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Remember Beauty Everywhere

Remember Beauty Everywhere

Today I walked the circle driveway of my farmhouse, round and round, round and round. I do this most days. It was particularly vibrant today, so alive. The sun glistening, the soft pine needles underfoot the cool air kissing the skin of my face. 

The walking helps the ideas land. I think clearer, breath deeper and can start to visualize what I want to make that day in the studio, a flash of something in my memory turning the cogs a spin, seeing it come forth step by step in my minds eye.

It’s a mystery really, one that actually requires a turning off of the thinking mind. Where the heart opens and joy is a propulsive, inescapable force. But effortless, I know I’m there because I can sense the dropping away and the showing back up. The mind now alight and free. No technical obstacle insurmountable. All lanes open. 

This was particularly so today. I had recently sketched a series of pendants I want to complete as a group. But for some reason I just wanted to work on a cuff bracelet. I’ve been so excited about these fantastic direct casting of tree lichens. They are so delicate and lacy and precious. I’ve made a few pieces with them already. So I sat down and made the work.

Over the past few years I have been allowing myself to literally make whatever stikes me. Not thinking about practicality or wearability (well somewhat) or price point or anything other than….what is it that you’d like to make today ? Trusting that the time is well spent.

  

It’s fascinating what has emerged with this broad creative freedom I’m finally allowing myself. This is how I’d started. Just making whatever rose up in my minds eye. But now I realize that building a business, systems of management and marketing and administration along with raising two active children had put a damper on this creative freedom.

  

Now I have reliable help and great support systems. I’ve allowed the mystery of creation its rightful place in my day to day. Sometimes I resist it. I want to run in the direction of task accomplishing, but I cannot hide. It’s a force irresistible.

  

When I needed to write a statement about these new pieces, this is what I came up with.

“My work explores avenues to presence, the endless details in the natural world that surround us and the inevitable reverence that rises in the face of beauty. I utilize many materials including precious and non precious metals, resin, and found natural objects to execute the pieces. My deepest desire is for the work to reflect this observed beauty and evoke deep remembering.”

It all starts with a good walk, willingness to surrender and remembering beauty everywhere.

  

Have Art, Will Travel (…and set up my tent, rain or shine, and hang out in there for 3 days)

Have Art, Will Travel (…and set up my tent, rain or shine, and hang out in there for 3 days)

It’s an unavoidable, at times frustrating and yet always inspiring aspect of a life as a jewelry artisan. Arts Festivals are vital and traveling the show circuit is a fascinating way to get to know a place, its people and my fellow Artists on the road.

First it’s the most effective way to sell my work to my customers. Second, even during a particularly challenging event, often a weather related calamity, something memorable always happens. Third, I LOVE to travel. I love the anticipation, the adventure and the stimulation that comes from seeing and experiencing, the new.

Compounded with the drive in studio to make the next piece or build the next collection for my customers this makes for the excruciating, slightly addictive vortex of pressure that constantly asks me to reach and explore as an artist. Oh yea, I can’t forget, this is how I make my living and support my family, that’s a very powerful driver too. So many of the inspirations and ideas for new designs are born in the booth, or the drive home. Most recently, I had two in a row, a difficult but formidable feat. 

First Rhinebeck Arts Festival in upstate New York. The drive from Frederick, Maryland to upstate New York was just stunning, with the leaves turning. I stayed with a dear friend and fellow fiber artist Sonya Mackintosh. Our friendship began when set up across the aisle at a show in a New York City Armory 16 years ago. She is a talented designer, an amazing businesswoman and someone I consider a true friend. I stayed in her lovely home, we cooked delicious food and most importantly we caught up on each other’s lives.


Here’s a link to her site, her scarves are divine www.smartworks.com plus a photo of the view from her guest room window! Not a bad way to wake up every day Sonya!

   

Most memorable sale in Rhinebeck?

This sweet man did the ole’ “wrap it up quick” secret return to the booth after watching his lovely wife try on this Petal Necklace. It was a fabulous surprise for her and fortunately they sent me a photo. If you’re ever in Woodstock stop by his mountain bike shop! He’s fabulous. Hope she doesn’t wear it on a 80 mile bike trip!

http://www.overlookmountainbikes.com/about.php 

After Rhinebeck I headed to Louisville for the first time.

   

The St James Court Art Festival was celebrating its 54th year! One of the largest outdoor arts festival in the country, it takes place in historic St James Court and Belgravia District surrounded by the stately Victorian homes of Old Louisville. After set up on Thursday I had the opportunity to take in this lovely artsy city. I even picked up some bats for my sons at the Louisville Slugger factory!

My Favorite sale was to a young college student that returned to the booth to purchase the necklace his sweetheart had admired the day before. They grew up together as neighbors then fell in love in high school and are now still deeply in love as college students. He was taking her out to Ruth Chris Steakhouse to celebrate their anniversary that night and wanted to surprise her, I gave him a little discount. They too shared a photo of the moment! What a dear couple.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Nana and Granddaddy Krantz are a huge part of what make this all possible for me, in ways too many to count. I am especially grateful for the special time they spend together with my Zach and Ryan when I’m on the road. Their relationship is a true blessing. As for my parent’s unrelenting support of me, well that’s priceless.

 

See you on the road!

For our show schedule click on the "Shows" tab at the top of our website.

Jewelry Means What It Means

Jewelry Means What It Means

When I dropped out of graduate school half way toward my Master’s Degree to pursue a career as an independent jewelry artisan I was deeply torn. Was I no longer going to serve others or worse was I being selfish to pursue self-expression over a career as a Social Worker? Fifteen years later I can say with confidence it was the right decision. I realize now I do serve others in a ways I couldn’t have imagined. Here are a few recent stories that stand out...

 

This past summer my Aunt Marti remarried in a loved filled ceremony. She had lost her husband eight years prior to cancer and has been blessed twice with Love. A year before they had asked me to make their wedding bands. They requested a simple matching carved leaf design. They were a joy to make. When I truly arrive and focus at my jeweler’s bench it is a deeply fulfilling mediation I’d never describe as “work”. It was during the ceremony when I witnessed the rings consecrated and rise to symbols of cherishing Love and enduring partnership that I was moved to tears.

 


This young bride sent a hand written note with a gorgeous photograph of her on her wedding day. She is simply stunning.

 

An interracial couple celebrating their wedding anniversary and honoring the Love that dissolved the early disapproval that surrounded them were asked to sit for a photo shoot for a New York Times article. She chose to wear the piece he purchased for her during the Philadelphia Flower Show. It suits her perfectly. It’s beautiful on her. They are beautiful.

 

This spring after two years of holding onto our InBloom business card with a description scribbled on the back a proud grandmother ordered a special bracelet as a graduation gift for granddaughter. She was heading to Notre Dame on full scholarship as an academic scholar and a Pole Vaulter! What an unusual combination. She sent me photographs of her and a link to her very moving graduation speech.

 


My fellow jewelry artist and friend Chrissy Gemmill requested a donation of special pieces for an Autism Awareness auction in honor of her son Marcus. It was awesome to be included in this event and brought me even closer to a dear friend that I admire.

There is no doubt in my mind that this life path is service. It is my job to sit at my bench and fully arrive in heart, mind and body then make something beautiful. What meaning is ascribed to all those pieces I’ll never know but makes my heart full to think of them out there.

Jewelry means what it means to the giver, the wearer and even those that surround them. I wish I knew all the stories of the pieces that we sell.  If you have one please send it to me because it keeps me going when things get challenging.