Tag Archives: bracelet

Making Hard Things Seem Easy

Did you make a resolution for the New Year? Perhaps you waited until today, January 11, 2011. (OK, by the time this is posted, it will be “yesterday”). Perhaps the numerologically mystical “1-11-11” may provide you and me with some surprises. It’s definitely gotten me thinking about 2011 being a year of creation, especially after my return from Daytona Beach, where I participated in a week-long metals workshop sponsored by the Florida Society of Goldsmiths and paid for in part though an Individual Artist’s Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.

Hello from a chilly Daytona Beach – January 2011

Are you thinking of creating something special in your life in 2011? Mystical or not, it has me thinking of creating abundance and freedom. In the past, I’ve thought abundance or wealth could only be created by struggle. This year, I already think differently, and we are only 11 days in.

Handmade Forged Copper Bracelet
Handmade Forged Copper Bracelet

My phone has rung all day long with opportunity. My emails are chock full of good stuff. All I need to do is reach out and say yes. What a great day for anyone to have! As I sat a reflected on this, I wondered, what if I haven’t even thought up some really terrifically good stuff that I want in my life? Because all that I am asking for is showing up. What a blessed challenge this could be!
And I am always interested in what’s going on in the hearts and minds of others out there. Metalsmith or not, artist or not, you are still the creator of many things, including your life. What do you want to create this year? Ask, and you just might get it.

How do you deal with mistakes? Are they to be forgotten, or learned from? An embarrassment or a journey towards an ideal? What follows is a simple story, with quotes from smart people to make it seem important.
In my practice of creating beauty, I often make mistakes. Incorrect engineering, melted components, successful joins soldered beautifully backwards. It’s part of my life as a metalsmith. Sometimes these are correctable. Other times, they are additions to the scrap bin. On occasion, certain remnants remain with me on the bench, providing companionship as the perfect piece they were supposed to become a part of is completed.
During that time, we have conversations. We wonder if something else is in store. While I ponder the piece in progress before me, I sneak glances at the castoff keeping me company. I cannot bear to get rid of these bits of memory. They seem to want a life of their own. Not merely as a melted spherical decoration on a ring or a pendant, but as the centerpiece of something truly special, something so lovely that no one would be able to guess at their past. This is what drives me to give them voice and value in this throw-away world.
In my art, there is no big political statement, religious iconography, or scream for sexual equality. Just the respectful use of the materials at hand to create an idea of beauty, its meaning left up to the viewer.  Statements simply made from the soul, crafted to last a lifetime.
That is why I decided to begin naming these special works “Soul Statements.”  There have been previous Soul Statements. But the significance of prior works has been left a mystery to their owners. Who knows – maybe you own one!
There is no way to predict how many pieces will be created within this line of work, no way to know how many will be available at any given time. The only thing that can be promised is an offering of beauty direct from the deepest part of me – a Soul Statement. The meaning is left up to you.
I humbly leave you with a favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoon quote:

How do you deal with mistakes? Are they to be forgotten, or learned from? An embarrassment or a journey towards an ideal? What follows is a simple story, with quotes from smart people to make it seem important.

BUZZ Generated on Swedish Blue Bracelet due to Etsy!

I am now a member of Esty, “Your place to buy & sell all things handmade.” It was so easy to place a few pictures of my work on the site and get started as a member. I have had several hits, but most interesting are connections made and BUZZ over the Swedish blue slag used in my Swedish blue slag cuff bracelet I call “Deep Blue Sweden “.

Deep Blue Sweden - Rare 500-year old Swedish blue slag gives it's name to this unique handmade piece
Deep Blue Sweden – Rare 500-year old Swedish blue slag gives it’s name to this unique handmade piece

The blue slag is actually 500-year old glass from Sweden that was obtained at a gem & mineral show in Indianapolis last year. I purchased five of these pieces at the time, just because they were so different a such a lovely shade of blue. Eventually, the largest piece found it’s home in Deep Blue Sweden, the bracelet was posted here and on Etsy, and a connection was made to another artist who used a piece of this glass in a creation of her own on “Jewelry Lessons by eni oken & friends”.

One comment read:

“The ‘stone’ is very beautiful, and a wonder in recycling, since that is exactly what is going on with it! Just to add a little bit to the historical aspect, It is no accident that many metal and glass works were located near one another at that time – the skilled labor used in both was somewhat interchangeable, and the glass makers of the time needed some of the ore to make the beautiful clear glass so popular among the nobility for their homes and churches.
Iron ore is usually found near quartz. ‘Slag’ from the smelting and refining process of iron is largely composed of silica, and other imperfections. Silica is the main ingredient in glass. Purified, it creates imperceptibly colored glass – The addition of other minerals gives it color, and interestingly, removes color, in certain applications. This slag must have had small amounts of cobalt, too. Cobalt is what is used to achieve a glorious blue color even today.
The 15th century (1400-1500)is the time frame that Murano and all of the Venetian glass makers first came to the fore. Pure, clear, evenly toned clear and colored glass-making was an artform then in Europe. They would not have prized this glass that formed from the refining process – due to the quick cooling, it had the striations in color, and an unusable form.

How interesting that it has lain in this state since practically moments after it was removed from the refinery – just covered over with soil and the remains of buildings. How wonderful that we prize this glass for its antiquity and accidental beauty.
Perri, http://www.shaktipajdesigns.etsy.com/”

I couldn’t have said it better, or more interestingly. What fun!

P.S. Contact me or visit my Etsy site if you are interested in owning this beautiful piece. Thanks!

Newest Work from nDesigns Metal Jewelry Studio

Deep Blue SwedenA new and different work has  emerged from the studio.
The piece on the left is a sterling silver cuff with twisted, hammered wire between two imprinted bands of sterling. What sets this piece apart is an interesting piece of 500-year old Swedish blue slag. This rare piece of glass, along with four other smaller pieces, was obtained several months ago at a local gem and mineral show. I could not resist falling into the deep blue pool of blue, with its swirls and flecks. Each piece of glass is a different size and shape. Noteworthy is that each time I create a piece, it does not last long in the studio! It seems to have a calming, almost mezmerizing  effect that draws one into it’s depths. Like it? Let me know.