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 as I reach for just the right stone. 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 in new rolls of recycled silver wire, thick and thin, thick sheets of raw materials in silver, brass and copper, even a little gold shimmers in my stash of fine metals. Old copper pipes of many sizes waiting to be made into upcycled jewelry sit in their special spot oxidizing and exciting me with their natural patina. 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 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, I heat it and hammer, then repeat many times to achieve the pattern, texture and shape I am looking for. Sculpting the metal with each blow of the hammer, 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 push myself in directions that I never thought I would, just as I do with my hammers. 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 that creates every texture is my story, I am a metalsmith.