HOWDY

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I had the funniest postcard arrive in my mailbox last week and it prompted me to make something fun-loving for you poodles to write your missives on so here’s a new postcard pack for you.  It features five cards of a single image I took while on a shoot in Northern Washington last summer — a white horse, after sunset, taking a break from grazing to shake the flies…and the word HOWDY, which is my favorite way to greet friends and strangers alike.

Send one to  your five favorite pals, keep the world smiling, keep the mailboxes happy, keep snail mail alive!

I have a limited amount of these cuties so when they’re gone, they’re gone.  Have a great weekend everyone!

XX

I tend to work in wide arcs, which is to say, sometimes I start something, set it aside and then come back to it weeks, months or years later so that my own life, as it were, has seasons of its own — so that there is a winter, spring, summer and autumn to my creative work.  I used to think I wasn’t seeing design ideas through to their conclusion, that a design series needed to have a clear beginning and end, that once I felt finished, I’d probably never return to an idea again.  But that’s not how the seasons work in the natural world!  They come around again and again, blending with each other so that we cannot truly say when winter ends and spring begins, we can’t ever say when exactly summer will slip into autumn, and it varies every year!  I’ve stopped fighting myself in the studio in the past couple of years of my life.  I’ve let go of the idea that there’s a right way to do this, that I must have a clear conclusion to every series I start.  In fact, I want to set things down, start something new, and then find myself on a return orbit to that original idea.  I want to explore and then re-explore and allow for cyclical wandering.  It seems right to me.

While I’m on the topic of rhythms I want to mention I’m not sure I’d be aware of my creative rhythm if I were not so hyper-aware of the seasons and I think the things that have bound me so tightly to the seasons and created a strong comprehension of life rhythms in me is our hunting seasons as well as my gardening and growing (and preserving) season — the general things we do around here to survive.  In short, I’m not sure there’s anything that can restore natural rhythms in our bodies as well as being connected to and responsible for the growing, hunting or raising of our food.  Once we find ourselves busy doing this honest work, everything else seems to fall into place and even our circadian rhythms benefit from a simple obedience to the seasons.  We wind up for summer and then wind down again for winter.  Resting and living like the bears do.  We are mammals, after all.  Perhaps that’s too simple an outlook on life but…perhaps it’s not?  The harder I work at surviving simply, the more I slow down, the happier I feel.  But I digress, I meant to talk about jewelry in this post.

 The foundation for the pieces I am making this week is the original “Glitz Ring” I made in February of 2010.  This series has come and gone in my studio numerous times, incarnated again and again with fresh  inflections, in new arrangements, with ever evolving botanical motifs, under the guises of new names, but some things about it have never changed.  The design always holds a stone that is flanked with a flock of dimensional, hammer formed (usually anticlastic) and highly textured leaves and sterling granules.  It only seems right to come around to it again this spring, renewing the design in a way that matches the freshness of the landscape here.  I’ve taken this leaf form loosely from the first sprigs of green growth I’ve seen on the river, right down by the water edge in the shadow of the canyon wall where the snows have yet to melt.  There, in the cold and wind, something new is brewing and it looks like this:

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I’m holding these pieces for an official shop update in the next week and a half or so — I’ll be more specific about the date and time in the days to come.  For now, I don’t want to stop to deal with listings and photography and logistics.  It’s so nice to be working on a batch of one-of-a-kinds again — it feels like being touched by the sun.

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/03/08/12686/

Leafing Out

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I just finished the first of a new ring batch.  I always love the first ring of a series or a specific motif — it’s the one that I spend the most time on, working out kinks, figuring out how I want pieces formed or arranged or layered.  For that reason, I always think the first completed piece of a broader series has the most energy to it…and if you think about it, it makes sense.  Often, the metal has been struck more, touched more, filed more, pushed and pulled more, heated more, cooled more — generally worked over more in every aspect.  I’ve written before about how I believe and know (it’s scientific) that we imbue our very heartbeats into the molecular structures (man made and naturally occuring) that surround us every single moment we are alive so that we leave a kind of impression on an atomic level long after we are dead and gone and turning into mountains and wildflowers.

So you see, it’s always the first piece of a few that holds the most of me.  There’s kind of something beautiful about that.

This specific ring is built of sterling silver, 23K gold and chrysoprase (this is one of my favorite stone and metal combos).  Totally luminous, fresh and dimensional.

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as if coin by coin

into the land

the wind

the fire of the sun descending.

The only way I can see to grow is to

throw my roots down deep into the loam

align my fate with the fate of the deer

elk

and sage hen.

I hope I leave my own trail of treasures

a tuft of fur on barbed wire

a lost flight feather gripped by the bitterbrush

the glow of my eyes in a pair of headlights.

I left pavement years ago

preferring the meandering hare trails

the prowling habits the coyotes press (step by step) into the river bank in the early evening light

the wide open arms of this hard territory.

My song turns orchestral, a blend of

bug wings humming

dying rabbit

meadowlark

shedding snake skin

sleet on spring creek

howl

and the rock off the point at echo canyon that giggles like a baby in the river current.

I feel the basalt bite at my boot soles

I squint against the light of the bunch grass glowing

we head further in

carried like seeds

on a wind of change.

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/03/03/12659/

Grand Finale

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This is the final batch of my Come Home Necklaces in sterling and lapis lazuli — they’ll be in the shop this evening at 7PM (mountain time zone).  Thanks to everyone who claimed an iteration of this motif over the past two years, you made this design a wild success and I’ll retire it with gladness in my heart knowing so many of you are out there enjoying it.

As an extra thanks, I am giving away one of these necklaces over on my Instagram account if you’d like to enter your name in the drawing for it, please proceed to that space.

XX