daffodils

Sometimes I wish I were one of those folks who adores winter. As much as I try to embrace chunky woolen sweaters, concocting long-simmering soups, and the feeling of being safely ensconced by the low-hanging grey clouds, instead, I feel a sense of impending doom as February drags on. I shouldn't complain too much, as I live in Nashville. But really, it's all relative.

So in order to stave off  Seasonal Affective Disorder, I've continued to hike at my favorite park. For the most part, this has proven successful, and I do enjoy the sculptural quality of the winter landscape.

This morning's hike, which happened to be on a particularly gloomy day, rewarded me with the intense curves of wild grapevine, some whippet-thin, others burly enough to swing on, tangles of branches tramped down by wildlife and stuffed with twists of papery brown leaves. Limestone boulders covered with lichen comforted me with their visual reminder of how sturdy and practical the backbone of mother nature is.

And some things are simply more beautiful in the winter. Neither the mottled chalk-white bark of sycamore limbs punctuated with dark drifts of abandoned twig nests, nor the slick, reddish thorns of a honey locust tree need to compete with the glossy leaves that will soon cover both trees.

As I rounded the last bend of my hike, absorbing all of this spare beauty, I spotted a few daffodil stalks pushing their way through a patch of bronzy leaves. The gentle curve of these stems with their papery skins protecting the inevitable buds delivered that little boost that I fiercely needed. Knowing that these stalks will scarcely garner a blip of acknowledgement come full-blown spring made them that much more remarkable to me.

In my studio, I wanted to capture the gradation of the stalks' greens, from the palest onionskin white to their juicy-jade tips, so I created little sterling "stalks" of varying sizes, drilled and shaped each before oxidizing them to a black that only winter could embrace. I then sanded the tips, giving each an ombre effect. Finally, I added a tiny green garnet by the clasp as a nod to the beautiful spring to come.

So let there be dark bits, bright bits, smooth forms and curves. Much to love in all seasons.

This necklace is $138.00  Please click here for more details about it.

Unhinged

At times I love hanging around watching my son in his group tennis lesson, but often times I find myself wishing I had magical powers and could teleport myself to my couch at home. It was during one of those  times that I found myself gazing up at the ceiling, where a nicely hinged door closer caught my eye.

Right away, I knew that I would enjoy creating a necklace from a series of these hinged shapes and was momentarily thankful that I was not zoned out on the couch.

Back at my studio, I set to work creating three hinged pieces to connect for my necklace.  What resulted seemed to be an angry marriage of a clown collar and, well, three door closers strung together. Not pretty.

As much as I wish it were so, it's far from peace, love, and Cat Stevens music in my studio, and sometimes I'd like to hurl my saw against the wall when things don't work out. But today, I didn't.

I dismantled the necklace and spent a few moments trying to re-imagine what I could do with these pieces. I decided to drill larger holes in the sides of two of the pieces and thread through some oxidized chain, thinking that this would both soften the pointed ends yet highlight the edginess of them as the pieces morphed into long, dangly earring.

Success! I was thankful I hadn't scrapped the whole thing. 

I'm always reminded that most times, if you just push through when things become a mess, you'll generally get something much better. These earrings are $110.

Save the date! For those of you in and around Nashville, I'll be having a festive holiday show in my studio on Dec. 13 & 14. To receive an invitation and other timely information, make sure you are registered HERE