Hello 2023 + A nod to the past
Hello to a new year. I've had a couple quiet, child-free mornings over these first days of 2023. My daughter has had two sleepovers with the visiting grandparents. I can't claim that I've been productive with the extra time. It feels like it would take weeks of child-free mornings to catch up on rest and allow for the presence of mind needed to step back into any sort of thoughtful routine where I can clearly plan my days. Mornings typically begin by 6am or earlier with instant, non-stop demands from an energetic two year old. After endless breakfast, keeping the wood stove going, maybe some clean up, a little bit of play, a whole lot more mess-making suddenly it's 10 am and we might still be in pajamas and I can only dream of when I might get some uninterrupted bench time.
This year I am going to work, yet again, on accepting the ebbs and flows of productivity at the jewelry bench and, better yet, that productivity is no measure by which to gauge the success of my days. Our world teaches us at every turn that the amount we work and produce is a proxy for how valuable we are. I just started listening to Do Nothing: How to Break Away From Overworking, Overdoing and Underliving by Celeste Headlee. I hope there are some good takeaways.
For the last two or three years I have been saying I've been silversmithing for 10 years. (...catch that? :) A new year is a good time to set the record straight so I dug into my old emails to figure out when I actually took my first metalsmithing class. It was summer 2008. I took classes for a couple years and then I built my first website in 2010. I had my own tiny home workbench by then and vended at my first show that year. So, may the official record state that as of January 2023, I have been consistently making jewelry since 2010. 12 years of having my own workbench.
I often look back on my early days of silversmithing. Unfortunately when my ancient laptop died last Spring I lost many of my photos, but I will share some of the earlier pieces that I still remember making. I remember the technical challenges they posed to me as a new jeweler and the triumph of completing them. They were critical milestones, and while it sounds cheesy to say, they were all part of how I got to where I am today. There's endless skills to learn and I am still a baby metalsmith, but the sense of confidence I gained from early projects was essential. As 2023 unfolds, I hope that reflection and acknowledging my evolution as an artist can be as much a part of what moves Lumenrose Jewelry forward as the new designs and skills I will learn in the future.
Here are some past jewels from the early years, when both my silversmithing and photography skills were, shall we say, in training.