March 25, 2015

SNAG pin-swap brooch: Polymer, colored pencil,
copper, nickel scatter pin
After a long hiatus from blog updates, I'm going to try and challenge myself to post more regularly. To be honest, it's hard to think about sitting down and writing when I get home from work — where I'm sitting down and writing most of the day. Most days, my head is so fried by the time I get home that I do what I can to turn it off a bit. And, given the choice between sitting in front of the computer for even longer or hopping into the studio, I more often choose the studio. And, come on, none of you would blame me for that!

Given that my last post was back in 2013, I've got a bit of catching up to do. Actually, instead of catching up on what I have done, I'm going to use this as a forum in which to show/talk about/explain what I am doing. And it might not always be pretty. You've been warned! I've struggled for a while with staying in the moment rather than focusing on the past, and I hope this blog will help me keep my eye on the present.

But before I dive into what's currently going on in my work/jewelry world, I want to mention a bit about what I've been fighting against (or for) since 2013. The past couple of years have been a whirlwind of heartbreaking events, including the deaths of both my grandfather and younger brother (who knows, I may write more about them later), and it's been a constant struggle for me to just get through the day, much less create major concept-driven work. Although I've been consistently making and working in the studio, it hasn't been easy. Nor has it been all that satisfying, if I'm being truly honest with myself.  I have not had to deal with death often in my life, and trying to handle two in a single year has proven to be something more difficult than I could ever imagine. I know I need to create to feel sane. To get my hands dirty. To fully focus my attention on something physical. To distract myself. And the tactic of (sometimes) dragging myself to the studio and just working has been a great therapy. Maybe it's like the gym...getting ready and walking out the door is the hardest part, but once you're there, you feel great. My life since 2013 has been a struggle in trying to maintain  some semblance of normalcy, but at the same time realizing how important it is to focus on the present and not dwell on the past or what may or may not happen. Am I succeeding at this? Definitely not. But am I trying? Absolutely. And making jewelry is a big part of that.

SNAG pin-swap brooch: Polymer, colored pencil, copper,
nickel scatter pin
But now, back to the present! One thing I'm working on right now is a series of polymer and copper brooches exclusively for the SNAG pin swap. I'm heading to SNAG in a couple of months (it's in Boston this year) to represent Art Jewelry magazine, as I did last year, but this time I'm bringing pins. At every conference is a pin swap on the first night. Folks make as many pins as they want to trade, and everyone gathers to chat, drink, eat, and trade brooches. This year, I'm not making very many pins, so I am going to be selective in my swaps. So if you want to trade, let me know! These are a few of the pins I've made so far. They're each about 1 1/2 in. tall, give or take a bit. The central portion is gray (or a pastel color) polymer colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. The pencil is sealed, and then I tab-set the polymer in a hand-sawn, filed, sanded, and patinated copper backplate with a nickel scatter pin on the back. Each piece is signed and dated.

I'm really looking forward to SNAG this's become a reunion of sorts for friends I've known for many, many years and friends I've only met (or "met" online). For one crazy week it's like the outside world disappears and all there is to think about is makers, metal, everything non-metal, jewelry, craft, networking, friendship development, deep discussions of the field over drinks, spur-of-the-moment excursions and dinners, laughter, excitement, and more. And this year, I'm bringing pins!

P.S. Thanks to Anne Havel for putting the bug in my ear and spurring me on to get going on the pins. Can't wait to trade with you!

1 comment:

  1. I, for one am glad to see you back in the saddle again with your blog, always interesting goodies, as you know having recently posted these pin stages on my ART Peeps group & page. Love them. As for your year's sadness, let it be a catapult to make art. I know some of what you're going through with the loss of my 94 yr. old Mom & 73 yr. old sister within 6 months of each other. Some days I walk through hour by hour, but they would not want me to give up, so I say to you...keep on, keeping on. I look forward to all future posts of yours!