I wanted to post a few images of some of the enamel work I’ve done in the past few weeks. Back in Idaho, there was a bit of a debate as to whether or not my kiln was coming with me to Washington this summer. I didn’t know if I wanted to travel with it or if I’d even have a place to plug it in — I didn’t want to use it in the Airstream Studio, it would make my work space terribly hot. But I knew I’d want to explore with enamel over the summer months so my kiln came with me. It was a good decision! As it stands, I’m enameling in the garage here which keeps the Airstream temperature tolerable and keeps me digging deep into color and form! Here are some of the bits and pieces I’ve been turning out:
Brave Breastplate [sterling, 23 karat gold, copper, enamel, graphite, drift wood, hand dyed/naturally dyed silk, deerskin]
Brave: Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.
I haven’t talked much about the Brave Breastplate yet, so here’s a bit about where it came from. I wanted to make a big, monumental piece of jewelry, inspired mostly by Native American jewelry but not Southwest Indian jewelry — the kind of jewelry the Cree, Chipewyan or Metis used to wear back in the day when folks were trading beads, and wearing bones, wood, animal hide and porcupine quills. Something bold and delicate, natural and textural, strung together with deer hide. My Brave Breastplate brings a bit of funk and a bit of the natural, all at once. Did I have to go this big? This whimsical? No. Not really. But when I sat down and looked at all the enameled components I had prepared I put things together until they felt right. Big, bold and beautiful is what felt right. To be honest, it takes a little courage to make something this wild and free. I pushed this piece beyond itself in order to symbolically (and literally) show no mercy to my fear.
There you have it. The Brave Breastplate: Show no mercy to your fear.