A radiant collar of unusually-shaped pearls frames a handmade silver pendant bearing the impression of weathered wood.
I absolutely love this piece!!
A radiant collar of unusually-shaped pearls frames a handmade silver pendant bearing the impression of weathered wood.
I absolutely love this piece!!
Rich texture paired with deep patina makes these contemporary leaf forms simply beautiful
I absolutely love how these turned out. They may be the beginning of a new direction...
You have all probably noticed a distinct slowdown in my work this year, and I am writing this post to share with you some of the reasons why. All of you who support my work are very important to me and a few of you have become good friends. Let me say right up front that I will continue to make and sell my jewelry, crafts and artwork on this website and from my Etsy shop. I would be doing more but many things have pulled me away from the studio. While most of these things are very personal, I feel I owe you an explanation of sorts, and let you know what has been going on.
Last month I made the decision to separate from my husband and partner of over 25 years. It was a decision I had been contemplating for some time. He suffers from clinical depression and has done so all his life. It has been something we have lived with and tried to manage for most of the time we have been together, but it has been difficult, and at times, very difficult. A few years back he became suicidal and I insisted he get treatment, which he did. I resolved to be there for him and did my best to manage. The studio became my sacred space and refuge, but even so I finally reached a point where I, too, was becoming depressed and it was affecting my creativity. I had resisted reading self-help books on the subject, but after doing some research I discovered that people who live with depressed partners or family members are also seriously affected by it, and it helped me understand that my situation was far from unique. (If any of you reading this have a partner or loved one who is depressed, please take it, and your own well being, seriously. The book that helped me most was Depression Fallout by Anne Sheffield, and I recommend it.)
To make a long story short, it became clear that my husband was not interested in any additional help or treatment. Along with other factors it became clear that things were not going to improve and in the meantime I was losing my own health and well being. So we have separated amiably. He has moved out and I am going to stay in the house, our home for 21 years, and continue to work here with his support. We are "taking a break" and are going to take some time before any further decisions are made. I have been grieving the loss of a wonderful person and a long partnership, but we both agree it is for the best. And for the first time in my life I am living alone.
Now my intention is to heal, re-orient and renew my dedication to my soul's path and work, and step more fully into it. This will include more creative work of course, and I am also beginning to teach classes and workshops on metaphysical subjects here in my home, something I have wanted to do for a very long time. And then there is all the spiritual and ceremonial work with the Earth, with the new energies, and evolution.
There are many other things that affecting my ability to be fully present with this, though. The upkeep of the house has been badly neglected, a casualty of the depression, and now there is much work that must be done in a short time. That will take me out of the studio. In addition, every member of my immediate family, including my son, is in a major crisis or powerful change right now, and I feel that stress myself. It takes a fair amount of effort to "stay out of it" and allow them their own journeys, on top of everything else.
Last but not least is the world situation. Everyone is feeling it, and I know many, many people are experiencing anxiety and depression over the changes occurring in the collective human sphere. Some close friends are severely challenged themselves right now and there is a pervasive sense of "no refuge". I won't editorialize here, but will acknowledge that it takes an ongoing level of focus and intention to stay clear of the ambient chaos filtering in from "out there".
So with all of this impacting my energy, mind and heart, it's been challenging to work at times and many times I knew it was not appropriate to try. There have been many days when I just needed to attend to other matters. When I have been working, I have found I am a bit slower than usual and can become confused and forgetful at times. This too shall pass.
I sense that the intense energies affecting us all are not going to let up anytime soon. As I recently said to a friend, it feels like the Universe has called us all onto the carpet and we have been given an ultimatum to get rid of everything that does not serve our higher path in life now. If we don't voluntarily give these things/patterns/situations up, it will be a very tough go for us in the future. The only thing we have control over is ourselves, how we create, and how we respond to the world around us. For myself, I have found that resistance to what I do not like only feeds that person or situation more energy, helping to perpetuate it, and my energy is better used to create. At this time I am severely limiting my exposure to mass media and social media, except for connections that are supportive and reflect the positive change I wish to see...a media detox. I am simplifying my belongings and my diet, and am also carefully attending to my thoughts and feelings. And I am committing to creating the world I wish to see, to unplugging from the toxic, collapsing aspects of the human collective and aligning myself with a higher reality that is coming in now, very strongly. It feels like riding the cyclone, but what a trip it is.
