Tuesday, May 19, 2009

on pacing and cheesy hula skirts

This re-adventure into the land of jewelry-making has been the same familiar creative process that I have been accustomed to all my life; building and destroying, building and destroying, layers and scratches and layers and torn pieces and layers slowly built to a finished work; a slow, methodical extraction of the mundane and chaotic from the mundane and chaotic.

What has been different this time, as I remember vividly, or perhaps vaguely, earlier, or maybe in another lifetime has been the absence of the hour upon hour, irrespective of time, toiling, until something--often less than something--lay trembling and gasping for air in front of me. This grueling pace has, so far, not again allowed me into it's graces. Whether from age, or some other new force at work, I am slung from my workbench at the slightest revelation, "a small addition here, and maybe here, then away with you."

This new phenomena has created an inner voice that screams, "You are quickly becoming old and senile, and your inspiration is evaporating, and your shaking hands will certainly be useless by tomorrow."

Pandering to this frenzied voice produces jewelry that looks and tastes like mall food; not the greasy, pungent, curried food from the back-corner vendor that refuses to stay in it's assigned plate cubbyholes, and smells like passion, or love, and tastes like both; but the well-wrapped, precisely portioned, tasteless and popular food that is offered with too much paper and soft drink.

It seems that the only way I can get any new work done is by indirection. Being springtime in Oregon, the garden is appreciative of any non-jewelry work I can muster, so I spend a decent portion of the day there--a ruse of digging and hoeing--until I catch the anti-muses nodding; I then carefully creep back into the workshop, a snip here, a glob there, until I hit upon something that seems to work, the guards start at their posts, and I am handily tossed from the room.

My current project, now way over-budget, as they say, is a pair of earrings to go with Dr Bard's first real adventure through the garnet door. My intent is to give the earrings a floating jellyfish (slash) hot air balloon (slash) pen-and-ink drawing look, similar to the illustrations one would see in a turn of the twentieth century children's book. The relationship between the top cap, bottom cap with tentacles, and the center stone bead has been troublesome. The bottom cap with tentacles should be my last hurdle; finding that middle ground between looking too much like a real jellyfish, and looking like a cheesy hula skirt.


  1. Englighten me. Who is this Dr. Bard?

  2. Dr Bard; doctor, scientist, explorer, skeptic lived at the turn of the 20th century. Among his many exploits, he rediscovered the 'Lost City of Pearls', and the legendary 'Garnet Door'.

    After discovering the Garnet Door, he devoted much of his life to understanding and manipulating the door to control the 'other world' that lay beyond. After learning to control the door, (more or less), he saved the world more than once, both in the past and in the future.

  3. I take it he is a fictional character. Of your creation?

  4. Yes Christopher, he is a fictional character of my making.

    He was born here.