Back in March when we went into lockdown, I found it hard to keep on making jewelry.
On the one hand here was a gift of uninterrupted time which I felt I should take advantage of. Haven’t I always bemoaned the lack of time to design new work? What about all those ideas bumping around in my head for sculptural pieces and what I think of as “jewelry for the home”?
On the other hand, hawking jewelry seemed utterly inappropriate and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
And then came protests around the world over crucial issues. Jewelry?! It didn’t seem important. So I sat back from showing or sharing, and dropped off social media and these emails completely. I couldn’t imagine when I’d be back.
In truth even before all that I’d found myself saying repeatedly that I was feeling tired creatively. Uninspired.
I’ve been making jewelry for twenty years. Designing and running my own business for fifteen. I wasn’t feeling excited or energized. It seemed clear to me that I needed to reboot somehow, and find my way back to the heart of my creative self.
In January I took up a simple daily collage practice, using scans of old family photos.
This helped. I needed to be making something just for the sake of making, without concern for the market. I needed to play. But I still felt like I was spinning my wheels.
So when we went into lockdown I gave myself permission to take a time out. I weeded my flower beds. I planted a huge vegetable garden. I (along with the entire world and their sister) baked sourdough bread. I napped. I built myself a ladder so I could climb up into my favorite tree and see the world from above.
I walked through my yard at night, feeling the dark trees around me that have grown from the little twigs I planted years ago.
I unashamedly “wasted” time. I lay in the grass and stared at the sky. I played hide and seek with the catbirds. I napped some more.
Gradually and imperceptibly my interest in jewelry has returned. I ordered materials. I have some ideas I’m tinkering with in the studio. And I’m planning a fun online event — I'll tell you about it here soon.
It feels so good to be back.
These 3 things
The second half of August in the Hudson Valley always takes me by surprise. The leaves start to turn and drop and everything takes on a golden hue.
Maybe it's the Celtic in me but I love a good sad song and I miss John Prine who we lost earlier this year. We've been singing Summer's End around here a lot lately. And I love this cover of Hello in There recorded in Scotland in the 90s.
What's your end of summer song?