Anniversaries and Transitions

October is the cusp between the official anniversary of Elements & Artifacts, my conceptual metalwork and wire jewelry business, and the anniversary of my official transition of such creations from hobby to business. I'm at 9 years and 12 years, respectively. It's difficult to encompass the myriad ways this has served me personally, professionally, creatively, or intellectually. I've even grown in ways I had not anticipated—in areas such as communication, marketing, accounting, and learning annoying new tax laws. 

This year these anniversaries are bittersweet, because although I do not intend to drop this creative work, it has been difficult to find time to create my own art or even strike a school/life balance while adjusting to my first semester of graduate school. My coming semester break will be spent in my workshop as a measure of self care, but in the meantime I am transitioning this blog, enabling it to capture my art therapy adventures, projects, and personal artwork in addition to more Elements & Artifacts creations.

Pictured below are glimpses into my workshop, a typical view of my workbench, macro photography setup, a corner of my desk, and yours truly in metalwork safety gear. The second photo shows the way art supplies for school have encroached on my metalwork setup! So far they coexist just fine, but it's a delicate balance and a tight fit. 

Growth

Effective August 2017: Elements & Artifacts will shift from large, themed collections to smaller but hopefully more frequent clusters of concept-based jewelry while I earn my Master's in art therapy psychology. Life is change, growth is optional, and it is my hope that my creative work will continue to develop in the coming years. I look forward to this time of transition and transformation. 

Stay tuned, for I do not intend to leave E&A behind! I anticipate releasing new work this autumn.

Milestones

I have two bits of exciting Elements & Artifacts news! 

First, today I reached 5,000 sales—a hard-earned number given the one-of-a-kind and limited run, handcrafted, and concept-based nature of my work. Since 2005, I have sent my work to over 28 different countries, sold my work to benefit human rights organizations and relief efforts, had two (going on three) pieces on TV shows, and carried work in two museum gift shops and an art gallery. I wouldn't be here without all of you, so THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Second, my Indigo Hour necklace appeared in Season 8, Episode 5 of the hit TV show The Vampire Diaries, which aired on The CW on November 18, 2016. The episode is titled "Coming Home was a Mistake". The necklace was worn by Kristen Gutoskie's character Seline. 

Artist's Statement: Ask the Moon to Come

This collection, more than any others, holds deep personal meaning. Ask the Moon to Come ties together threads and memories from my childhood. It connects with a beloved Lady in the Moon story-turned-meditation that has been a longtime comfort, a source of insight and wisdom, and a beacon of hope in dark times. As I was developing the concepts for these pieces, the breath-taking meaning behind Sara Bareilles’ song Satellite Call came to mind and was integrated alongside other inspiration found in Rumi, Hafiz, Sappho, Pablo Neruda, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and more. 

Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.
— Rumi

This collection further brings together personal explorations, Self-work, mindfulness practice, and creative research that I’ve done across several years, starting in Portland and continuing again in present day. It draws upon the idea of the moon as a symbol of introspection and turning inward, of the interplay of light and dark, of dreams and archetypes, of the heart and soul, and of cycles and patterns found in life.

This collection also connects to the development of my concept-based artwork. Most notably is the body of work by author Marina Warner, a mythographer and historian known for her writing on feminism, art, history, and especially myths; she draws fascinating connections between these things and shows why some stories and depictions have held such deep meaning or significance to us across time. Additionally, Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces delves into the reasons that people revisit, retell, and add their own creative voice to the myths. I expanded my knowledge of past beliefs, folk tales, moon spirits and myths with the addition of The Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Illes.

Lastly, this collection draws upon more than one area of my art background: ink illustration, graphic design typesetting, and traditional printmaking techniques of relief printing and intaglio were adapted into my jewelry techniques. Flammarion’s 1888 star/meteorology engraving served as an anchor for the moon pieces and was used to imprint several pendants in this collection. 

Perhaps this is all superfluous compared to the visible, tangible pieces or personal connections that viewers will make themselves, but it’s rare that I really dig deep to outwardly share the full scope of my creative process. I felt compelled to communicate the meaning behind this one since it has been a profound experience to research, develop, and create. 

