Indian Summer on a Maine Beach

 

There is nothing better than the last days of summer in September when the temps are above 75 and the beaches are deserted. I feel blessed to be able to take advantage of this beautiful time of year, to feel the warmth of the sunshine and the wash of the water over my bare feet. It is these walks that fill my well with creative energy and peaceful meditation. It is these adventures that begin with a fog bank so thick you think it might never lift.

Path to Morning Foggy Beach

Path to Morning Foggy Beach

When the temps rise and the fog lifts the excitement of the hunt begins and the sounds of the waves become the mantra that fills my head. Today I am with my partner, my rock, the person that makes my world possible. Today is a good day, one that she is able to accompany me to enjoy this beautiful Maine Beach Day in September.

 

Resting After Rock Collecting

Resting After Rock Collecting

Being on a beach with no one in site, with the beach to ourselves is an amazing experience, a true gift of life in Maine. I can take the time to connect with all of the beauty of the beach, beyond the stones that I collect, the seaweed, the larger stones within stones all fill my soul with wonder and a peace that is a wonderful meditative process.

Rocks within Rocks

Rocks within Rocks

Colors of Seaweed

Colors of Seaweed

One last look at the place I spent my day with the person that means the most and a memory of a perfect day and the excitment of getting home to examine the treasures we have picked to become a part of my work.

Sunny Maine Beach Goodbye

Sunny Maine Beach Goodbye

When we arrive home it’s time to sort and wash the stones that have been collected with care. Chosen one by one in the hopes that when they are examined closer that they will be great additions to my jewelry. Each stone has the potential to be the focal point of  my beach stone & silver jewelry that I will forge in my studio. Sorting by size and washing with the garden hose, on our handmade table on the deck, is the perfect end to a perfect Maine Beach Day. It’s time for a great dinner and listening to the rain outside I have a wonderful feeling of peacefulness washing over me, like the water rushing  over the stones today on the beach.

Washing & Sorting Beach Stones

Washing & Sorting Beach Stones

Hammers, Maine Beach Stones and Tools of the Trade

I love Hammers

I love Hammers

I am a collector of things. Yes I connect with many objects whether it be of natural origin or of antique and vintage aged items, they infatuate and inspire me. They all have a story to tell, through their lines and markings  and worn areas, you are left to wonder what journey they have been through in their previous existence?

Forging 4g Wire Flat

Forging 4g Wire Flat

Working on a New Design Forged 4g strips & 14g rings

Working on a New Design Forged 4g strips & 14g rings

Work in Progress Links Necklace

Work in Progress Links Necklace

The stones that I am a drawn to have been part of the earth for more years than I can even fathom. I am forever imagining the paths they have taken while being tumbled by the ocean and from the depths of where they have come, only to be transported to the beaches via the rolling and often times crashing waves. These beach stones, beach rocks or, amazing treasures of the sea as I like to call them, are my inspiration daily. In order to showcase them in the way that I envision them I start with simple things, tools of my trade you would say, most importantly my hammers.

I am fortunate enough to have some very meaningful sources for my tools, as with my stones the story of how they came to me is as important as the hammer itself.  Each time I reach for my treasured ball peen hammer I remember that it is a tool that hung amongst the throngs of well-worn tools from my Father’s work bench. This man who willed me his passion to attempt to try anything, this mechanic who spent his life fixing anything and everything he could get his hands on. I feel his energy with the blows of the hammer and revel in the feeling that he is always watching me from his place high above and guiding me through my processes with both pride and criticism, of which I deserve both.

I have been given the privilege to live across the street from my partner Pam’s Grandfather’s house for 9 years now. His workshop is filled with tools that were from his father and his grandfather and so on. These hardy Mainers from Cushing & Thomaston were seafaring folk and their tools have stories that even I can’t imagine being a part of. Bump, as Pam would call her Grandfather, had many jobs in his 96 years of life, a few were working at the Bath Iron Works and the crew that constructed Maine Yankee in Wiscasset. He came to be a caretaker here on Montsweag Rd for the “summer people”, so each and every tool had a journey through many lives. Several of these treasures are in my possession and when I grip their aged handles I am reminded of his steadfast spirit and once again he shared my fathers ability to attempt most of any project.

I feed my soul with a good  “find” while visiting the Montsweag Flea Market as well as yard sales and other great antique markets all year-long. These tools are those I know no stories about, but from markings on the faces and surfaces I understand that each worn handle was held with a need, a passion to complete the task at hand. I have created patterns in the faces of some of these hammers and it is with that hammer blow I achieve my own unique and one of a kind texture. This hammer blow and the pattern it leaves behind brings me the joy of a job well done and I feel guided by everyone before me who has held each hammer in their hand.  Whether it be a carpenter, ship builder, mechanic, cobbler, farrier, iron worker, plumber or a woman like me who hammers silver, the energy they left behind is with me guiding me through each strike.

Tools are what allowed these people to problem solve and fix what was broken and build the foundation for projects both small and large. These same tools are now the tools of my trade along with some new purchases and I hope that someday they will part of someone elses life, so that they too can feel the energy that I have added and the passion I feel for each one’s unique shape, weight, age and smooth worn handles.