Commissions can be a collaborative effort, one where the process becomes a part of the discussion, as well as intent of the design idea, and of course, my own aesthetic. This one is no exception. We started with these points: a daughter's gift to her mother, a spiral, a hand, and an aquamarine. The symbolism isn't always shared with me, sometimes I am a conduit with the ability to realize an idea and make it come off the page in metal, stone and glass. The full meaning is private, while I do my best to listen and allow the design to evolve within a criteria that I can both envision and create. Where we started, how it's going...and check back later to see how it is finished.
I am feeling nostalgic and ever grateful as 2021 comes to a close.
We lost several friends this year, three left us in December. All of them lived their lives fully and we expressed our love for each other in all our interactions. I suppose there isn't much more to ask for, and yet, time.....more time would have been lovely.
This was my last commission of 2021, and though I was heartbroken, and exhausted, I found myself grinning--inexplicably grinning--as I worked on it. Grateful for expression, grateful for work, GRATITUDE for the lessons I am always learning, that help me live my life better and fuller. To be making this necklace for someone special to me made the experience that much richer.
I am appreciative of the safe spaces I have in my life, the people who offer such spaces, and I wish everyone could feel safe and secure in their lives.
As one who left us used to say, "Ixsixán, my arms are around you."
(Ixsixán is Łingit for "I love you")
I wish you a safe and happy new year, and many joyful moments in 2022.
"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place we can go as we are and not be questioned."
In celebration of Jenna Franks, 34, described by friends and family as "sweet", "a rockstar", "a beautiful soul" and "a breath of fresh air".
LOST LIVES FUNDRAISER
Artists are celebrating the lives of individual trans and non-binary folks whose lives were lost to violence and hate by creating pieces in their honor.
Where: Instagram @metalsmithsforchange.
Fundraiser Dates: Nov 6-7 and 20-21
Proceeds Benefit: National Black Justice Coalition (95%) & Metalsmiths for Change Fund (5%)
This pendant is made of sterling silver, the edges and bail are hand engraved, and the back is stamped with the quote from Maya Angelou. The stone is a druzy agate, and in the space in the middle--lined with crystalline druzy--I added a micro-mosaic of incandescent beads and grout. I am including a small flashlight to charge/light the pendant.
GENERAL LGBTQ/SGL TERMINOLOGY
Click here for a full list
ADVOCATE: A person who actively works to end intolerance, educates others, and support social equity for a marginalized group.
ALLY: (typically straight- or cis-identified) person who supports, and respects for members of the LGBTQ community. While the word doesn’t necessitate action, we consider people to be active allies who take action upon this support and respect, this also indicates to others that you are an ally.
FAMILY OF CHOICE (CHOSEN FAMILY): Persons or group of people an individual sees as significant in his or her life. It may include none, all, or some members of his or her birth family or origin. In addition, it may include individuals such as significant others, domestic partners, friends, and coworkers.
EQUALITY VS. EQUITY: Equality is the fairness of everyone being afforded justice, Equality has become synonymous with “leveling the playing field.” Equity is being granted the accessibility as everyone to receive justice. We must first ensure equity before we can enjoy equality. "more for those who need it”.
LIFESTYLE: An offensive term often incorrectly used to describe the lives of people who are LGBTQ. The term is disliked because it implies that being LGBTQ is a choice.
LGBTQIA+: An umbrella term that stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersexual, asexual, ally, and others”.
MARGINALIZED: Excluded, ignored, or relegated to the outer edge of a group/society/community.
OPPRESSION: Systematic, institutionalized mistreatment of and misinformation about people who are (perceived to be) members of a particular group. Oppression is always backed up by social norms and cultural power.
INTERNALIZED OPPRESSION: The process by which, an oppressed person comes to believe, accept, or live out the inaccurate stereotypes and misinformation about their group.
INVITING IN: The practice of disrupting the expectation that LGBTQ/SGL people must come out and otherwise recite the moment when they were told by the world that they are not “normal” or otherwise “like everyone else”. Inviting In celebrates the diversity that exists within the Black community and emphasizes the importance of everyone doing the work to demonstrate competence and compassion such that at some point others may invite you into knowing intimate parts of themselves.
OTHERING (OTHERIZE): Language that refers to them or ―others; typically used to identify a separation between and among groups. It has been used in social sciences to understand the processes by which societies and groups exclude 'Others' whom they want to subordinate or who do not fit into their society.
OUTing: OUTing refers to revealing someone else‘s sexual orientation or gender identity to others without the consent of the person.
A day at the beach is one of my happiest places. Any beach, anywhere. I find the wind and waves energize and temper my moods. The ocean is both mysterious and familiar. So, when asked to revisit one of my sea creature designs, I am delighted.
It isn't easy to create a cohesive collection of pieces that are similar enough but not exactly alike. I enjoy adding small delights and surprises to pieces that perhaps only the wearer will see.
I added some "bubbles" to the texture inside the cuff, which play off the suckers on the tentacles in the pendant.
These tentacles are kinetic and sway and chime together in constant movement.
I am always open to custom work, though if you're looking for holiday gifts, take a look in my shop where you will find a wide array of designs ready to ship today. I accept interest free payments on layaway too, just send me a message. (layaway will eventually be a feature when you check out, but for now, it's easier to message me and I will work with you to find a way to make it happen.) Thanks for being here with me!
As long as we have been around, people have used plaiting, braiding, and weaving to protect, clothe, adorn, feed, and tell stories. We use materials of earth, things made in fire, to reveal how and where we intertwine and connect.
Discussion for this piece began in February of this year when I contacted AishaLikesIt.com, hoping to collaborate on a donation for Metalsmiths for Change. Knowing each other only through social media, the choice to collaborate was a leap of faith. What emerged through our rich discussions and periods of discernment was not only a peek into the other’s creative process but this beautiful necklace.
Aisha's mom, Yvette George, wearing "Double Helix".
Bidding opens on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 10am Pacific Time on Instagram.
This Solidarity Auction benefits National Black Food and Justice Alliance .