The Soul of Handmade

A machine could likely make something similar in less than an hour.  It took me four days and in the four days, this shimmering sheet of sterling is imbued with the organic marks and soulful energies of the maker.  You can feel it when you are near an object that has been made by the heart and hand of a maker.  You can feel the life in it.  That's the difference. 

Tucked away in a little box I've saved these beautiful sunset pink rhodochrosite stalactite slices waiting for them to call to me.  How do I describe this...they come to my mind a pull me in.  Textures, lines, shapes, colors swirl around them and begin to settle into form.  Sometimes a story will give them a form that carries them into into a place and time that want's to be remembered. 

These rhodochrosites, with their cosmic circles of pinks, creams and amber, their organic, craggy quartz edges, settled so fittingly into my winged series.  So a day or so is spent in relationship with the stone, thinking about it, listening, responding as this swirling and settling into form takes place.  I draw it out, erase, redraw, fine tune, until the shape "feels" just right.   Another day or so in planning and preparing the materials.  I can't just leave a piece of metal in it's flat, milled, shiny form.  I have to bring out it's organic texture so I hunt around for bits and send it through my rolling mill.  The first run of imprinting a handmade paper wasn't enough, so I sent the sterling sheet through again with some fringes cut off a scrape of vintage material.

 Final drawing, first texture selection

Final drawing, first texture selection

 Second texture selection adding the cutting of fringes then running it through the mill again

Second texture selection adding the cutting of fringes then running it through the mill again

 Sawing and piercing out the shapes in the textured sterling

Sawing and piercing out the shapes in the textured sterling

 Spirit Wings with Rhodochrosite Stalactite Slices

Spirit Wings with Rhodochrosite Stalactite Slices

The finished earrings after assembling, adding a patina and finish sanding and polish.  I like to leave my pieces more organic and soft than hard and shiny.  I strive for a well finished piece that still reveals the imprint of the maker.