Four bracelets featuring South Dakota Agate, four women, and four horses.
I was honored with a commission to make bracelets using agates collected by my customer during a "girls only" horseback riding trip in South Dakota's Badlands. I shaped and polished each stone according to its unique beauty with pleasing results. Still, something was missing. I wasn't "feeling" the design yet. I'd seen a photo taken during that trip and it kept coming to mind, evoking a sense of power, and of bonding. I wanted to somehow convey that feeling into the bracelets.
Etching an actual photo into sterling silver was an experimental idea that, once thought of, would not rest until I tried it. A long messy process complete with its own failures and successes followed until finally, success. I found the missing design element and bracelet construction began.
If you look closely, you can see images etched into the silver panels flanking each stone like ghost images. Bracelets depicting memories of a powerful moment shared by four women and their horses.
And one stone left over for fun earrings!
Note: discovered this 2017 draft post just today, 19th of June, 2019! Better late than never, hope you enjoy!
Spinner rings, outer band spins independently of the inner band.
When I received a request for two special spinner rings, I'd never looked closely at a spinner ring before. Thus a new learning experience began. I contacted my friend, sometimes student, sometimes partner in adventure, to let her know we had a new challenge. After much research, a little trial and error, we conquered the challenge and produced a few good looking (and spinning) rings. The phrase that kept running through my mind was "all sorts of tricky"! They turned out pretty nice, I think!
Sometimes inspiration appears in my mind's eye, unannounced. I just get a vision. On Valentines Day, 2017, that's what happened when I was on my morning walk. As soon as I returned to my studio, I rough sketched it. This isn't unusual, I have many sketches and many more partially begun projects. But this time I felt a need to begin right away and stay with it until it was finished! I already knew which stone to use, so I cut the heart that day. And here is the final result, a brooch/pendant of Confetti Agate and Sterling Silver. I call it "Song of the Heart". I hope you like it!
Though no trains have passed by here in many years, the old railroad bed remains, now an easy trail for a walk through nearby woods. Of all the places we walked together, this was perhaps his favorite. As I stayed on my easy trail, under a canopy of treetops, he went about his life’s work of keeping me safe. This he did with enthusiasm by thoroughly investigating the depths of the woods, every hollow tree, shadowy den, and tangled thicket of vines mixed with wild rosebushes. He sniffed out and chased every squirrel and other possible danger before joyfully crashing back through the woods at full speed, to check on me. Then he was off and running again. The woods were ours to explore in those happy days. With the passage of time his pace began to slow, his energy waned, but not his joy, or his purpose. Even when his steps became painful, he did not give up his mission. Now he stayed more often on the easy trail with me, still on guard, watching, sniffing, happy and intent to listen to the language of the woods.
Now his job has ended. He’s no longer on duty. His spirit is free to roam, no pain slows his pace. He’s in the breeze that whispers through the treetops. He’s in the shadows of the tangled vines in the deep woods, and the patches of dappled sunlight on my easy trail. As I listen to the language of the woods, I remember, and smile.
Harry the magnificent Giant Schnauzer died on April 15, 2016 at the age of 16 years. He is greatly missed.
Sometimes the stone has to tell its own story. My idea for setting this stone was something quite different. After some trials and tribulations with that plan, I scrapped it and listened to the stone. Then this happened. It just feels right! #wirewrap
It's been an interesting journey working on a series of pieces called "Believe", a journey that included challenges, twists, turns, and surprises, at times a study of my own beliefs, a journey of growth. I'm proud of each finished piece and honored to have been asked to make them. May they each bring peaceful encouragement to their wearers.
update 3/31/16: One of the necklaces made in this series is now part of my personal collection. The word "Believe" etched on the back has taken on a personal meaning to me, an important reminder to believe in myself. For this I am thankful!