aesthetic!  The large round stone is a labradorite and the smaller one is an iolite; both are inspiring stones for me.  If you check out Lexi's work on her web page, you'll see her influence in this.  The hammered border is classic Lexi and the texture on the inside backplate was made by putting a piece of silver on her driveway and pounding it with a hammer.  The whole piece has a very galactic feel to me; haven't worn this one yet!  

And here's a look at some things I just took over to the Miller's Thumb Gallery in Greensboro today.  My things are selling very well already, just a few weeks into the season, and I'm really excited about it.  I think what's making the difference is that I type up a description for each piece and, of course, they're all one of a kind and have a story to tell.  My hope is that the stories connect with people...seems to be working!  

Until next time,