This has been my year of discovery an ongoing journey.
I unlocked the door and walked into the colors, the sounds and the smells of home and very importantly kisses and snuggles from my furry little children. In my absence, a million things have changed and yet all the sameness and familiarity ring true.
A handful of weeks ago, that now seems a very long time ago, I happily locked the door to my studio and walked away – no regrets, I was off on an adventure and I wasn’t going to miss work – I wasn’t going to miss worrying about my low sales or what paper work I should be doing, web site designing that needed to be done or ideas that should be coming to my mind that weren’t. I wasn’t going to miss any of it. And I didn’t either.
Now, happily back in the studio with renewed appreciation and a desire to create. First thing I did was go on a search for a box of treasures that I had stashed away some years ago. Being as I am a pack-rat and a someday dreamer I have stashes and stashes just waiting to be turned into something. I was looking for a particular box of old clock parts that I had disassembled.
It was important to me to find that box of clock works because of a piece of jewelry I purchased for myself while I was away on my adventure. Since I make jewelry, I don’t normally purchase or wear a lot of jewelry, other than my own. My style in both the jewelry that I make and wear is pretty simple and uncomplicated, although always bright and shiny.
However, in keeping with my desire to experience change in my life, this year I have had the desire to make more ornate jewelry and just maybe wear a piece or two. The making part has been pretty slow, sometimes (okay a lot of times) I find change difficult and secondly it is hard to be inspired to create new items when you have a zillion pieces that haven’t sold. Also, I have never followed trends, so I was feeling like a little part of me was betraying my ideals, since it is the trend to wear gobs of ornate jewelry. I hadn’t purchased anything either until my little adventure.
Our group for this adventure consisted of five women – I think it would be pretty important to mention five women in varying stages of hormonal fluctuation for a week in hot, hot, HOT – Florida WOW – a trip near the sea, the best of friends with a long history. Never the less, I have never gone away on an adventure like this with so many women and because I was also hosting this at my vacation home – I was really feeling the pressure. This was the first time that they had all been to my new place, I wanted to make everyone comfortable and at home, but you know, I like my space, I don’t like crowds, I don’t like loud noise, I don’t like to be rushed, I like to do things my way, yada yada yada… (like it is all about me ).
Our week together consisted among other things a day trip to Key West, by fast ferry, a morning of sailing off the island of Sanibel and Captiva, swimming in the gulf and lots and lots of conversation about our lives. Anyway, I had been searching for just the right artist made piece to purchase for myself to represent this very important week – at first, I was not necessarily looking to purchase a piece of jewelry. On our last full day of the trip we planned a shopping trip near my house in an area (Matlacha, Pine Island) that is an artist community with funky little shops and galleries – you will not find Nordstrom or Macy’s or a Wal-mart, but wacky little tropically painted shops with hand crafted items from locals – the owner and the artist will wait on you. This area has been hit so hard and devastated from economic troubles, with some of the nations highest unemployment and foreclosed homes, you have to admire the hard work and sheer will power to stay afloat. If you just breeze by and don’t stop to appreciate what this little community represents, you miss the whole point.
Earlier that day I had admired a necklace one of the ladies, LaDonna, was wearing. It was this funky piece with lots of color and lots of stuff going on – she had purchased it recently on a trip to Mexico. I just love that necklace and told her about my wanting to step out of my comfort zone and wear and make some pieces like that. At the end of the day under the guidance of my lady friends I purchased for myself a special necklace made by a local artist to remind me of my week with these ladies, our time spent on and near the sea and all the changes that I had personally gone through in the past several months, not just that week, in order to be a part of this adventure. The piece that I purchased looks nothing like the piece my friend was wearing and in fact doesn’t even look like what I had in mind of purchasing. This piece is not a big flashy piece, and actually lacks the color I normally go for, but it is different and I knew as soon as I saw it, it was the one.
My special purchase is a piece of steam punk jewelry, made with old brass clock parts, vintage gold filigree, and on top sits a silver octopus clutching a pearl. Everything about this piece screams me, but it really was a difficult purchase for so many reasons. If time had allowed I would loved to have had a conversation about the piece with the artists, as he stood quietly to the side while I made my purchase from his wife. I wish he could know the satisfaction I got from supporting a fellow artist, as well as a hard hit community and having a hand-crafted piece that felt representational of all this and more.
Not one to copy the work of other artists, but one that finds inspiration from others and from my daily adventures I know the time has come for me to pull out my hidden clock treasures and work on some new designs. I’m pretty excited, I don’t know what I’ll come up with, but I know it will be based on my memories from my year of change and my special week with the ladies.
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.
~John F. Kennedy
Until the next time,