Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sentimental Journeys

Often the paths of our lives take a varied route.  As Heidi says, "one minute you're IN and the next minute you're OUT". We've all been there. 

A broken relationship and leftovers from our deceased relatives all contribute to the feelings that become attached to our jewelry, the iconic representations of so much emotion ripe with meaning.

Have you ever wondered how you could wear that ring again or dispel the "bad vibes" that become embedded in these small works of art?  There are several things you can do.

First, you can take out the stones of a piece of jewelry, sell the metal and have it crafted into another piece of jewelry.  But the stones retain energy.  There is an energy that is held and emitted in metal and stones.  Of course you realize this because stones and metal have been used as electrical conductors for centuries.  Diamonds and crystal can transmit light and when focused on a piece of paper, even start a fire.  Stones and metal are used as electrical transmitters in electronics. 

In 1985 I studied the healing properties of stones with a Psychic.  I learned that each stone carries vibrational wavelengths that can contain healing properties.  For example, Amethyst (in the quartz family)  is a stone, which can strengthen the endocrine and immune systems.  It can provide purification and regeneration on all levels of consciousness.  I believe that if you are attracted to a certain stone, it has specific healing properties, which are attuned to you.

Other than having your jewelry ripped apart and re-designed with your stones, I often tell my clients to practice this exercise I learned from the Psychic.  Place your stones or jewelry in a bowl of sea salt directly in the sunlight for one week.  Create conscious visions every time you see that bowl and imagine the pieces draining the bad energy and re-charging anew with the pure light of the sun. 

Recharge, regenerate and recreate. What else is there?  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Biting the Bullet

                       Bite the Bullet. 
          I’d take a bullet for you. 
The saying started during the Civil War, when injured soldiers were given a lead bullet to bite upon during surgery without the benefit of anesthesia.
Lately, things are tough all over and all my friends are wondering when it will end. Things are different now. The struggle continues with little sign of letting up, but my personal viewpoint is that “things can always be worse”. I mean, look around, there’s always someone who is struggling more and suffering harder.
Where are you on the scale of 1 to 10?
I discovered “bullet stones” in the 90’s and have always been drawn to them. The bullet-shaped stone mimics the shape of a gun bullet. I‘ve always loved guns. I love the machinery of them, the mechanics, the design. I especially love vintage revolvers. 
I don’t tell many people this because everyone I know is a pacifist. I like guns for guns, it’s the people who use them that I distrust.

I designed my first bullet charms years ago. I like the ironic contrast of the dark with the light, the need for the good with the bad. This is what they represent for me.  And in honor of today's Fall Equinox, where there is an equal amount of light and dark, all the balance is elusive.   Everyone bites the bullet occasionally. 
 Just shoot from the heart, it’s bound to work out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is a Black Heart?

Does Joan Jett have one?  Or is Blackheart the fictional demon in the Marvel Comics Universe,  the character  created by Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr.,

To me it is the image of rebirth that ties to the Greek mythology of Persephone: As the Goddess of Springtime and Rebirth, she is eternally connected to the cycles of the earth, which lies barren in her absence and bloom again each spring with her return. And her initiatory experience in the realm of the dead is such a powerful experience that it changes her life forever. It is after this transformation that we remember her most for her role as the Greek Goddess of the Underworld.

Out of the tunnel of darkness comes light.  Note the sparkle on this black drusy quartz necklace.  This gold charm is created to represent the light at the end of darkness, the glimmer and hint of a better future as spring begins her awakening. 

Sparkle, glimmer and begin anew!  Ahhhh, spring is in the air.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Art to Wear

ArtWear, 1981
I first saw Artwear while I was schlepping a suitcase full of jewelry that I had made around SoHo. I was looking for other jewelry artists and their studios, hoping to find somewhere that I could pull up a chair to a bench and work. I had no money yet I was imagining that I could clean someone’s studio in exchange for bench time.
The large windows caught my attention from across the street and I was pulled to the store like a magnet. I stood outside, afraid to enter such a wonderful, beautiful, intimidating world. I’d never before seen such interesting metal work displayed as art. Art to Wear. Artwear. “What IS this place?” I wondered. It wasn’t long before I began to hear about Robert Lee Morris. He was the first jewelry designer to educate us to think of jewelry outside of the box. Robert created this concept of Art to Wear. I felt as though I had found a kindred spirit whom I didn’t even know. He created a magical and wondrous world of which I wanted to be a part.
It wasn’t long before I heard through the grapevine that Robert held “open Sundays” at ArtWear and this is how they worked: A hopeful jewelry designer would stand in line with samples in hand and have a look-see with Robert. It was formal. The line was long and no one really talked. I was nerve-wracked and overwhelmed. Next thing I knew it was my turn and Robert was very silent and very tall. He looked at my work intently, turning it in his hands and peering at every detail, every flaw. At the time, I had been working freelance for Carlos Falchi, collecting scraps of leather in pinks, blues, reds and black. I would sew the skins together, stuff them with trapunto and rivet shapes of copper and silver with semi-precious gemstones onto these creations to make large gauntlets, cuffs and belts. I would engrave the metal with “graffiti” symbols I had picked up from the streets of the East Village. These pieces were true Testaments to the 80’s.
Robert suggested quietly but firmly that I should do this, change that. He looked at me and never smiled. He said I could come back once I had made these changes and meet with him again. I left, crushed. I went back to my studio and stomped around for a bit. I didn’t get it, this was MY vision! After a week of this I realized he had insight and I made these changes. Another open Sunday session and he greeted my effort with a clap of his hands and invited me into his gallery for a collective show. I was overjoyed! This was the very first time I began to sell my work and to develop a collection. This was the beginning.
I will always credit Robert Lee Morris for raising our collective jewelry consciousness. Jewelry became Art to Wear. The art that is worn closest to the body. And by the way, thank you, Robert, for giving me my first break. It’s been the ride of a lifetime and I’ve loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Elves & Fairies

