Monday, August 1, 2016

Beyond Meditation?

Well, I've been going around and around about meditating. I know it's a cleansing, centering activity, but I can't get my mind and heart around it. For some reason, thoughts need to happen, problems solved, schedules to decide, and my next meal needs some consideration. If I'm not engaging my mind, I am wasting my time.

This morning I went outside in my pajamas and bare feet with the dog and sat in my gravity chair at the end of the dock. So many million dollar breezes came at me with absolutely glistening-in-the-sun water tips out there. How could I NOT think about meditating? Then my mind got full enough where that was not going to happen. "Just concentrate on your breaths... in and out and in and out and in..." Wasn't going to happen. Not today. Not out here where there is God and nature, and... my Mom and Dad.

Yes. I started talking to Dad. I often think about Dad out on the dock watching the water and imagining what fish are beneath it's surface. While he would have loved trolling around Slim, I'm sure he would be putting the boat into a nearby larger lake to land some bigger fish. I know him. But we started talking about the gifts he has given me. The gift of noticing really beautiful details, of appreciating really good craftsmanship - like the craftsmanship he employed while he worked in wood. Of the touching and working with hands, in a caring and loving way. Not working against but with the medium. He gave me the gift of believing that I could do and be anyone! If he gave me nothing else, that would have been enough!

Mom now came into discussion. Mom. I realized this morning that I miss saying "Mom" and "Dad". I don't get to say them anymore. At least I thought I couldn't. But this morning taught me that I could. Easily with conversation following. But Mom. My closest friend and confidant. I mean, I grew up with her as a kid, but was treated as an adult by her years later. That is a gift! To be treated as your age. We were in deep. She taught me the softer side, as strong as she was. How to bend and fit when needed. Not as weakness, but as bolstering strength. She was a force to be reckoned with, my Mom.

So, I'm mostly writing because I don't want to forget how great this morning was. That those who pass on don't leave us. Ever. They always strengthen resolve and further point out the good stuff, letting the negative stuff just fall away. The tears are real and good and cleansing.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pushing Borders

About two years ago I thought about engraving ~ a LOT. After acquiring my 'air assist' equipment as an investment in my 60's, I knew I didn't have the years to become a master engraver, but I did have the years to challenge myself, becoming better at what I do... working on MY aesthetic. At that time I didn't know exactly what it meant, and I still don't, as these years of making are on a continuum. I just keep working at "it".

As I think about engraving as a means to decorate a surface, I think about design as a way to fill a space ~ a specific space with borders and confines. What would happen if my engraving went off the surface, away from confines? This is what has driven my new series. 

From tracings of radial botanical designs, actual pendants that I engraved, I began making continuous design tracings using part or all of the radial designs. These designs were then transferred onto metal, ready to engrave... whatever the space, without concern about borders.

I'm still interested in creating depth, both real and implied, through layering metal, shading lines and stippling, and piercing. In June I will be taking a class on deep relief engraving, which I'm hoping will increase my ability to create new levels of depth through sculpting.

By using my own botanically-themed drawings, there are so many possibilities for application! While jewelry is my focus, it's almost a by-product of what's going on with my creative process. But without this end product, I wouldn't be doing this work.

My love of metal and jewelry will always push me creatively and keep me thinking.