The month of October came and went. Faster than I could blink, and even faster than my brain could really register. I traveled thousands of miles in the first few weeks. I returned to Northern Michigan to join my herd as we laid a family member to rest. The countryside seemed to explode around me with the most vibrant of autumn hues. It was a fitting reminder of the seasonal punctuation my life misses in San Francisco, where the mild climate never reminds me that today is different from yesterday, and months are slipping undetected between my fingers.
I returned to San Francisco and left the same day, heading northward to the Redwood National Forest with Ryan and friends. It was peaceful and the landscape was breathtaking. We camped, hiked, wandered and explored. But mostly, I took time out to observe and absorb.
The undercurrent these few weeks was a blatant reminder of time’s painful persistence. Whether marveling at ancient redwoods or catching glimpses of fleeting foliage, the adage of ‘not getting any younger’ was annoyingly on point. As of late it seems every job I undertake is time sensitive. The more I free myself to find breathing room, the more my calendar fills up. It is something I am learning to cherish instead of stress. My work is rewarding, and I feel this path aligning beneath me. I’m lucky to be where I am and should find beauty in every second of it.
Bring on November.
I spent this past weekend unwinding in Yosemite National Park. In addition to taking in beautiful scenery and wildlife, I found myself thinking heavily about what nature means to me, and what it means to my jewelry.
I found that when in the wilderness I’m more inclined to look downward. While others marvel over the height of waterfalls and vistas, I’m knocking over logs to see what’s underneath. This weekend I got up-close and personal with every swatch of natural texture. I clambered over rocks like a 5 year old on a jungle gym. This is how I experience the outdoors- and I love every second of it.
It led me into pretty deep thought about what is ‘organic’ in jewelry terms. Nearly every artisan jewelry designer will tell you they are inspired by nature in one form or another- ‘nature’ being blanket term that can mean anything from casting live pine cones and succulents to simply using a surface texture that’s anything other than a high polish. Hammered surfaces are considered ‘organic’, patinas on metal are ‘organic’, and even a pierced piece of flat silver sheet is categorized as ‘organic’ if the motif resembles plants or roots. So how is one to be inspired from the world around us without it becoming trite?
This question nagged at me as we wound our way through the rocky trails and tall sequoia trees. The problem is that I like jewelry that is organic inspired even in the most literal of translations. But I feel that other artists have tackled and nailed that style- Sarah Graham and Betsy Barron for instance. What is it that I want to take away from nature and infuse into my own style?
I’m happy to say that after many miles on the trails, I think I’ve resolved what nature means to me. I’ve plotted out mental notes for a new collection which utilizes natural elements from this weekend and infuses them with my developing aesthetic and style. A mix of meticulous shapes with a hint of wabi-sabi that results in what I’ll give a working title of ‘modern/urban/organic’. Nature’s full of imperfection- and that’s possibly my favorite part.