I’m excited to announce my new collection of work, not just because September has always been a pinnacle month for Elements & Artifacts in terms of the autumn/Halloween mindset, the size of my creative output, and the anniversary celebration swag…but because of what it took to get this collection in particular ready.
You see, in March I sprained my wrist in a random maple syrup bottle incident and, although I carried about the next few days as normal, it slowly dawned on me that something wasn’t quite right with my left (dominant) wrist. There was evidence of a ligament/wrist sprain, bruising on the median nerve, and a volar cyst. Instead of self-resolving with a little rest and TLC, it degraded into worsening nerve pain, swelling, and symptoms consistent with some random combination of Guyon’s canal, ulnar neuritis, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I am finally seeing small improvements in my condition…six months, three specialists and two physical therapists later.
What started as a typically upbeat mindset faltered as the weeks turned into months with no improvement, which meant that returning to my usual pace of creative output was getting further pushed out to an undetermined point in the future. I tried shifting into art/illustration projects, but it was just as difficult for me to do as the metalwork.
During those first few painful months, I ruminated on my schooling and the momentum-driven 13-year development of my creative freelance business. What did this long break mean? Would I regain my momentum? Would I have to rebuild my clientele? Should I go back to school on an earlier timeline than anticipated? Re-learn a language I once knew well? I navel-gazed. I walked endless paths around my neighborhood. I pushed through dance classes despite the nerve pain. I laughed and cried. I had an identity crisis, which makes sense when my work is defined not by the medium but by my creative introspection and output: 35+ years of creating, halted by my wrist even for lazily meandering through a project to fill my time as a casual hobby. Who am I without art? How do I slough off the stresses of daily life without creative output, when that is my typical grounding point? Frustration and boredom set in. I languished.
And then? I picked my ass up and dusted myself off and realized that, no matter what life throws at me, I always eventually bounce. Resilience is my superpower! So here I am against several odds with a September collection ready to celebrate nearly 10 YEARS ON ETSY, with 7 of those years officially doing business as Elements & Artifacts. The existence of this collection is a triumph despite the fact that my wrist is not completely better, and despite the fact that I don’t know how much longer it will take. It is a product of works that were in varying stages of completion at the time of my injury plus a slow, careful, painstaking perseverance to finish those items while leaning heavily on the use of my non-dominant, uninjured hand.
The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. —Viktor Frankl
I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your patience and for your new and continued presence. Thank you for your excitement, referrals, feedback, comments, and support over the years. Every single thing means so much to me and enables me to shape and grow this offbeat combination of intensely creative art, jewelry, and design work.
Here is a list of things that kept me sane this summer:
- My husband and daughter and all the joy, love, and chaos they bring.
- A few lovely friends, who served as a sounding board and/or a fun social distraction at certain points over the past few months.
- Copious amounts of bad and not-so-bad TV.
- Contemporary dance classes.
- Walking, especially at dusk.
- Sitting on the porch on languid summer nights.
- Brushing up on a language I once knew well.
- The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.
- Dozens of TED Talks.
- Everything Brené Brown has ever written.
Now for the goods! What are we celebrating? Elements & Artifacts officially turns 7 this month and the existence of concept jewelry (alongside my design and art work) will officially hit 10 YEARS next month!
To celebrate, I will be sending out swag, swag, and more swag! While supplies last, all September orders will arrive with a random selection of a custom line of luxury glycerin tablet soaps from PaintboxSoapworks. She has created a gorgeously synaesthetic cluster of scented gemstone soaps in garnet, ruby, emerald, sapphire, amber, amethyst, and moonstone.
While supplies last, you will also receive a random selection of gourmet caramels from Botanical Sweets & Treats of the Pacific Northwest. Featured flavors are caramel apple, vanilla bean, and sea salt.
I will also be sending out a random assortment of swag E&A stickers, pins, Elements & Artifacts pens, and mini reusable Sunshine Polishing Cloths to shine and polish your jewelry!
Domestic orders over $100 placed in September will receive a free upgrade to a Priority Mail flat rate box.
Everything will go live at elementsandartifacts.com on Wednesday, September 9 at 1:00pm Pacific. Thank you again for all your love and support! Happy September; it’s almost autumn!