Friday, December 18, 2015


20% off of everything in the



Use coupon code  BANGYEAREND  at checkout.
Free shipping in the Metal Shop ends Sunday.

On Monday everything disappears and the New Year begins
with a shift.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Dear Maker Series: On Creative Drought

As this holiday season winds down I head into my ninth year of SunnyRising: almost a decade of 
running this train!! I'd like to think I've gained some knowledge in this long relationship. I'd like to share processes and thoughts here.

This post is about creative blocks. 

As I write this I am in the latter midst of a creative drought, fittingly in California.
Though I could go back into the sketchbook and bring out maybe hundreds of ideas that previously 
thrilled me, nothing fresh is coming through.

I am working slowly but surely on a very long term project, one whose unrealized existence may have been the thing stopping the flow of new ideas. More about that in a minute.

Creative drought could start with anything. 
A butterfly flapping its wings in Minnesota.
A criticism.
I mean really though, it could be twenty thousand things that gum up the works. As sensing people there's a good chance that we're...sensitive! News from around the world of late would be enough cause to put down the brush/hammer/torch and weep, let alone stress from our own lives.

Whatever the cause of this slowing, it's such a normal and integral part of a maker's's why we change course mid-stream, it's what makes us re-evaluate and tweak our businesses and artistic work.
Perhaps it's a tap on the shoulder reminding us to please take a break.

Do you take enough breaks? Me either. We should work on that. Ha ha.

Once we're in that dry spell it just...well, it just fucks with you. Let's just let real be real.
Confidence becomes despair and sometimes we spin our wheels so fast that we're just more mired down than before we did anything to fix our situation.
I'm not sure doubling down on work is the key, though it might be.
I'm not sure taking off for Fiji to find ourself is the solution, though wow it sounds really nice (and it might be).
It's completely different for each person
I do think that the drought has an inevitable end just as I really do think droughts are inevitable.
If it's a natural wave pattern complete with crest and trough then isn't it a lot less scary?
It's daunting!

Heck, I still haven't pinpointed what's constipated my creativity but I do know
that with almost a decade of in-the-black business ownership under my belt it is STILL utterly unsettling. Terrifying, actually. I like to think of my art life as a very healthy organism, that I keep all the parts oiled and dry but in the midst of raising a beloved little boy and running a household sometimes things get a little rusty.

Pair the oxidation with less than robust sales in the last few months and I'm really sitting at that crossroad of "what needs to change?" with a sharp discomfort. Like many of you, my income is not really optional, it's necessary. That definitely puts pressure on the decisions. There's only so much wiggle room.


I'm doing what has always been the thing that needs to be done when two roads diverge in that old yellow wood:

I am leaping wildly over the hill in the middle, not sure of what's on the other side.

For the longest time I had this intense vision of a piece of art, like for your wall.
Not made of metal (though employing it in places) but tooled leather both flat and formed.
It represented the apex of what my hands can do with the mediums I love.
It woke me up in the morning, it kept me up late.

(It still does.)

But every day I take an hour and I work on it (I pinkie swore with myself that I would). I work on small pieces that go into My Shops
and things long-promised to patient friends and then I do what I promised I'd do.

My drought-cause thought is that this wall art idea was so game-changing and persistent that it clogged the pipe.
It held off the rain clouds.

Am I still nervous in the midst of what could be a game-changer? Ohmygod yes. Am I paralyzed? Heavens no. That's a waste of time. 

It's tough to look at our less-than-ideal creative situations as a scientist would when we're emotionally and financially invested in them but I think there is a very big gift in doing so,
in lists and figures and plans and action strategies.

The alternative is falling apart and digging in our heels. That might be fun for a while, melodrama can be very satisfying but ultimately that's such a silly way to spend the days when we've got these gifted and useful hands. Let's not wring them, let's use them to build the foundation for future work.

What started for me as "Fine!! I'll do it!!" has become a guide of sorts: 'Chrysalis Heart' will be the centerpiece of a new website where all of the things that previously got scattered over the interwebs will have one central point. I think I'll write more.
I think I'll look into other selling options, be they art shows or stockists.

If creative longevity teaches you anything it's that there is nothing static
about the path we're on.
Sometimes craft splits off into other aspects of creative work,
sometimes we throw in the towel to get relief,
sometimes we innovate and survive in our chosen field.
None of these paths are any less valid than the next or the previous.

I'm making lists
and checking them twice,
trying to figure out what is nice about my business
and what needs to go suck on a lump of coal.

I am getting loving advice from my best advisors.

I am delighting in the holiday successes of my brothers and sisters in making because it's gorgeous to see someone fly.

I am baking and snuggling and talking endlessly about superhero stuff with my favorite guys.

I trust that the world is wide and infinitely filled with possibilities.
I trust that what made me has guided me to make.
I trust that if I see this process as an adventure it will be so.
Even the droughty bits.

With great wishes for your own crests and troughs,

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Year's Last Offering

Lasso the Stars Earrings, Turquoise Edition. 

Lasso the Stars Earrings, Turquoise Edition #2. 

Lasso the Stars Earrings, Quartz Edition. 

Wishbone Necklace. Grossular Green Garnet, Cabbed Here. Sterling Silver Wishbone.

Over the next two or three days I'll be placing 
the last of this year's work in the Metal Shop.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how much it means to me,
(going into my ninth year of SunnyRising)
your support of not just my small business but all small business.
You have an infinity of choices and I am honored every time something 
gets lovingly packaged and sent your way.