Hey folks, I just wanted to let you know I've decided to reduce the price of my latest talisman necklace, In The Sun. It priced out at over $400 but much of that was due to the long time it took to finely stitch that leather cord together. So I'm now offering it to you at what is hopefully a more manageable price, $375. More pieces are in the works!
A luminous old shell button from the highlands of Central Asia graces this necklace with its gentle presence...a cooling synergy of pearls, brass, shell and antiqued brass for hot summer days
Last but not least for today, the moon follows the sun! Enjoy...
Tiny halves of a sparkling geode are suspended from hammered and wrapped sterling silver wire...pure desert magic
Aren't these geodes amazing?
Lovely, sun-warmed desert beauty...a talisman necklace with ancient and antique elements that glow with the light of the sun, suspended from a hand stitched deer hide cord
Here is the latest, a perfect bundle of talismans for summer days...
More to come!
A new take on an ancient amulet necklace in shades of sage, copper and silver
Here, finally, is the new necklace I have been promising. This is a new style I'm trying out, another way to make a multi-talisman piece, with each one attached to a link in a sterling silver chain. The piece's title is in honor of the stunning landscape I drove through in northwestern New Mexico yesterday. Abundant snow and rain this year have given us a spectacular spring and the sage was as verdant as I have ever seen it, from horizon to horizon.
I have to apologize for my absences lately; I have been dealing with personal issues and major home repairs simultaneously and my attention has been divided...and distracted. But I am working whenever I can so keep checking back for new items!
Chaco Canyon was my destination yesterday. I drove out there with a friend of mine, not for the usual visit but to make prayers and offerings in support of the land...incredibly, it is currently endangered by fracking. If you know anything about Chaco you understand that doing so would desecrate the greatest archaeological site in the country, a National Park and World Heritage Site, which is ancestral sacred land to many Native tribes. Furthermore, the area is home to many Navajo who only wish to live and work on the land in peace and good health. If you are interested in learning more, here are some sites you might find helpful. Please sign their petitions if you are so inclined; every voice counts.
A substantial sterling silver cuff, textured like the raw desert landscape, set with two large cabochons held with heavy sterling prongs.
I did decide to list this bracelet after all, and here it is! I realized that what I needed to keep was the visual information and I am also confident that it will hold up just fine to normal wear. This may be my favorite piece of jewelry so far. I love everything about it.
This morning a severe storm came through as I was doing yoga to try and help my lower back, which I seem to have done something to, and rain and hail soaked the new studio carpet as well as our bedroom. I spent the rest of the morning standing on towels to absorb as much water as possible and moving furniture out of the studio, all while keeping a nervous eye on the sky. The problem is our aging, leaky windows and deteriorating exterior stucco and I can no longer ignore the fact that they both need to be replaced. This is going to mean a major work disruption but they simply have to be done, first the windows, then the stucco. I don't know the timetable yet, but will keep on working as best I can in the meantime.
So even with all the chaos I have almost finished the fiery Goddess Spirit Beads and if possible I will list them tomorrow...we'll see what the weather brings and if the window estimate allows me the time.
Never a dull moment!
Like an antique Native American ornament, only straight out the desert Dreaming...an assemblage of beaded buffalo hide, tattered fabric, fire-scarred silver and more
Here's my latest offering from the desert Dreaming...
So here's that cuff I've been going on about, the one with the cracked stone. It is all heavy sterling with a matte picture jasper (foreground) and a fossil tree fern cab behind it, both Gary B. Wilson stones. I am extremely happy with the way it turned out; it's getting to the core of the Desert Primitive aesthetic I've been reaching towards for some time now. I took my time with all of the elements and ensured that they're all balanced and integrated. For years now I've been looking at stone and primitive ceramic surfaces, in particular those Anagama-fired pieces with the fly ash deposits and deeply encrusted surfaces. This is finally getting there.
The only flaw is that I should have used heavier silver in the backing for the stone's bezels. I was afraid it would make an already heavy bracelet even heavier, but the price I paid was having the picture jasper crack between the tab and opposite side. I've repaired it according to a professional recommendation and it looks and feels fine, but I am a bit leery of selling this piece due to the potential for further breakage.
If I were to put it up for sale it would be well over $500...there's a lot of time and heavy silver in it. But the truth is I have become attached to it and want to hang onto it for a while to use as a touchstone for further pieces...and they will come. I would love to hear any feedback you might have and if a piece like this would interest you.
