Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Salmon Journey

My Trunk Show at the gallery in early December was such an enjoyable event.  Mostly because of the friends that came to spread the love and the new people I met that have inspired my thinking.  When I received a request for Salmon themed earrings I knew this would take me deeper into my exploration of symbolism and specifically, animal totems.

I know that Salmon are a powerful symbol for the Pacific Northwest and the Celts both of which are a part of my own story so I started by doing some research and gaining a new respect and appreciation for Salmon.  I have been aware of the Celtic story of Fionn mac Chuhail which establishes the Salmon as a totem for wisdom and prophecy and there are many other Celtic stories where Salmon serves as the inspiration.  In the Pacific Northwest, Salmon is an integral part of our culture, our richness, our connection and understanding of this extraordinary part of the world.  Salmon teaches, sustains and stands as a symbol for the soul of the Pacific Northwest.

After immersing myself in understanding the meaning of Salmon I began to make the Salmon earrings.  First I sculpted a couple of Salmon figures from polymer clay.  One being a singular Salmon and the other a Celtic Triquetra of Salmon.  From these I made molds.

From the molds I cast the salmon in bronze, refined, fired, polished, patinated, and built these earrings.  The first is a singular Salmon.  In it's mouth it holds a large blue pearl. On the back I've added Runes as a kind of blessing. The runes symbolize partnership, wholeness, flow and joy.

The second pair is a Triquetra of Salmon inspired by the Celtic stories. Each Triquetra is held by a bronze chain of  a vintage plum hued and a fern green Swarovski crystal. On the back are Rune blessings for wholeness, flow and joy.

Making these earrings was such a joyful learning experience.  I have a new appreciation and respect for the Salmon, what it teaches us about life and balance, what it means to those of us who make the Pacific Northwest their home and how the Salmon may be a part of helping us understand what we need to do to care for this beautiful, bountiful home we share and have named Mother Earth.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Work

It is harder than I want it to be to carve out the cracks of time I need to be in my studio.
The last couple of months, gave me some of those cherished moments and here are some of the pieces that came from it.  These are commissioned or have been taken to the Grapevine Gallery in Oregon City.
Star for Elizabeth

Summer in Manzanita

Walking the Rim of the Oregon Plateau

Bohemian Summer Series

Tula's Shield

Creekbed Talisman

Loving ODonahue

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Occasionally I disappear, unplug, go under in order to rebalance my unrealistically ambitious "To Do" list with a renewal of assessing what is most important.  It is so easy to be seduced by our culture out of spending precious time on the things I most value.  This summer I didn't get to all of the things I wanted to, but I did spend time on the things I most value; art, relationships, my sanctuary.

The garden is slowly evolving into a place for wildlife and soul life.
I've given myself a small space of immersion time in the studio.  Some pieces that have emerged as I continue to learn and develop skills to express my response to this amazing gift of life.  Eventually I'll get to adding more jewelry pics on my Flicker and Pinterest sites.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After taking a most excellent on line class from the amazing Keith LoBue, I have found a new passion for tools.  For Christmas I am over the moon about receiving a flex shaft and a torch enameling kit from Barbara Lewis.  She is having a give away drawing for one of her new DVD's on torch fired enamel.  If you have ever been interested you should check it out here:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer Reverie

I know.  It's been a summer and I finally emerge....just a little bit.   I stepped back and took some time to do what my soul requested.  I listened and was rewarded with reverie and new skills, and renewed connections and insights.  The last day of summer holiday looked like this, because I finally sat down and breathed in the late summer light.

Today, I discovered soul food that moved me so much I needed to share right now.  I found it on the most excellent blog, Brain Pickings.  Natalie Merchant, an enchantress to be sure, researched Victorian poets and set some of their words to music.
This is a performance she did for another most excellent web site, TED talks.

She Flew on Wings of Steel
And a view of some of my new pieces that come from the work I did in Keith LoBue's Steeling Beauty workshop in Artful Gatherings.  The best on line workshop I have ever experienced.

My monogram in forged steel or The Dancing Woman

Monday, May 21, 2012

John Frame and My Bohemian Soul

Saturday I was privileged to experience the John Frame exhibit at the Portland Art Museum.  I was profoundly affected by it, an affect that has continued, non stop, to work it's magic on me.  His work is art in it's truest sense and it is profoundly altering my thinking about how I want to approach my own work.  I am humbled and inspired.  Some of his story can be found on a series of videos on You Tube.  I just want you all to know this creation exists in the world.  Now I want to go back to pondering it's magic...and how it is changing the way I see my own pieces.  Something that must be completely obvious to formally trained artists or makers, but I have come so slowly to realize on my own, is that I need to show you who I am.  When I look at the work of other artists, I want to understand who they are.  John Frame has changed my viewing lens from a critique of the piece itself to experiencing the unique being expressed in that piece.
Summer Talisman of a WomanWith a Bohemian Soul and a Love of Collecting Interesting Bits of Texture and Color

Monday, April 30, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

It's the beginning of strawberry rhubarb season and I took time out from all the things that usually get most of my attention to bake my man, aka The Garden Gnome, a birthday pie. With the left over strawberries and rhubarb, I made a compote that he likes to mix with yogurt.  It was deeply satisfying to make something in time with the season, for my beloved, from a family recipe that connects me to a line of ritual that brings soul to our kitchen.  I want to create more time for this. Time to bring soulful experiences into our life.  Making something in season from a recipe with a meaningful history is on my list.