Awake my dear.
Be kind to your sleeping heart.
Take it out
Into the vast fields of Light
And let it breathe.
— Hafiz
It was as though the sky
had silently kissed the earth,
so that it now had to dream of sky
in shimmers of flowers.

The air went through the fields,
the corn-ears leaned heavy down
the woods swished softly—
so clear with stars was the night

And my soul stretched
its wings out wide,
flew through the silent lands
as though it were flying home.

The full collection (including sold work) can be viewed on Flickr.

Elements & Artifacts Anniversary Collection: Autumntide

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 season, the size of my creative output, and the anniversary celebration, but because this year marks 11 years of selling jewelry as part of my creative freelance work with 8 of those years as Elements & Artifacts. The launch of Elements & Artifacts was truly a turning point for me, where my work—art and illustration included—moved from general creative work to concept-based, themed collections where the whole aims to be greater than the sum of its parts.

I love this time of year. It holds the warm, golden cast of light that signals to me the end of summer and the advent of autumn. There exists a slight chill in the morning air with the promise of cozy sweaters in the weeks to come. September also marks my wedding anniversary and the birth of my beautiful daughter.

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you 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. 

Each order placed in September will be shipped with a random assortment of anniversary celebration swag: Bath and Butter Market lip butters in Chai or Cinnamon Cocoa, Bath Teas, pumpkin spice caramels, fine art bookmarks, and more!

Thank you again for all your love and support! Happy September!

Shop Elements & Artifacts

View the full collection on Flickr

 

 

 

Summertime

It's not often that I release new jewelry without an overarching theme that binds them together, but I've done just that! Sure, these can still be said to be summer-inspired overall, but they are drawn from my entire body of work, from seasons to oceans to creatures of the otherworld to moons, and more. 

After my last release I knew I wouldn't have time for a full release with my busy summer, so I sat down and worked backwards, starting entirely with unnamed pieces and no concepts in mind. Some, such as with Beekeeper and Thunderclap, became revisited themes and designs. Others were completely new or else finally gave me a chance to utilize a stone or pendant that had been unused for some time. It was a light-hearted, fun way to make a collection even though my pacing was not as efficient. :)

Here are a few highlights: 

You can view the rest at elementsandartifacts.com

Summer Enchantments

I'm excited to announce my Summer Enchantments collection! It's been an intense but vibrant few months and, more often than not, I was working longer hours but getting less time dedicated toward creating jewelry. School was the biggest factor, but there were also art/design projects and weekly volunteer time related to my daughter's school. The result? Pure chaos! As such, this collection is bridging the gap between my usual spring and summer collections. 

What I found, though, when I let go of my usual production schedule and timelines is that I can really lean in to the work I'm creating. It's more intentional. The designs are pondered a bit more. The gems are more carefully weighed for specific pieces. It's been a wonderful discovery and I'm excited to continue in this capacity as I continue spinning plates in other areas of my life. One thing is certain, though: I'm not letting this creative outlet go and I plan to carry it through whatever the next years bring, allowing it to ebb and flow with my life. 

This collection was focused mostly on metalwork: mastering soldering techniques to allow for more complex construction of silver. I've always done wire wrapped "sun" mandalas, so most of what's in this collection is a continuation on the same theme along with the typical expressions and colors of the summer season. 

These are available at Elements & Artifacts

My next collection is already taking shape. :)

Amāre 2016

The new Amāre collection is live at Elements & Artifacts! In the past this collection has been focused on various love myths and legends, especially the story of Cupid and Venus. While some of those pieces are still in the mix, I have branched out to nature to include various love spirits, nymphs, and dryads. I also revisited the Muses with new designs and interpretations. 

 

Since the first collection of each year is smaller due to my holiday break, I tend to use this time to branch out into new materials or techniques. This time, for the first time ever, I wanted to see what happened when I focused on rings. Sometimes it's so nice to have a small, simple statement ring to wear. :)

 

My schedule has been tricky with the addition of school and pre-requisite courses, but I have some BIG PLANS for my jewelry this year and I'm excited to execute some of my ideas with my ever-evolving design aesthetic. 

 

Enjoy! 

elementsandartifacts.com