Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Balancing Art and Life

It's a tricky balancing act. When I started this blog a few months ago, I thought it would be no problem to put a post up every week. Wrong! I am trying to balance time with my wonderful toddler daughter and husband, my day job, time to create in my studio, time to exercise (essential for my mental well-being), time to eat, time to do chores, and time to just relax. I have lots of ideas for posts, but not always the time and energy to sit down and do it.

Luckily, my creative mind can work even if it's not producing something tangible in short order. In the shower, during the unfortunately long commute to my day job, while washing dishes--my mind comes up with all kinds of ideas for jewelry and other creative projects. That can satisfy until I have a few moments, or, if I'm lucky, a few hours to actually create something (or write a blog post!).

I'm happy to say I have recently created a few new pieces of jewelry, and will try to post photos soon!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cherry Trees

It was late fall when my husband and I moved into our house several years ago, so we didn't know exactly what was in our yard until the next spring. I was thrilled when I saw we had two beautiful cherry trees in our yard. Cherry trees are my favorite tree of spring--they are one of the first trees to bloom, and with their pale pink blossoms, they are just gorgeous and romantic. While I hate to see the blossoms disappear, there is nothing like the shower of petals falling from the tree that blankets the ground like pink snow.

Cherry trees in our yard (above)

A few years ago, I experienced cherry tree nirvana when we drove to Macon, GA for their Cherry Blossom Festival. Macon has over 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees, and we visited during the height of their bloom. Streets lined with cherry trees, yards filled with cherry trees--they were everywhere!

Anyway, my love of cherry trees inspired me to create my Cherry Tree Pendant. The trunk on this tree is a little exaggerated--I would say it has some "bonsai flair," but sometimes artistic license is necessary to make a piece work. The tree in the pendant is sawn with a jeweler's saw, pierced through an original drawing glued to the top of the silver. I finished with with a matte surface to give it a softer look. To me, it almost looks like a cherry tree in the moonlight.

Cherry Tree Pendant (available at

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inspiration-a favorite place

Image by Jack Jennings, courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

One of my favorite places in the whole world is the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, and in particular, their Japanese garden. The Japanese garden is called "Seiwa-en," or garden of pure, clear harmony and peace. It's a magical place of water, pathways, waterfalls, raked gravel zen gardens, cherry trees, Japanese maple trees, water lilies, carp and bridges. For me, it is a place of incredible peace and calmness, and a wonderful source of inspiration for my jewelry.
I have a line of jewelry called "Zen Geometry" that was largely inspired by the quiet calm of Seiwa-en. The pieces called "Pebble Path" are inspired by both the secret pathways in the garden a beautiful beach of smooth polished river rock. The "Waterfall" pieces have a texture that reminds me of the rushing water of waterfalls found in the garden. The stone beads I've used in these pieces reflect the blue of the sky and the lovely green of new growth in the spring. A couple of "Zen Geometry" pieces are below. You can view the entire collection on my website:

Pebble Path earrings with faceted peridot (above)

Waterfall Pendant with faceted Amazonite (above)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Yesterday we celebrated Valentine's Day in several ways. One of the things we did was go to the birthday party for the daughter of a friend of ours. They called it a "Love Fest," a combination birthday party and Valentine's celebration. I decided to toast her daughter's second birthday by making her a love bracelet. I don't expect her to actually wear it; I made a baby bracelet for my own daughter who will be two in a couple of weeks, and she won't keep it on, but at the least, it can be a sentimental souvenir of birthday number two.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Brandeis Closing its Art Museum

Today I was forwarded a shocking story from the New York Times about Brandeis University closing its art museum due to a budget deficit and decline in its endowment. (Read it here: Times are tough for all universities right now, but does that merit such a knee-jerk reaction? Quick, let's find something to sell--what can we sell? I know--the arts aren't important to us, so let's sell everything in the museum. What's most galling is that Brandeis' art museum is pretty much self supporting and their budget is balanced. They are not a drain on the university's budget. In fact, they cost the university almost nothing. And yet the university feels it is theirs for the taking. Most of the museum's art has been donated--I know how angry I would be if I had donated work to the museum only to have it sold off. As the last sentence in the story states, when the going gets tough, "art is dispensible."

I work at a university that has an art museum. Times are tough for us too. Our endowment has also declined, and there is a budget deficit. And yet the administration is taking careful and prudent steps to figure out how to deal with the situation. They are not making any hasty decisions and I doubt any one part of the university will take such a big hit. I believe the solution will lie in cuts in all parts of the university, as it should be. Why should one university institution shoulder the burden?

For more information about what you can do, including an online petition, go to:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Trying Something New

One of my intentions for 2009 was to start a jewelry/art/design/creativity blog. However, it kept falling to the bottom of my to-do list, usurped by mundane (albeit necessary) chores. But this morning as I left the house, my husband told me it was Jackson Pollock’s birthday, and showed me a really cool website ( where you can create your own Pollock-esque work of art (over and over again, if you want—it’s a great time-waster). 

When I first thought of writing a blog, I decided that my first post would be called “Trying Something New.” When I got to work (at the Emory Dance Program), I made my own “Pollock” and displayed it on my desk for the day. I kept thinking that Jackson Pollock’s birthday would be a perfect day to “try something new.” I don’t think my blog will revolutionize anything, like Pollock’s work did for the art world, but I hope those who read it will enjoy it and be inspired to do something creative!

My intent for this blog is to showcase my own work, talk about sources of inspiration, and showcase the work of friends and colleagues who will hopefully share what creativity means to them, and what inspires them.

Inspiration comes from many places, often unexpectedly. My ideas might occur while on a walk in the park, while in the shower, while looking at art books, while surfing the Web, while driving to work. I never have enough time to make all of these ideas come to fruition in the form of a piece of jewelry (or even in a drawing), but some of them stick in my mind and won’t let go until I do something with them.

I hope to post once a week or so—so check back often, or click the "follow this blog" link on the right side of the page. Now, go try something new!