Tag Archives: handmade jewelry

Happy 2012 to Friends, Neighbors and Metalsmiths Everywhere!

“CC Electro” Custom Logo Brooch with Black Pearl

It’s January 9, and this is my first post for 2012. Huzzah! It’s been a whirlwind fall and wonderful early winter, and I cannot thank my friends, family, clients and fellow metalsmiths enough. This summer was a difficult one for many reasons, but the past few months have more than made up for it. My faith in my ability to stay on this creative path has been renewed, and the New Year has served to energize me with enthusiasm that is fairly crackling!
Specifically, my dream journal is full words that have been translated into meanings, and meanings are translated into imagery. The birth of a new line, even a new direction in my work, might be taking place. Who knows where this will lead?
In 2012, I hope you are full of renewed enthusiasm as well, and inspired to rededicate yourself to your dreams, whatever they may be. I wish you peace, health, and all the energy you need to follow your path.
Please keep in touch, share your journey. Comments are welcome. That is what blogging is about!

Nancy Lee Video


The holiday season is an important time for retailers, a time that can make the difference between a profit or loss for the year.
The same is true for local, small businesses and a new website is designed to make it easier to find and support them.
Tucked away in a tiny workshop, Nancy Lee sees the beauty in scrap pieces of copper, aluminum, clock gears – even bullets.
“I’ve been doing all sorts of arts and crafts since I was really a little, little girl,” said Lee. “I even did a beautiful woven necklace with played violin strings.”
She pounds and saws away, making pieces that rival those in the finest, big name jewelry stores and even has a little gallery. But she sure doesn’t rival big name advertising budgets.
“I would love to be able to be located by people who are looking for handmade works,” she said.
So she made a profile on Thumbtack.com. The name for Thumbtack came from the way people advertise offline. The founders wanted to build an online bulletin board, where anyone can thumbtack their service.
It is not a new idea, but the founders in San Francisco say they separate themselves by including only businesses that have chosen to sign up, letting you say what service you need, getting several local bids within 24 hours and putting each service through a 12-step verification process.
“That makes me feel good that I am amongst other people who have also been verified, so that kind of raises everyone up,” Lee said.
There are 2,000 Indianapolis businesses on Thumbtack so far, of all kinds. You can even hire a Santa Claus if you need one.
A local personal shopper and moving company listed on the site say they just wish more people knew about it. You can search Thumbtack for free, but businesses have to sign up to be a part of it and it can cost them to be part of the bidding process.

The mystery in art

For the past two days mist, fog, and occasionally, rain, has dampened my parched world. Last night, as my significant, Wug, and I were driving back from the Indianapolis Museum of Art to our downtown abode, we observed the city skyline shrouded in mist. Nearly invisible now, we both knew what they skyline normally looked like. Tall skinny buildings with blinking lights, glued shoulder-to-shoulder with their shorter, broad-chested brothers, sparkling lights beckoning us home after sunset. But last night, a veil of heavy mist left only faint, glowing smudges to lead us back where we belonged. Same city, different view.

Jazzman II, watercolor by Roderik Mayne

This morning, I received an email from artist Robert Genn, who sends out a lovely email twice a week to inspire painters. His words of insight and encouragement mean something to me. Today’s message resonated with me, and perhaps it will with you, too. Here it is:

Dear Nancy,
Recently, watercolorist Roderik Mayne of Toronto, Ontario wrote, “What do you mean when you talk about putting mystery in your work?”

Thanks, Roderik. I’m walking along a strange forest path. Others are with me–some fall back and some join later. We hear animals in the forest but cannot see them. We come upon surprises of incredible beauty that we can’t explain. Some are quite in focus and others are not. Always something is just ahead that we can’t quite get to. As we move forward, whatever it is moves forward also but we never can fully touch it.
If you’re still with me and you don’t think I’m losing it, and if you catch my drift, describing aspects of life is part of the artist’s job. Let me explain:
The path is also the road, stream, river, etc. Few of us have a straight one that leads directly to a big something. More in tune with the human experience is the curving, bumping-up-and-down path that disappears around a corner, over a hill or into a valley. This path winds and beguiles and serves a deep human need. It takes you some distance into the enigma.
The incompletely disclosed subject can be anything: a barn, a lake, a sunset, a splodge of paint, a boy, a girl. The subject need not be fully described, delineated or even fully understood. A hidden barn, a shrouded lake, an obscured sunset, an over-painted splodge, an escaping boy, a shy girl seen only in profile or from behind–all of these tease and caress you further into the enigma.

As you move forward along the path, toward the mysterious something up ahead, the elusive subject might be for a time in focus and the surrounding area not so. This is the nature of concentration–one thing at a time. It may seem unfortunate to some, and worth remedying, but in truth we cannot fully see the whole enigma. This condition, the “specific focus phenomenon,” shows the nature of both human sight and human aspiration. The rest is blurred, fleeting, disappearing. “Suddenly,” said Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “as rare things will, it vanished.”

Best regards,
PS: “What I’m trying to translate to you is more mysterious; it is entwined in the very roots of being, in the implacable source of sensations.” (Paul Cezanne) “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” (Francis Bacon) “A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.” (Edgar Degas) “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.” (Albert Einstein)
Esoterica: You may call them devices, and in some ways they are. But they are the very bones of your paintings, sculptures, even your quilts. Similar to the plot in a story, the theme in a poem, the continuity in a movie, you need them and they need you. FYI, we’ve put a selection of Roderik Mayne’s paintings at the top of the current clickback.

Handmade Found Object Necklace, "Play Misty for Me," by Nancy Lee
Handmade Found Object Necklace, “Play Misty for Me,” by Nancy Lee

Thanks, Robert, for being a source of inspiration. And for cluing me on why art isn’t always straightforward. Why artists choose NOT make everything obvious at the outset. Why an apple doesn’t have to always look like an apple. It allows us the taste of something different, deeper, more meaningful. And it keeps us coming back to look one more time. Same object, different view.

Verified by MonsterInsights