I first met Evie when I was 5 years old. She was my mother’s friend and she looked like an angel. Evie was 63 years old when I first met her, with a glow of blond hair piled atop her head in loose curls held in place with pronged combs and amber-colored bobby pins. Evie always wore dresses because she was a tailor and made suits from Butterick Patterns inspired by Chanel Couture. Her blouses were cut from sheer organza with pearl buttons that she wore with fancy camisoles layered underneath. I loved Evie. She was married to Ray and they lived in a small storybook cottage in Akron, Ohio. Ray was Santa Claus every year at Unity church and he looked just like Mr. Claus: a medium-set elderly man with piercing blue eyes and a mantel of graying blond hair who had a jovial laugh. These were the grandparents I never had.
Often my mother would send me off to Evie and Ray’s when she could no longer tolerate me. I would stay in the room which was Evie’s sewing room. All the colored spools of thread were arranged on a wall board according to color. Her half-sewn suits in luxurious materials were neatly folded atop her sewing machine. I would gaze out the window of this small bedroom and see the small woodlands of their backyard with neatly trimmed hedges and gardens full of violets and forget-me-nots edged with lilies of the valley. It was magical.
Evie was a beautiful, mysterious creature to me. She would often take my hand and escort me through the halls of Unity which had been the original home of one of the founders of Firestone Rubber in Akron, OH in the 1900‘s. Unity was not your average church. For one, it bought the mansion and held services there. The minister lived with his family in the coach house. Nothing had really been changed in the mansion except for the conversion of the large living room into a hall with a podium, stage and seats. The original kitchen had been converted into a small bookstore. All the other features of the mansion were in tact. These included a ballroom on the third floor, a food-service elevator that traveled 3 stories, two kitchens and a basement theatre, complete with a stage that rotated for the easy exchange of scenes. The congregation consisted of few children with an abundance of odd adults. Odd to me, that is. The teachings were metaphysical in nature in the 1960’s: biofeedback, meditation, astral projection and the belief that the Bible was symbolic and metaphorical. This attracted a small group of individuals who lived outside the box.
I would roam the halls with Evie or alone, running my hands over the smooth mahogany railings, hiding in fur closets and trying to crack the codes of two locked wall safes. Other times I wiled away the hours in the nursery, an expanse of rooms with built-in cupboards, assisting in watching my nephews.
Evie had been a professional ballet dancer in her youth. She was still graceful and beautiful but had the history of a lineage of mediums in her family. When I would stay with her, she told me not to come into her bedroom at night regardless of what I might hear. Once I heard loud groans and moans and was frightened. It sounded other-wordly.  Later I found out that she was a “traveler”, one that left their body while their soul would visit far-off places. Seems her grandmother had taken such a trip and returned two weeks later, just as they were getting ready to bury her.
It was Evie who told me about the Elves and the Fairies. She would explain their habits and their powers to me while we planted the violets along the edge of her wooded garden. She would point out their habitats and leave the ground covering “just so”, with great respect for these tiny, invisible beings. I would look out the window of that little bedroom and think I saw them flying and scurrying about bathing in the morning dew.
Today I still believe in Fairies and Elves. They help me find the stones that drop in my studio in-between the floorboards. They give me the right tool at just the right time. I adore them and leave little offerings of flowers and magical gemstones in little piles all around my studio for our eyes-only.
I need these little beings. They help me make magic and dance around when I am blue and stuck in a snowdrift. Magic is a necessity of life and completes the circle, the dewdrop of creation. You often see them turning the corner, over your shoulder. They’re there, just look.

Pictured:   1.) My elf, walking to work in the snow.  2.) Little Josephine's garden Fairy House. 3.)  Orange Drusy Necklace in the snow with some bits of copper ore strewn about…