Today I worked on carving some new desert Archaic style petroglyph stamps for my boxes and so on. I looked at the DIY rubber stamp kits and they seemed very high-tech and toxic to me, but one day at the art supply I stumbled on some rubbery printing block material that you can carve, and have been having luck with that, and it may last longer that those jelly-like clear rubber stamps. You've probably already seen the first ones, the large and small spirals. I've pulled out my rock art books--must have two dozen of them now--and am finding a lot of ideas.
More to come...I'm off to work on a new listing...
The deep texture of canyon country sandstone was my touchstone for this primitive silver cuff adorned with a single turquoise
Here's that cuff I promised you. Its larger sister is still waiting for me to go into town to get the fracture repair compound so I can (hopefully) fix the cracked stone. Then we will see!
This week is all about teaching, it seems. My son asked me to start giving him formal drawing lessons, and tomorrow I am teaching a workshop on crystal grids, which I've been preparing for yesterday and today. This weekend we will be going down to White Sands for our annual walkabout, a much-anticipated trip. I'm bringing metal clay with me for direct-impression elements out in the dunes.
In the studio over the weekend I spent two intensive days making a fantastic primitive sterling cuff with two set stones, but managed to crack one of them in the very last stages of refining the patina. It figures. That's the nature of jewelry making! Next week I'll try to repair the stone and if that goes well, I may list the cuff...that is, if I can bring myself to part with it. More metalwork is on the way, regardless.
Desert Blessings, Dawn
An amazing section of pyritized ammonite has been cut to reveal inner chambers sparkling with drusy crystals. Set into a primitive silver ring, this is a truly unforgettable piece
A delicately-chambered fossil ammonite graces a strand studded with many ancient desert-hued beads.
There's a theme going today with these new ammonite talismans! Over in my Etsy shop, I've also listed a meteorite ring...check it out! More metal work to come...
Sparkling quartz shot through with desert sunlight...a warm-hearted necklace to celebrate the return of warmer days
I was a little under the weather yesterday so this is a day late...another necklace is on the way, this one with an ammonite pendant, and then this week I think it's time to get the metalworking gear out and set some stones!
A most unusual 108 bead mala made with hundreds of pearls, with boulder opal and ancient beads. Fully convertible, it can be doubled or worn without the pendant.
Today I have this unusual mala here, and another more traditional one just listed in my Etsy shop. A new set of Spirit Beads is going to appear there next...enjoy!
A smaller, lighter strand of Spirit Beads that is designed for wearing...desert earth abstractions and textures to quiet the mind and soothe the soul
My favorite style of Spirit Beads, this set is a sister to my own personal strand.
My first Spirit Beads necklace in a long time is here and I love the way it turned out! The link is below, along with that antique spindle whorl necklace I've been promising you for a long time. Tomorrow I am away from the studio worktable...meeting friends for spiritual work and planning a workshop on crystal grids I am giving in April...and someone has to do the grocery shopping eventually...but I will be back to it by the weekend! What's next, only Spirit knows.
A set of Spirit Beads for meditation and prayer, created as a beautiful necklace with many ancient and unusual beads.
A beautiful, feminine necklace featuring one of the most ancient tools used by women throughout time, brought together with ancient beads from around the world.
A luminous set of prayer beads, suffused with golden light
These are just beautiful, and it is so important to stay centered nowadays. Prayer beads are a great way to do that and to remember the spiritual in daily life. Even if you don't go for a large set like this, a small set or talisman can be a great support. Over 10 years ago I came upon a small book called "A String and A Prayer" by Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon. It was about prayer beads that weren't attached to any religious tradition, called contemporary prayer beads. You chose what they represented yourself, and the book detailed several ways to make them. I was enthralled...I loved all religious prayer beads but had always wanted something of my "own", to reflect the spirit in the landscape and beyond. I started making them and as you can see I still do today. I encourage everyone to find a copy of this book and try making your own! These beads are such good medicine.
Rich brown fragments of fossil ivory are suspended with a silver yucca pod amulet on a graduated strand of fine seed beads
I've returned from a wonderful but grueling, trip and am slowly returning to work...here's the fossil ivory talisman pendant as promised. I'm going to start working on the Spirit Beads listing next, and will likely list them tomorrow. Also in the works is a short recap of my recent adventures...stay tuned.