Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Home again, in my safe haven. I’ve never really been a traveler, preferring the reality of my simple surroundings and the four walls of my own imagination. Yet this year I’ve been traveling more than usual as I make my rounds on the show circuit. During these excursions I find myself visiting cities and meeting people (some old friends, some new) who have shared with me their own pearls of wisdom coupled with their very personal talents.

One of the things I’m asked over and over again is: “where do I get my inspiration“. I never quite know how to truthfully answer this question without launching into a very lengthy monologue, which I know, would bore my listener to death. My standard answer has always been “everywhere”. Silently, I’m thinking where DON’T I get my inspiration. That is the easy part, in my opinion, with the real world presenting all the problems on a day-to-day basis. I can walk down the street and see a piece of rusted hardware lying on the street or flip open a fashion magazine and see what the savants are making. I can look out my window and see a leaf gracefully descending with a twist that I can interpret into metal. These visions never cease.

I try not to look around too closely at what other jewelry artists are creating. There is always that fear lurking at the back of my thoughts as to the derivation of THAT idea of mine: where did it come from or was it subconsciously inspired by something I’ve seen someone do? Many times I’ve believed that I created the wheel only to discover that another believer created this particular wheel simultaneously. I’ve always believed that nothing is original, but I can’t stop myself trying, or even looking, for that matter.

The last two shows I did left me truly inspired by others.

Nanci Hersh: An artist, a mother, fellow breast cancer survivor and all around talented creator. She wears many hats and works in many different mediums, which I admire. I loved her utensils, crafted in wire and paper. They appeal to my utilitarian requirements as an artist. I met her when she stayed with me during her recent study at Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and later visited her in her studio. See her work at Nanci Hersh.

Tom Carlin: Chef extraordinaire. Tom and his wife Geli have been clients of mine since the good old days and only recently did I have the pleasure of visiting Tom’s restaurant to see what he’d done with the historic tavern he acquired 3 years ago. The atmosphere was soothing and elegant, the service kind and efficient yet not intrusive. And the meal, superb. My dinner companions had the broiled sea bass, which was sprinkled with autumn herbs and vegetables. I had the pork roast on the bone and each meal was cooked delicately with flavors subtle yet memorable. The wine list was incredible and we finished our meal with the pear tart. Yum. If you are ever in Gladstone, NJ, I recommend a meal at the Gladstone Tavern.

Charlie Spademan:
I met Charlie in art school at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). He was one of those gifted individuals who could fix anything (or jerry rig anything) and whose creative talent runs silent and extremely deep. Recently we met in his studio and he showed me some recent commissions, each one extremely expressive. He is a metalworker, or ironworker, as he calls himself these days. Charlie gifted Lori and I with mock scissors crafted in iron, which he forged for his BangZ Salon Project. His studio is impressive with a hydraulic forge to which he added a vacuum to hold his forging hammers & tips. It is a sight to behold with the hammer blasting bang upon bang and the hot iron moving between the hammers like butter. For some very extreme metalwork, check out Charlie’s website :

My motto: stay inspired, be inspired and live to inspire! It works.