I love what I do. Simple times begin on Maine beaches looking for smooth, worn beach stones. I come across many different sizes, shapes and colors, but am always amazed each and every time I am graced with a heart-shaped stone. It is not whether it is a perfectly shaped heart, it is simply that the shape evokes an emotion. A feeling that the symbolism of a heart signifies love in so many ways. Love of beaches, the earth, nature, my partner, my dogs, my family, my friends, each of these connections are evoked when I find a heart stone nestled among the many other shaped stones on the beach.
Treasured and collected by many, heart-shaped beach stones are revered because they are created by the crashing of the waves, the rubbing together against other rocks and worn smooth by more years than I have been on this earth. I revel in the shape that nature has bestowed upon this simple stone, one that is not common.
When I bring my hand-picked stones home from my excursions I am able to recount the days and time spent on the beach and the moments of excitement I felt when these special stones were chosen for my collection. When I analyze how to drill them and in turn what to create from these treasured heart stones I then am able to share with others the love I feel.
As Valentine’s Day approaches I look back on the heart stone necklaces & bracelets that I have created and those who purchased them. Sometimes they are purchased as gifts of love, sometimes by collectors who just can’t get enough of the heart-shaped stones. No matter what the reason I understand the draw of the shape and the sentiment behind the love of this simple beach stone.
Re-purposed leather belts with Maine Beach Stones & brass rivets
2013 has started out as a year of adjusting to changes. The excitement of having a home/studio and creating my jewelry from a bench just steps from my garden, the chickens & beautiful Montsweag Bay is a wonderful thing! The closing of The Creative Turtle after 5 seasons was a bittersweet moment in November of 2012, but a necessary step in my new path as a productive metalsmith. I will miss the visits from amazing people in the gallery that were part of each day, but I will cherish the focus and quiet that I will have as I forge and design my silver pieces and drill my stones without interruption. I have come to realize that focus is truly what is needed for completing my projects in a way that is not only enjoyable & efficient, but also affords me the ability to absorb my amazing environment and draw from it all the while being able to do so at home.
After the year of many transitions and realizations in 2012, I am making plans for new shows, additional gallery & shop representation as well as new designs. I added three very exciting new concepts to my work last year, Silver cuffs & rings that are hand forged and oxidized to highlight the patterns from my special hammer. These pieces each incorporate the use of brass tube rivets as a focal point to compliment the beach stones. I repeated this concept in the up-cycled leather belt bracelets that have been so successful for me and great price point as well as a fresh new look. I find it important to remain challenged and excited by adding new creations to my repertoire of elemental designs. I always keep in mind how to focus on the stones that I collect from the Maine coast and how I can highlight them while staying true to my organic style. I am happy to say that I am satisfied with 2012 production and look forward to expanding in 2013 with so much extra time on my hands with which to focus on my work.
I will start my shows off this year with a wonderful opportunity to show my work at Craft Boston this year in April. As a juried member of the Maine Crafts Association I will be exhibiting in a large shared booth opportunity in a market that I have been anxious to connect with. Spring will bring a flurry of activity to get ready for this show as well as getting the studio ready for an Open Studio” event to be announced soon. January and February is full of applying for shows and creating work for spring placement in new galleries and shops that provide exciting opportunities to expose many more people to my Beach Stone Jewelry.
I am looking forward to achieving the goal of a more regimented attempt at blogging, social media and staying ahead of the curve so that I can enjoy some time to feed my creative well. Trips to the beach to forage for just he right amazing beach stones on the Maine coast as well as gardening, kayaking and taking care of the homestead will be high priority as well. Most of all helping my partner Pam get well and make this the year of healing from Lyme after her long 4 year battle will be a constant in each of my days.
I want to thank everyone who has supported my journey through creativity and my attempt to create a life that is rich with nature and expression through my jewelry. Please share my blog with those you feel would enjoy my work and my words!
Here’s to 2013 a year to settle into a rhythm of creativity.
Great pic of the new recycled leather & beach stone cuffs
Beach Stone and Silver Bangles
Close up of the new Birch Slice displays!
Wide Beach Stone tube riveted on to a recycled leather belt with solid brass snaps
Penny riveted to the back of the leather & beach stone bracelet
It has been far too long since I have posted on my blog and much has happened in this busy life of mine. I have come to the conclusion that people are kinder than you can ever think when you are going through a personal health struggle with someone you love and that there is just never enough time to keep up on all of the marketing and posting on social media, blogs and emails!!
