Let’s be clear, I am inspired by so much at times I feel my head wants to explode, yet I always come back to a shape that feels just right…the circle. A circle has so many meanings that of … Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As with all blog posts I tried to organize my thoughts this morning while quietly drinking my tea. I spent much time updating and making some much-needed changes to my blog. Much like this inspiring pile of beach stones, it takes time to choose which beach stone will be transformed with forged silver into what kind of focused piece of jewelry, it too takes time to choose images and words to convey the thoughts and emotions that best describe my work and the space I am in at the moment.
I had an amazing opportunity this past week to attend the #inbound13 marketing conference in Boston, thanks to my son-in-law who works for Hubspot. I got to witness the energy of the current technology boom in a way I never have. Noticing all the time that I was one of the few in the entire audience of 5300 that was gray-haired and over the age of 35. I got to listen to one of my favorite bloggers in the world of marketing, Seth Godin who brought to everyone’s attention that we all needed to, “Be one of a kind, own it and live it”. His call to being “remarkable” and to “delight” people with our stories was refreshing and inspiring. In a world where there is so much information in order to be recognized and be appreciated for what we do, give people the information of most value, what is it about what you do that is special?
I also listened closely to Arianna Huffington speak about the need to reconnect, recharge. Remove technology from your down time, stop living a life of hurry up and take note of ourselves. Most notable was when she said that “life only makes sense when you are living it”. Well, in this world of day to day responsibilities I am learning from the words of these entrepreneurs, these people who are taking the world by storm and being authentic.
When I looked at this beautiful organization of beach stones that I collected and remember the feeling of being at one with the ocean and it’s offerings I realize that I am authentic, I am doing what I was meant to be doing. I am truly focused and my world makes sense and my process takes me to a place of feeling connected to the earth, this I know is my calling in life.
Balancing life is what poses the challenges and if there is anything I take away from this busy time in Boston or this beautiful and peaceful time collecting each ocean tumbled marvel from the beach is that time is of most value. Giving, sharing and loving are the mantra that fills my well. I feel the well is full and I am in need of the creative step, so onward I go.
Thank you for following my journey.
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.
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.
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!!
Here is the list as it is today:
June 29-July 1, Maine Home & Design Show, Camden, Maine
July 21-22, Blue Hill Fine Craft Show. Blue Hill, Maine
September 8-9, Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival. Wells, Maine
September 15-16, Fall in the Village Art & Music Festival. Freeport, Maine
September 21-23, Common Ground Fair. Unity, Maine
November 9-10, The Gifted Hand. Ellsworth, Maine
November 16-18, Artful Gifts. Northport, Maine
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.
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.