Aspiring To Grow
Photo by ~ Daniel Krucoff

Hello September! I can’t help but wonder how this month got here so fast, yet it did. Over the summer months, I worked on Treescapes quite a bit. I’m still working on more in that series, including some earrings!  Stay tuned for those in another post.

This pendant is one I finished during the summer.  The top stone is a Willow Creek Jasper;  the bottom, a Porcelain Jasper.  I love the subtle way the colors of both stones compliment each other.  Of course, I see mountains in both, do you?   The top has a large mountain in the foreground.  The bottom, well, it has lots going on.  A bit of a turbulent sky that dwarfs the deep purple, burgundy mountains in the distance.  No, I didn’t really see any trees in either of these, yet I  felt that I wanted to include some in the setting.  I did another variation of the Oriental look that Treescapes tend to have.  It took several experiments to come up with not only the right look for the component that allows the top and bottom sections to join, but one that allowed for the movement of the piece as it is worn.

The construction of this piece, as I think with most, helped me to grow as a metalsmith.  Ultimately, the final components came together easily and contribute to a simple, elegant look in my mind.  Yet, the journey to get there, well, that took a number of tries….including one of my tried and true….just back away from the workbench Kathleen and close the door….everything will be waiting for you when you return….you need a break.

My philosophy is don’t be afraid to try.  That’s how we learn.  Yet there are those days when nothing is going right.  Melted bezels, fire scale on the metal, your hands are just not responsive and you feel like you are all thumbs.  It’s those times when I have found it is best to just back away and come back later.  Progress isn’t going to come, generally, when things are not going well for me in the studio.  It’s something I learned early when I was sewing.  Some days, no matter how hard I would try, I just couldn’t sew a straight line!  I have found many similarities between my time sewing or working with glass and metalsmithing.  In each situation, it’s best to come back with a clear head and rested body when frustration is mounting and things are not going well.

As I looked at this piece, I thought about what I learned in the process of making it and realized it should be called Aspiring To Grow.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and person.