Sunday, April 1, 2018

Warmth and light

The days are more cheering now. The sun is shining and the air is warmer. Gracie the cat follows the sun around the house during the course of the day, finding little puddles of light in which to stretch and sleep. While I can't physically do that, I find myself feeling that same sort of unraveling on these sunny days. As if all the physical discomfort of the colder weather is slowly slipping out of my body, replaced by warmth and light.

And with the warmth and light, my creativity begins to flow again. I've been spending more time in the studio, challenging myself to find joy there again. And I have and continue to feel the joy of creativity. I'm afraid I've created very few new pieces in bronze and copper, as I have far less fine jewellery in my stock and must increase the number of pieces - for both my own sales and the sales at the Aultbea Hotel. But, I am currently working on a split shank bronze and amethyst ring that is going to be amazing. Stay tuned for that one to show up in the next couple of weeks. I want to concentrate more on the metals this year and creating pieces that challenge my metalsmithing. I finally found a solder that is a really good match for both the copper and the bronze, which makes it easier to create linked designs without discernible seams. I hope to create some wonderful bangles and cuff bracelets this year, too. Some of my beautiful turquoise is destined to be part of The Selkie's Haunt collection.

The one piece I have made is this pair of earrings. Called "Amber Rings," these bronze earrings showcase beautiful green amber slices. These earrings were not easy to make. Unlike copper and silver (and gold and platinum, for that matter), bronze is a very hard material to work with, both literally and figuratively. It doesn't have a lot of give and even heating it does not lessen its toughness. I have gone from hard to bend to melted without hitting that perfect temperature that will give me more ease of movement. As a result, the metal doesn't always do what I want it to do, or it will only do it to one of a pair of earrings, for example. I have decided I must embrace the little idiosyncrasies - they are what make it clear that these earrings are entirely handmade and not mass produced.

Despite the warming weather, I can't but help but think about the beautiful brooches I will be able to create with the agates I now have in my collection. The colours are so earthy, so warm - I can see them paired with the warmth of copper or bronze and then displayed beautifully on a lapel or scarf. I will be creating both penannular and fibula brooches. I may even try my hand at bar brooches or "hat pins," 

As I mentioned earlier, I am also working on rings. I love rings and with bronze and copper, the ability to create very textured, very organic pieces always feels right. So, hopefully over the next couple of months, I will create a good dozen or so rings. 

For now, I am just trying to find the right balance of working time and time to spend with my husband. His mood remains buoyant, but his pain is increasing in intensity and frequency and they've recently upped his pain medication. He tires easily and our old life as a couple of creative night owls is no longer, as he likes to get to bed early and have time to just relax and talk while listening to music. Precious, precious time to be together.

May I ask you a favour, please. As I am finding the balance of work and leisure, I find I must do more to create more traffic and interest in my websites. May I ask you to share whenever you can? My visitor numbers are not as I would like them to be - I've never really felt too much concern about my online sales. For me, jewellery is something that must be seen to be appreciated. But I would appreciate more interaction online. Please follow this blog; follow my Facebook business page, and my Twitter. Help me spread the word about my lovely creations. I thank you in advance. 

I will close by wishing you a very Happy Easter and a happy spring. Here the daffodils are finally blooming and the deer and rabbits are more constant visitors in our garden. I love this time of year and hope it is lovely where you are, too.