That being said, I have my first show of the season under my belt with my new booth design, that just wouldn’t have been possible without the help of from very special family members who worked diligently to make my vision come true. I am thrilled with the design and will tweak a few things next time, but all in all it’s perfect!! The show under the large white tent for the Maine Home & Design Show was a great time and a new location. I met many wonderful new faces, but saw some very familiar ones from both the gallery in Boothbay Harbor as well as the wonderful staff at Maine & Maine Home + Design magazines. They do a wonderful job of marketing and I was happy with the wonderful compliments on both my work and the new booth design. I am very excited to see the 48 hours in Boothbay Harbor editorial that will be in the upcoming August issue!!
Now down to new and exciting work! I have finally taken my concept that has been percolating over the winter and created a new line of Leather Cuffs made from recycled belts with brass riveted beach stones. Once again my focus is always on the stone; color, shape, size and texture. I take a simple approach to adhering the stone with a brass tube rivet and finish with solid brass snaps. I have had a great time this winter searching for the right stones for these bracelets as well as the collection of belts that might work for the designs. It’s been a challenge to find the right belts and after a few mis-steps I have finally determined what I like and what will work! They are fun and distinctive, chunky and small as well. I expect them to be a unisex style and hope to come up with some additional more rugged styles for men in the near future. The reaction on my Facebook page has been great and they are selling well! Trying to keep up with new pieces is my only challenge and a good one to have! Each bracelet has a little surprise inside, a penny that is located right behind the stone for a little extra luck and good copper energy to go along with the energy of the beach stone. A wrist measurement is all you need and a leather belt color, choose the year of the penny you would like and I can email you pics of stones…and it’s a personal bracelet for you or a loved one. They make wonderful gifts with a character and impact that is unmistakable and unique!
For now work in the gallery is happening as often as I can, I close when I need to for medical appointment and errands for Pam. If you need to reach me I am always available by cell at 603-475-0762 or by email: Circlestonedesignsmaine@gmail.com. Please add one more show to the list this summer! After a great conversation with Dave Getchell at Maine Boats & Harbors I will be participating in their show in Rockland on August 10-12. I did the show two years ago with Pam and wasn’t located in a very good spot for the great crowd that they draw, but this year I will be in the art related area…so take some time and come up to Rockland for a great time in mid August and don’t forget the Boat Yard Dog Trials on Sunday!!
I have felt the draw for quite some time now to get myself to the coast to gather some inspiration and April 13-14 was just the right time. If there is anything that I have learned is that it is necessary to seize the moment when it comes to hunting for just the right stones for my jewelry. The right temperature, tide and day of the week seem to all play a role! I was without my usual companions, my partner Pamela and our beloved Weims Jasmine & Stone. Stone passed away the beginning of March, at the age of 12, in front of our wood stove in a very peaceful way. We miss him dearly and our lives will never be the same, it’s always been the 4 of us on the adventures. So this time I ventured out completely alone and had time for some contemplative thoughts.
Once again I found myself in my 3 favorite spots, each time for hours to enjoy the sounds, smells and sights of the coast of Maine, this time in complete solitude. I spent many hours over my 2 days picking up each individual beach stone with great care so as not to take what I would not use. This has become more important to me with each trip I take no matter where I am. This natural resource is so precious and I honor and am thankful for what mother earth provides for me in choices. My eye for the right stones is becoming more trained as is my connection to each piece that I chose to pick up.
I stayed at a lovely Inn and although I only slept in the bed one night, was very thankful for the large tub that soaked my back that evening!! I have been diligent about by body posture since going to physical therapy and did a great job bending and stooping to pick up each stone. A special thanks to Matt & Bobby at Coastal Orthopedics for the lessons in body strength and position, it really does work!
Upon my return I have spent quite a bit of time organizing my work and designing new displays, so that all of my Beach Stone Treasures are going to be highlighted in a very thoughtful way. Here is a preview of what I have created and will be using in The Creative Turtle, as well as the shows I have been lucky enough to be juried into for this upcoming season. My first trip will be up to Archipelago the end of this week and we will see how they work out there. I am very excited to blend the warmth of the Birch Wood with the organic & raw style of my jewelry, I feel it truly gives my work the energy it has when it is worn by a person, as the wood has it’s own wonderful warm energy.
If you have a chance take a look at the new website, I have added quite a bit of work and am excited about it’s new format! Circle Stone Designs is finally becoming the site that I have strived for all year!
I have just updated my show schedule and am very excited to have added several shows to my list!! I am honored to be juried into these shows and will look forward to connecting with new clients and collectors who have been so kind in their support of my work. Check out the following links to see what show you might be able to attend and make sure that you stop by to say hi!! Subscribe to my blog and I will give you 10% off your purchase at any show you purchase my work from. This list will be growing so be sure to check out the blog and website for updates!!
