Friday, August 24, 2012

Gone in Three

Hello, Lovely Ladies and Lads!

Just a note to tell you that I will be stepping away from the computer and closing up both shops for the better part of two weeks starting Sunday night:

anything that you purchase until that time will ship on Monday
by the hand of my lovely husband.

Thanks for being wonderful.




Something for everyone

later today

You'll know the story of the old bull elephant
and why we need his maturity most


The wonders of flight

And the sweetness of the earth

Do come by:
reserves are welcome.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is It Not Still Beautiful?

I can feel the autumn creeping closer even in the heat of the day....can you?

Even in spring I've felt the autumn of a marriage
of a friendship turned sour
of death, the greatest mystery we conceive...

but that opposite of what you love,
that counter-rotation of the stars
heavy and strange
and brimming with ache and possibility...

is it not still beautiful?

In the trying times of love I can still see the gifts given....can you?
In the fading form of a flower
crisping in the heat of August
I can still see the Hand of God at work

because without the withering
there can be no blossom to celebrate
without the loss no understanding of the pain others know, too;
no community
no kinship beyond blood.

I encourage you to look at the things you tuck behind the 

the rickety and peeling
missing buttons and slightly torn
the doors closed to a room you once loved

and ask yourself,
"Is this not still beautiful?"

Get as still as you can
if the kids allow
and as quiet as a summer night will permit, crickets and all...

given enough time and space the answer will come: a quiet and calm
pulsing with life 
as all things do.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Old Bull Elephant

First Protector of the series

he whips the young ones into shape -
I cannot wait to share the work with you, the idea behind it is so full of magic and symbolism.


Friday, August 17, 2012

California Poppy Mandala Necklace, an Ode.

I came to you at 24 with a broken heart and a propensity to wear midriff-exposing t-shirts over it.
I had dreams of owning an El Camino in Metal Flake Blue
and a chihuahua named Pepito

of driving daily to the beach for introspection and guitar strumming-
I was, after all, going to be a musician.

Life put other offers on the table and I accepted
becoming the woman who writes this thank-you letter now
from a cottage in San Jose, baby sleeping nearby...
a woman who has been bitten by the entrepreneurial spirit of your first settlers
who daily consumes the fruits and veggies of your earth
who loves you in spite of traffic and crowding
and grave financial disparities. 

After all, you are not those things: we are.
You are the land.
The redwoods and poppies
and wild beasts who roam far from the city lights...

You are the oldest mountains eroded down to nubs by the years
the pockets of wildflowers between ancient oaks.

You are the scent of the ocean
and the burn of the desert
stuck under my skin like a cholla burr...

You, my dear state are home
for this bag of bones.

Thank you for cradling me in your tremulous palm
while I sleep and wake


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In This Heart

Old Bull Elephant Protector: Enamel Graphite and Watercolor on Copper 

In Hand

The first Protector is making his journey into being:

A percentage of the proceeds from each sale will go toward an organization dedicated to the well-being 
and preservation of that species... I am so looking forward to donating.

I have seven animals in mind to honor.

I am also thrilled to be able to translate my greatest wishes
into physical, thanks to the power of enamel

and the wonder of a fantastic babysitter who moves me closer to my work twice a week.

welcome, Fierce One. 

Off to cradle Orion



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Un-man the Gates!

The world will not eat you alive if you are vulnerable: it may smell your fear and chase that trail
for years
but it will not vanquish an open heart.

Love destroys petty fuckery even if you cannot see the battle.
Try it: spend a lifetime pitting your spite against it, your smallness: these things will never slake a thirst.
They need hate and competition to thrive -it's love that forces the surrender by starvation. It then gathers the opposing side in its massive arms and turns them into lovers.

This weekend something beautiful happened: I'll give you the Cliff Notes version:

I understood (after attempting to reconstruct the previous for months) that there is no arrival point in this postpartum world
just a requirement that I be as brave as possible and open to the shifting landscape without trying to stop the car.

A dear beloved girlfriend came down from San Francisco to visit today. She had spent the better part of three months globe-trotting; India, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rico. She spoke of her travels and noted that 
traveling alone requires you to use all your intuition, all your senses working at full throttle.

'Yes', I nodded in strange understanding.
This place I am in right now feels foreign and distant and exotic
though I may never even leave my home to go there.

Every mother I talk to affirms the huge shift that takes place after the arrival of a new life so dependent and always changing - 'new normal' is the phrase so often used.

Instead of clinging to the old and deceased way of living that died with my placenta
I am opening again
to the ever-changing now

to the
understanding that today's joy may be tomorrow's confusion
or sorrow or something else
and yet it's all ripe
and abundant and alive
with potential.

A bit of a magic carpet ride...
can you imagine what riches we'd know if we opened to all of the places inside with the wonder of a traveler


With the open heart of a lover?


Friday, August 10, 2012

Can a rock

I think I can safely say 'yes' after cabbing this handsome lug:
it's equal parts 80's hair metal guitar
and Stetson Cowboy commercial...

