Metal and Assorted Sundries


IMG_1145IMG_1127IMG_1111 IMG_1104 IMG_1103 IMG_1070IMG_1043IMG_1055IMG_1062I’ve been chipping away at a series out in the studio that is, quite naturally, fly fishing inspired.  I seem to come up with a fishy kind of series in August most years so this is not out of the ordinary for me.  You may remember this series from last summer, which continued into part of the winter and then transmogrified into the Adaptation Series.  It’s so fun to throw my hands up in the air and see where the work leads me!

The results of this new series have been delicate, robust, colorful and whimsical.  There is more to come but I’d like to get the first batch of work in the shop for you tomorrow morning so stay tuned for that!


Robert has been home!  Only for a week long visit.  It’s been a mighty good time.  I’ve been quite focused on him, as you might imagine, but also on us and working hard to heal up the tiny cracks that make their way across the surface of the heart during fire season when we are apart for long stretches.  It has been difficult for us this summer, as it is every summer, the distance has felt enormous, life has been over-full.

Rob will leave for work again tomorrow and then it will be one short month before we begin our off-season together.  We’re making plans and this winter is going to be a good one.

We were up at nearly 9000ft last night and the air was FRIGID.  Can you feel the nip of autumn in the air where you are?  September and October are magnificent months to be Idahoan.  Warm days.  Fresh nights.  The scrub maple begins to burn red in the draws on the mountain, the aspen and cottonwood grow yellow with the frosts.  It’s beautiful here and on the brink of being beautiful-er yet.  I know you can say the same.

Hang tight!  There’s more on the way.



Bog Water Be Darned

[A reminder that all broken things, even we, have a purpose and a beautiful, divine destiny: sterling silver, 23 karat gold, jade & wild bird egg shell]

Did I tell you about the beautiful little nest RW found me, months ago, while we were up at Tiffany Lake with friends?  Well.  He found a beautiful little nest in the marsh there and said, “Jillian!  I have a present for you!”  He’s just so tremendous about bringing me dead things and bones and antlers and shards of remains that he finds when he’s out hunting or away on fires.  He knows I like to honor the remaining bits in some way or another and he knows that nothing tickles me more than a handful of feathers, baby animals or chicks in nests.  He’s a woodsman and is so talented at finding these very sorts of things.  As I was saying, he  called me over to where he was standing and told me to look around very closely.  So I did.  Within seconds my eyes had located the perfect little ground nest, in a tuft of raised grass, directly above the bog water my toes were sinking into (it was terribly cold bog water, my toes were so frozen they were itchy) and I screamed.  I couldn’t help it!  The nest held four beautiful little speckled eggs and they were utter perfection.  Perfection!  I couldn’t stand it!  I folded down to my knees — bog water be darned — to take a closer look and our friend’s dog promptly ran over and squashed the nest beneath her feet (oh woe was me, I nearly cried).  Two eggs survived.  Two eggs were destroyed.  I carefully collected what I could of the broken egg shells and said aloud, “I will do something with these.

And so, now I have.

In the cleft of the rock.

[sterling silver, geode slice, jade and 23 karat gold]

[sterling silver & geode slice]

Aren’t these beautiful?  I don’t mean that in a self-promoting way.  I just mean, when I look at these necklaces, I feel like I’m looking at beauty.  Unfettered, natural, raw beauty.  Like when I wake up  on some mornings and my lips are the perfect color (plump with sleep), my hair is gently waving, my eyes are dark and glimmering, I don’t need make up and I don’t notice what clothing I put on — I just step out of bed pretty, pink, feminine and beautiful.  I’m raw.  I’m real.  I’m me.  I guess that’s what I see in these necklaces.  I love that they lack a narrative, outside of the regular stuff behind the Lichen Series I’ve been working on (for months now — I can’t get away).  The beauty of them is free-standing.  The work alone is enough.  I want more of that.


I feel like I’m traveling one thousand rivers, all at once.  The currents are zany, unpredictable, lemon scented.  The eddies are trout bearing  I am master and commander of my tiny ship.  Eventually I go to the sea.  As all things do.


Here, at the little cabin in the woods, I am in the cleft of the rock.  There’s a holding and freeness that bears a sort of forgiveness, or grace, with every sigh the fir trees let out in the swoop of the wind.  The light strains like violas in the early morning, cresting up through the gap, prickling night and setting the ponderosas alight.  I see directly East from the loft window which is broad in scope.  I watch each day descend into bright, every morning, from my little perch.  I am so glad to surrender to being here, in this lovely place, in my very self.  I often wonder what else there is to be, outside of gentleness to self and others.  I have consumed seven cups of tea today.  The mornings bring a chill.


I don’t ever want to miss anything but there are distances I cannot cover with the thin spread of myself.  I suppose part of life is simply figuring out where to be and at what time.


Did I mention RW is coming home tonight?  I can’t even really convey how glad it makes me.  He’ll be here, with me at the cabin, for at least one night.  A friend and I are making a taco feast and pitchers of margaritas for all the boys, over at the base mess hall, upon their return.  There’s going to be laughing and stories.  I’m looking forward to it.

[Because the Methow makes music in the key of blue:  sterling, aquamarine, Arizona turquoise, Bainbridge Island beach glass & lapis lazuli.]

[Because what is more Methow than: sterling,blue, deer & a Methow River rock with the most delicate little black vein?]

I had such a wildly beautiful epiphany while working in the studio today.  I recently told a friend about a silly little fear I have and her response was, quite simply, “Do not be afraid.”  It was such a straightforward response it nearly shocked my boots off.  Let me tell you what I realized!  A good friend does not encourage, nourish or foster your insecurities and fears.  A good friend tears those nasty weeds up by the roots and with a most fractious spirit, she casts them into a burning barrel, pours kerosene all over them and drops a lit match on the mess.  Then she stands there beside you and makes you watch that awful crap* burn away into ash, wind and nothingness.  That’s what a good friend does.  I just thought I’d tell you.  Consider yourself informed.


I had a transportative experience while working.  I was playing Hey Rosetta! on the stereo and was suddenly, mind out of body, spirit out of physicality, transported!  It was the craziest thing.  I grabbed my journal and scribbled the experience down:

I am in the studio listening to Hey Rosetta! while I work and I am suddenly transported to Red Hill in Pocatello — it is winter.  I am running the ridge, an exposed space, the wind is a banshee.  I am listening to music as I run.  The earbuds I’ve stuffed in my ears help dissolve the screech of air that funnels down valley.  It’s tyrannical with its claws and biting teeth.  It makes my ears ache.  My lips are numb.  It is snowing and my shirt is plastered with white.  My face is wet.  The wet is slowly crystalizing.  Later I’ll cross up and over the train yard and look South to Scout Mountain, the peak will be dressed pure as a bride in glancing white.”


It was just a daydream, but at times, my daydreams can come on so fast and strong that I am displaced in the withins of myself and when I come back to the here and now I feel lonesome for the space my imagination took me.  And gosh, am I ever craving a winter run now.

Do you daydream?

What do you daydream about?

*Sorry for writing “crap” — that was rather common of me.  No other word would do.


It’s old, but it’s still so good.