Saturday, October 3, 2009

Allegory of Romance

When things turn monotone, the one constant thing is the trust I can put in my deepest closest relationship- that one with my Muse. The muse continues to ask, many times a day “How are you? What’s going on with you? When are you going to be yourself again?”

That may seem like an annoyance, but how many of you have a muse at all, or one who notices your state of being? It’s actually a luxury. I hadn’t noticed I wasn’t myself until the Muse announced it. Of course, existentially, I can’t be anyone but myself, but I think the problem is I don’t seem like my old self. That can happen when one is sick for a while- pretty sick- and in enough discomfort to think about mortality. I think about such things when I’m unwell because, mainly, doing so reminds me of my strength and my determination to thrive. In my head ( or somewhere close by) a voice says ‘This is nothing: you can get through this!’ To which another voice adds: ‘Soon you’ll be back to doing things you love, with vigor!’

It’s nice to have a psychic choral section for encouragement. When I was making and unmaking this necklace several times, I needed it. Originally a Valentine’s Day whimsy, it started with a very old soft-metal pin in the shape of an arrow. Seemed like a perfect symbol to pair with Hearts for St. Valentine tribute. But the arrow, being ancient and slightly fragile is very malleable. When hung, it never seemed to hang symmetrically. If I had never been fascinated with arrows (and their weaponry association), when I was little I was consumed with love for the painter Paul Klee. And Paul Klee loved arrows. Here is a diversionary series of images to prove that:

For Klee, in the middle of WWII and Swiss, arrows represented direction, (which is hwy they almost always point to the right- the direction of reading) force, connection.

Isn’t that the essence of love? Klee’s Painting Hot Pursuit describes the connection of personal intention leading to something permanent:

So that’s where my uncontrolled subconscious thought was roaming when I saw this antique pin. After that, it became a game to combine components into a message necklace.

So let me give you a key to the necklace:

Arrow = the direction of hope points toward the wearer’s heart

Granite = solidity is the core of love

Crystal spinning inside a shell ring = volatility is the essence of romance

Oval filigree beads = love is intricate

Vintage chandelier crystal = purity gives way to all the spectrum

Blown glass heart and old etched glass heart = two hearts become one purpose

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Question of Balance

In my life, I’ve always been cobbling something together- making do out of found pieces, instead of having something new and made to fit.

But the world of beads is a world where I rule. I command the vast armies of beads, tell them where to go- pick them up when they overflow. So small and beautiful, beads let us have the feeling of control. Place them, move them. What they make is a work of art.

A work that can be worn, taken with me. I am my own museum.

In this simple necklace, I felt control palpably. It wasn’t just controlling the palette- ivory and earth color. It was finding a way to mount the Indian coin with its graphic round perfection over the smooth elongated rectangular fossil coral pendant. And I found matte moukaite rounds of the same diameter as the agate, to contrast with their high polish.

Moukaite is a wonderful stone – ranging from deep purple-red brown to creamy white, with shades of pink and amber in between. The 2 large matte burgundy rounds echo the dark coin, in both shape and color. The smaller matte rounds of moukaite blend in with the polished agate, noticed only when you look closely, and catch the hints of pink and rose.

You have to sift through a lot of beads, and pass up a lot of near-perfect choices to come up with what happened here. Looking at the necklace you can read the thoughts I was having about sameness and difference and how to tease the line between them.

So I felt perfectly in control, and in the end was pleased with all the decisions I’d taken in making the necklace. We both know that was an illusion: that the beads were in control…rolling out at the right time, letting their individual peculiarities become their perfection, and agreeing to stand in line forever, balanced between plan and accident, intention and adventure.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Psychic Moments with Earth

Beaders have prescience about small things: how many beads it will take to fit around a wrist, which color of gold will look best with some particular stone, when to stop planning and start working. I was reminded of this when we were in the office of an important man who invited my Muse and me to see a new gift he'd purchased for his son. It was on the floor, carefully packaged in many layers, behind his desk. Would I come and pick it up so it could be unwrapped and admired? And it was heavy, precious, said the important man.

"Oh, I said, walking around behind the desk toward where the treasure was mummified in bubblewrap and corrugated paper. "It's a dinosaur egg." Much to everyone's surprise, it was. The magical ancient ovoid was still indiscernible in its enraveled state, so there was no way my basic 5 senses had clued me on that. It just seemed that, on the short walk behind the desk, a dinosaur egg revealed itself dancing in mid air...couldn't have been anything else.

So this necklace came together in that way, visionary dancing in air, making itself asymmetrically and without question. The yellow turquoise barrels themselves seem like dinosaur eggs, and the green turquoise square is a corner of earth whose crevices and faults hide marvelous secrets. But my favorite: the vaseline opalized glass octagon that sits in front: light filtering through it with great mystery.