I am a metalsmith…..
I have found my creative journey begins as a form of day dreaming. Being inspired by the snow as it falls and creates a fresh white blanket on the world outside my window. Being inspired by reading books(some are lovely gifts from friends) that have strong visual images of nature. Being inspired by piles of Maine beach stones that I have collected over the years as well as the sand patterns on the beach that are wind blown and wave washed. The way the water ripples when I paddle my kayak and the reflective colors of the Montsweag Bay on which I live. Natural markings on trees and leaves that impart an impression of texture in my memory inspire me to replicate these in my own expressive technique.
Material inspiration comes from new rolls of recycled silver and gold wire thick and thin, large sheets of raw materials waiting for my hammer textures. A collection of brilliant gemstones ethically sourced in vivid colors and amazing shapes that provide a view into what mother earth has created over millions of years. All of these collections are raw and ready to be formed with my cherished and honored antique tools, some new(to me) and my favorites from the beginnings of my metalsmithing journey. All forged on an anvil that is pitted, ruddy and over 150 years old, it’s character is evident in my work. Yes I am a metalsmith, this I know and this I will always be.
With each year I grow on my journey as a metalsmith, a woman who uses hammers of many weights and material of varying thicknesses. I move the metal with my hammers, my torches to heat it and melt it ……any way to produce textures and shapes that compliment the end result. Sculpting the metal with each blow of the hammer or heat of the torch, finally shaping with files and sandpaper, oxidizing and hand polishing with steel wool to create a finished piece. Textures are revealed that lend themselves to my inspirations, of bark, sand, of organic linen fabric. Each piece is patterned with it’s own character and substance, created by hammer and hand.
Photo below courtesy of Jimmy ienner Jr.
I stay true to my soul and create elemental and organic designs that carry a raw even urban quality. Wear them every day, take them everywhere, they will never disappoint and yes they will become a part of you. They will transmit to you the energy that each piece was created with. The stones will give you earth energy, the metal will give you strength, oh and yes you will get the attention of others with these pieces. They will inspire conversation and allow you to explore your connection to the work. Not tiny, not timid, not flimsy or delicate, no that is not who I am or what I create.
I see the world through bold eyes with few limits. I see the work I create on both men and women. I see my work on others and a smile, I see me in each and every piece. Every hammer blow and heat of the torch that creates every texture is my story, I am a metalsmith.