Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Amulet for Christmas...

Me: "Would you like Mommy to make you something for Christmas? " 
Little 4 year old me: "An Amulet."
Me: "An Amulet? You're speaking my language girl!  But you'll have to help me."

 We got started right away.  First we decided on the design.
 We played with gemstones and chose our favorites.  
 We tried our resin cabochon over many princesses. 

 And now, we have an Amulet fit for a princess.  The final polishing will have to wait until after Christmas.  She hasn't seen the finished product yet...it will be wrapped under the tree.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grandma Ginny's Traveling Daisies

One question that I am often asked is what inspires me when I’m designing jewelry.  Because I’m just starting out in the world of metalsmithing, inspiration is often found in simply messing around with hammers and tools just to see what happens if I do this, or bend this thing like that, or by smashing, twisting, and melting metal for fun just to see what will happen.  And sometimes I get lucky when a mistake happens to turn out better than the originally planned project, and that can send my brain into many
creative directions.

 Inspiration can really come from anywhere, but lately, most of my inspiration comes from simply sitting in my garden and looking around at the many little treasures to be found.  Sometimes it’s the color and shape of a stone, the pattern in a leaf, the excitement of a single persimmon growing on a tree that has never before borne fruit.  There is always something special to be found in the garden.  This time, inspiration came in the form of Grandma Ginny’s traveling daisies.

 My second Mommy, Grandma Ginny, was a painter.  I have fond memories of backyard parties, park picnics, or visit-grandma-in-her-studio days.  Happy sun speckled memories of us kids cartwheeling, hoola-hooping and roller skating while Grandma Ginny sat at her easel, paint brush in hand bringing the blooming spring garden, a view from her house of the San Francisco skyline, or a bowl of bright orange persimmons to life on her canvas.  Her paintings are vibrant, full of life, thoughtful, and every bit as lovely as she was.  She also loved to garden, and loved her flowers almost as much as the deer in her backyard loved to eat them.  She planted huge white daisies right off of her back porch because she said she liked to look at them when she walked out into her yard.

After she passed away, my parents pulled up a little piece of her happy white daisies, taking care to preserve the roots, and planted it in their garden as a nice way to remember her.  It thrived.  Since then my parents have moved two times, each time taking pieces of the daisies with them to their new home and leaving some daisies behind.  When I moved to Maryland, my dad sent me a tiny little daisy with enough roots to get it started.  I dug a little hole and planted the daisy and gave it a drink of water….and then I forgot about it…oops!  Well, apparently daisies are easy to grow because without much help from me the daisy grew and grew and multiplied and flourished.  Since moving back to California, we have lived in 2 houses and each time I planted tiny offshutes from Grandma Ginny’s original daisy planted by her over 30 years ago.  Thankfully, I'm now much more in tune with my inner green thumb and no longer forget to care for my plants!

I was inspired by the curved and elongated shape of the daisy petals.  The way the yellow center next to the white makes the petals look even whiter and creates an effect where light appears to dance around (a painting tip I just learned from my dad who is also a painter).  I was inspired by the happiness I feel when I see the daisies bloom, and of course by Grandma Ginny.