Unyielding

Unyielding.  Fixed.  Staunch.  Pertinacious.  Unmovable.  Merciless.  Adamant.  Relentless.  Determined.

But first, let me tell you the story in its fullness.

We were in Arizona hunting Mearn’s quail under the exquisite sky islands and Tater Tot was working brilliantly despite the heat of the day.  We crested a drainage and I could tell he was on scent so I hurried my pace more, shifted my shotgun and did my best to keep up with him.  He began to slow, taking halting steps, doing the thing pointers do when they test their prey and calculate, step by step, how close they can pinpoint a bird without busting it.  I was watching him closely as I followed him into what I thought was a sort of meadow, thickly carpeted terrain with a funny looking sort of grass.  On my third step into this strange flora, I realized I was not walking through grass.  Through the double layering of my brush pants I was being stabbed in a hundred different directions by a tiny forest of mini-yucca (Latin name unknown).  Suffering succotash, it hurt.  I took a moment to glance down before I lifted my eyes to my dog who was now locked up on a hard point.  Something Robert taught me years ago is come hell or high water, you honor your dogs work by following up on every single point.  To not do so is a betrayal.  So I kept on walking through that yucca patch, each step as agonizing as the next, and soon enough I reached my dog, flushed the quail, did some shooting and fetching and once all the action was over with, I turned and walked through that yucca forest again to safe ground.  On the way to safety, I stopped and snapped off a stalk of yucca blooms that had turned to seed pods, saying to myself, “This experience and these pods will make lovely earrings some day.”

I’ve always admired the yucca.  We tend to spend my birthday in Arizona or New Mexico on a camping and hunting trip in the month of February most years.  One year I told Robbie all I wanted for my birthday was a flawlessly beautiful yucca spike specimen with not a pod missing.  We spent days looking for the perfect one and I had it on display in my living room for years until we left Pocatello and I had to downsize my collection of curios.  I like the yucca against the gloaming in the wide open territory of the high desert — it’s high desert punk and I’ve always been a little counter culture in my own way.  I like the way the plant is beautiful but fierce.  I like those tenacious blooms that persevere in all manner of wind and weather.  When I look at the yucca, the words I began this prose with come to mind: unyielding, fixed, staunch, pertinacious, unmovable, merciless, adamant, relentless, determined.  When I passed through the unassuming forest of deadly yucca on that fine day when I chose not to quit on my dog, I was all of those things, too.

Now you know the true story behind the work.

I’ve been building these beautiful yucca earrings of mixed metals and man, are they wildly elegant.  As they move and sway and shimmy they whisper out the word UNYIELDING so that you might be reminded to remain staunch of soul no matter the task at hand.

…just clearing the last of the projects from 2017 off the bench.

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2018/01/09/13509/

Winterscapes

I am stocking my shop shelves on October 28 at 7PM (mountain time zone).  I have eight rings, five pairs of earrings and a handful of bead strands ready to go out into the wide world.  I hope to see your shining faces there!

XX

Winterscapes

Look at these Lilliputian winterscapes frozen in dendritic opal!  Dendritic agates and opals have been a favorite stone of mine for years, for obvious reasons — they’re magical.  These stones have lovely depth and dimension to them.  I’ve set them simply in flawless, heavy sterling with 23K gold orbits.  I have six more on deck for completion and I’ll try to list a few of them in my shop next week for you.

Berry Stained Fingertips

Fabricated ferns, cast New Mexico jackrabbit vertebra, satin polished Snake River rock and cobalto calcite druzy (cut with my rock saw and polished on my lapidary wheel — feels good to be using those tools again), one of my SOS nuggets and a trail of soapy finish, natural rubies.  I call this color palate “berry stained fingertips” and I’m sure you find it appropriate!

Organic elation!  The seen, the unseen, the living and the dead and the cycles in-between!

I’m so glad I had one of these in me this week.  I started this fern and bone series over a year ago and each one has been such a joy to create and a beautiful truth to build.

Thank you to Idaho and New Mexico for making this piece possible.  My lands of love.  My inspirations.  My greatest gifts of place.

+OF THE WEST+