Thank you




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Relief" Shop Update Preview, Part II

Early Night Sky. Coral. Sterling silver. Enamel and watercolor on copper.

2 pair of tiny sterling silver bee wings.

Lapis Lazuli and Chrysoprase Fir Tree Earrings. Enamel and watercolor on copper.

Those Singular Kyanite Earrings from yesterday? On.

Carnelian Fir Tree Earrings. Enamel and Watercolor on Copper.

Blood Moon Earrings in Turquoise and Coral

Singular Magic Fir Tree Earring (just one, as the title implies). Carnelian. Coral. Enamel and Watercolor on Copper. Sterling chain.

The Blood Moon Seed Bead Earrings, On.

Cecil the Lion, Tribute Necklace. Prehnite. Brass. Sterling. Feathers for his journey.
The sun always at his back. 

A portion of his proceeds will be donated to a wildlife conservation effort,
just like the engraved bull elephant.

All of these treasures will find their way into the 

tomorrow at 5 pm Pacific time.

That's Wednesday November 18th at 5 pm.

With all of the love,

Monday, November 16, 2015

'Relief' Update, Preview Part I.

Faceted Sodalite (cabbed right here), brass and sterling silver stars, enamel and watercolor on copper moon. 

Singular Magic: Kyanite in fine and sterling silvers. Enamel and watercolor on copper crescent moon.

Singular Magic: Kyanite in fine and sterling silver. Enamel and watercolor on copper skyscape.

Lapis Lazuli rounds in sterling and fine silvers. Brass stars. Enamel and watercolor on copper moon.

Blood Moon Earrings: mother of pearl in fine and sterling silvers. Seed beads on brass. Organic brass hoops. Sterling ear wires.


These beautiful pieces in all of their intricacy and endless attention to detail. These pieces, made in my studio in all its hot and cold, these are my valentines to our new place in this world and particularly to the evenings and nights we've come to love in such a short time.

Relief. Everything out here feels like relief.

Soothing evenings where the wind whips in from the ocean to wipe the slate clean. This cooling was especially magical in the summer with its fire pit afternoons. 

As I was tucking Orion into bed one night (like every night)  I saw one of the dippers through his window. It was not dim or faint. In its brightness it winked at me and I exclaimed like a child, full of wonder and feeling like I'd half forgotten what stars look like away from a city sky.

Each little crescent or half moon of enameled watercolor was fired at least six-seven times. The process is long and rewarding. I am so grateful and excited to share this with you, these little sketches that stem from gratitude.

They were not made as an exception to challenge,
but as a love letter to the feeling of finding an oasis
after being parched for too long.

I'll be posting these to the 

along with several other tiny grand fir and sky sketches

on Wednesday the 18th of November at 5 pm Pacific time.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


"If you could go anywhere you wanted to this morning, anywhere that would feel like a total luxury, where would you go?", she asked as we sat with our coffee.
It had become obvious through my mood and words that today was tough and felt a 
little drown-y.

"I woud take a left on Mines Rd instead of just driving into town," I said. 
She tipped her chin down and said, "Let's go!" We got our shoes on and 
turned left.

Music on, head clearing. 
Child with his million thousand questions. 
California unfurling like a blonde curl.

All around us, signs of the incredible drought. A mud-pit where there once was a lake,
docks sticking out into nothingness looking more like empty thrones
than a place to tie a boat.

Oak leaves to collect, words to scatter as only three-year-olds can.

Still, the relief and still the ache.

As much as I want to put the blame on what surely must be hormones
and fatigue I know that the lion's share of what hurts today
is less those things and more the peculiar storms that happen
when someone who completes you 
goes home

Home to their beautiful and challenging life,
leaving you to your own likewise prismatic situation.

It was all enough,
the wedding of the century (oh our beloved bride!!!!),
the clarity of conversation,
the entire length of the country outside the plane windows...

But just as anyone who loves will tell you,
one more day is all we ever want
on an infinite loop


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Prison Break

For the last nearly nine years of running SunnyRising I ruled my space with a statement that has turned out to be wildly untrue:
"If the outside is messy, the inside is messy, too"

If the space is a mess, so is the brain of the maker.

Here I am, knee deep in what appears to be clutter and chaos and I am thriving.
The total tidiness myth was a prison.

Though clean single-purpose surfaces are something I don't feel like I can ever give up (hygienic packaging table, frequently swept floors)
I have let everything else be what it is right now.
Metal forms abound.
Cabbed rocks spill out of drawers.
Abundance is alive.
If it eventually smothers something important
then there'll be time to 
make it better.

I don't put everything away when I'm done using it.
This means I don't have to get it out again when I use it tomorrow.


For almost nine years
I have thought an artist needed a beautiful space
to make beautiful things.

In order to appeal to that part of myself that still believes, I have built a spaceship (thanks, Robin)
of beauty and relative order
and from the cockpit I can look upon the vastness of the shop
and feel both the safety of my vessel and the spaciousness of 
what's possible.

It's working.

I'm working.
He's working. 

I am learning that it doesn't have to be precious.
I am getting the hang of letting things hang.

I am blowing raspberries at my Perfectionist and hoping
that she'll see the humor in my heart
and the lightness in my step

That everything is saying, "Come along!"
with a sweep of the arm
and a dirt-smudged cheek.