Time is ticking away as the opening of the gallery is just around the corner. I wish I could say I have made great progress on all of the things that I set out to complete this winter, but as I always say, “it is what it is” so that being said I am very proud of what I have accomplished. Circle Stone Designs is now live and is ready to make it’s first sales! I do still have to load all of the pictures and jewelry pics so I have to exercise some patience, but with some more time I should be able to get things up and finished in the next week. I have also embarked on a new path in design of a new leather bracelets with beach stones & made from recycled belts. Check back soon for new pics, in the mean time this is a nice stone in one of my classic Circle Stone necklaces that is available on my website. Time is ticking so I am off to rest for the night and look forward to tomorrow being another creative day filled with accomplishments!!
As winter melts away my thoughts turn towards my strong desire to get to the beaches of Maine. I long for the sun and sounds of the water as it breaks on the rocks that are so precious to me. Unlike the sounds of the sand beaches, stone beaches have a far different feel and sound. Smooth stones of all sizes rumble and rub against themselves with each crashing wave, a music to me that is both meditative and full of energy.
As I spend my time surveying the landscape and hand pick each treasured stone, I imagine what beautiful piece of jewelry that I might make from what the earth has provided and what the waves and water have tumbled into a smooth supple stone. I spend hours stooped over and bent to pick up what I am moved by. I could spend days on end in this same position if my body would allow. I am thankful for my flexibility and patience and am fed by the smells, sounds and colors that I see.
As there are changes on the horizon for the place I use as my studio, I realize that everything begins here at the beach. It makes no difference where I create, but where my creative process begins will always remain the same.
4gauge silver wire becomes thick links for stone bracelet
Hand Forged 4gauge silver linked Stone Bracelet
Christmas is a memory and tax month completed I look forward to the next holiday that brings joy to young and old alike, Valentines Day. A wonderful gift of a treasured creation that is inspired by nature always makes a wonderful gift! I have a great selection of work available both on my website and at Archipelago in Rockland as well as some pieces not yet photographed and up on The Creative Turtle website. Drop me an email or a phone call and I am happy to provide photos of new pieces!
I was delighted to create a new design this holiday season a thicker version of my Strip Linked Stone Bracelet.. A chunky version of the thinner design pictured in the first photo. This design is rugged and feels great on the wrist. I was honored that a very cherished client’s husband made this a special gift for her for Christmas! I am now working on several other commissions and new pieces and will also be creating a necklace with this same format, yet to be implemented, but in the design stage(stored in my brain!!)
I find great joy in the design stage and even greater satisfaction in implementing a unique design. One step at a time and one hammer blow at a time creates wonderful wearable pieces of silver sculpture adorned by the natural beach stones. Heaven!
As I sent my jury application to The Common Ground Fair yesterday I thought of how excited I am to begin our 5th season in Boothbay Harbor and how much this town has come to mean to me. Seeing the snow outside and remembering the cool summer breezes is going to get me through the winter. Looking forward to seeing familiar faces in the gallery and meeting new ones both in BBH and at the shows that I will be attending. Check back with the list of new shows soon!!
Stay warm or for those of you in the warmer climates, enjoy the sunny breezes!!
Finally I took the step to get some professional photos done of a few pieces and I couldn’t be happier with them! They are not my classic, wood or stone background but they certainly highlight the jewelry in a different manner. I have Robert Diamante to thank for these wonderful photos and I do believe that my Jury Submissions this year will be greatly enhanced by having him work his magic!
As I look back on 2011 there have been many changes in my way of thinking about how to market my work and how to reach just the right customer. I hope to implement my new ideas in 2012 and will continue to fill The Creative Turtle with my classic work a well as some interesting designs.
There have been some great shows for me this season and I have met some wonderful fellow artists who also are making a living selling their creations. If you have any interesting shows that you attended and think that my work might fit in, let me know! I would love to hear from you, feedback is always welcome.
I would like to thank all of the clients and collectors who supported me by adding my work to their jewelry selections and I do hope that you feel the spirit & energy of the coast of Maine in each and every piece that I create! Enjoy your Holidays!!
It is time once again when we are busy making lists and checking them twice. A busy time for those who create and those who must purchase meaningful gifts for those we love. So many choices of where to shop and what to buy.
As the time ticks away to holiday gift giving I hope the each of you will think about supporting local artisans when you purchase that a special something. Each of us will be thrilled that you are giving a piece of art that we have created and the person you give your hand crafted gift to will appreciate the sentiment in supporting the arts. Next weekend I will have the joy of being one of the selected artists at the Christmas Market at the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. I hope that if you have the time or are in the area that you will stop by to see what some of the interesting artisans in Maine have handcrafted for this holiday season. I know that I will be thrilled to share my hand forged silver and beach stone creations with you. Hope to see you there!! 10-3pm Dec 10th.