A Montana agate that wants to go 'make it' in Los Angeles
hitching a ride
to dreamland....

He's picked up by a family in their Dodge station wagon (this is 1987, of course!)
and befriends them all.
His gorgeous face and 'aww shucks' charm pleases the wife a little too much
and the married pair find their lives gently shaken up by the tall stranger.

There are diner scenes, car scenes, almost-sex-scenes followed by deep outdoor-windy introspection scenes.

Ultimately the marriage pulls through (with the cowboy's help, of course)
and the surly teenage son realizes he belongs out west under the open sky.
There are montages.
Musical montages
high bangs...

there are 80's movie life-lessons 
and lots of synth music.

Don't you want to see this?

Head over to the Lapidary Shop:
it's better than any film - it's real life!

I am also putting in the last of the Prudent Man from Vein #1 that I've got cabbed -
it doesn't get much more gorgeous than this scene.

Have a wonderful weekend, all:
may you be surrounded by friends, family and pets
with a cool drink in hand and warm thoughts in head.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Portrait and mandalas.

"What we call fate does not come into us from the outside, but emerges from us."
- Rilke

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Just a smidge over five months

You've been busy discovering your feet
your vocal range up near 'dog whistle'
and putting your fingers in my mouth while I talk, smiling in recognition that you've found the source of tender words. 
Rice cereal mixed with my milk is your evening meal now because you watched every spoon and forkful of food that we ate with wonder and did I detect a hint of woe?
The very first feeding you were in looooove with cereal, in love with being spoon fed.
I have begun to imagine there is a world beyond breastfeeding, though the very thought of not feeding you mainly from my body aches my heart.
Let's cross that bridge when we come to it, shall we? I'll follow your lead.

Diaper changes still delight you to the marrow; I am amazed to watch you
growing out of the 'foldover' section of cloth nappies:
when did you get so big, my Sweet?

You are gentle and kind and intuitive
your little eyes well up with tears when I sing to you, most often when the words are so sweet and my voice lands like a red bird on a branch;
you are an old soul - I know it when that happens, when my love for you in song moves you even this young. 

When anyone comes to visit or when we're out you might often hear yourself described using the words
and that makes my chest feathers puff out with pride:
I do my very best to take exquisite care of you.
I've never found anything more precious on this earth than every breath you take!

You are teething, chewing my knuckles and your blankets and seemingly everything but the toys we bought for...teething!
When you are very tired you act out the theatre masks of comedy and tragedy within five seconds of each other,
tears to laughter encore after encore
until I rock you and shush you to sleep.
This process is very funny, though half of the time it isn't for you!

I feel like you've been here forever-
your papa and I have found our footing and a routine that works well for all three of us and Janey
but every so often I catch myself touching my tiny belly pooch
as if expecting

This roundness to be there
as though I am still awaiting your arrival....

I know I say this so much
both out loud and in silent reflection
thank you, Orion Henry.

Thank you for choosing us to be your earthly guardians:
your soul pleases us so 
very very much.

With More Love Than Could be Fathomed,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Midsummer Wildflowers

Mint Chrysoprase with Sea Plant

Bee wing bracelet


Earring trinity in Arizona turquoises, enamel on copper, amethyst and
 prehnite stones.

Born of peepers and bedtime stories
summer salads and grilling in the backyard
love renewed
promises kept


In the Metal Shop

Thursday evening.

Sunny One

Monday, August 6, 2012

Of Enamels.

Yesterday afternoon the Paragon was fired up for the first time
after a good solid sweep of the carriage house for web after web hanging from the rafters-
the workspace now feels more like mine than I could have imagined.

I've felt impatient about getting up and running simply because enameling feels like the missing piece in all of my metal work: color
pictures (even more vivid than with engraving, though that certainly will never stop being a part of my art!)
the change to make mistakes and see them turn to blessings:
our instructor up north talked a lot about the gift of doing things 'wrong' with enamels
and we saw first hand the beauty that a strange firing can make with our student show-and-tell.

The most pressing part of the process for me involves the portrait of Jones at the top of this post:
making this piece felt cathartic and tender - his spirit is evident in it.
I touch it daily.

Making pendants for those who have loved and lost, or simply for those who love feels like a calling for me. I hope to offer some custom spots in the Metal Shop for this vein of work
in the coming weeks: I will be sure to give good notice here.

With the furnace firing away I made some components for things to come this Friday

And began some new portraits: since the birth of the sweet Babe of mine the phrase that resonates most is that having a child is like having another heart outside of your body.
This necklace design might be a long road, but it feels so dear to me:
Mustard Elk Leather
water formed leather
watercolor enamel anatomical heart 
ah, yes.

The possibilities are as endless as a blank canvas
and as enticing!

My only hope is that sleep is not as evasive as it was early this morning:
waking at 5:45 for a feeding, my brain kept me up until nearly 8 with flights of fancy and 
enameling ideas....

heaven help me!!