Creativity is Cyclical

Ruby Beach

Cape Flattery

Hoh Rainforest Moss Trail

Marymere Falls

Hoh Rainforest Spruce Trail

Ruby Beach

In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
― Anaïs Nin

The Cycle of Creativity

Creativity is cyclical - at least in my life it is. Days and weeks and months go by with the humming of ideas too many to grasp and bring to fruition. Then, it stops. The well runs dry.  I become barren; ideas don’t exist, days and weeks and months pass lacking spark. My existence is endless repetition, endless boredom.  Then, the cycle repeats itself. Somehow, as if by magic, the impetus and motivation mysteriously reappear.

So, what do I do in the downtime? “Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity,” sayeth T.S. Eliot. I definitely feel anxious when I hit the downside of this process.  I am in that place right now. Despite knowing that it will pass, I am compelled to mitigate the lack of motivation by doing things. I do things to inspire the return of the muse.

Taking Action to Recapture Creativity

Battling the tedium, I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest. I travelled to the places of my youth. I visited the edge of the earth. Creativity requires seclusion. In solitude, I hiked through the ancient Hoh Rainforest.  There, amidst the boundless ancient arboreal majesty, my mind could focus on colors, textures, smells, and the fecundity of nature. I traversed nearly 30 miles of trails and coastlines in a week. It was quiet. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. The anxiety faded.

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

I also visited the bustling city of Seattle. Seattle is a feast for the eyes – from the craziness of Pike Place Market to the heat of the glass blowing studios to the amazing exhibits of Dale Chihily’s organic sculptures. Sometimes, the anonymity of the city is good for the soul. I am no one.

Create Anyway

I am home now, and writing this blog, still waiting for the provocation to spur me into some creative action. Maybe not today, but it is nearing consciousness. As the unknown author says: “make something, even if it sucks.”

Hold on. Watch this space.


Pikes Place Fish Market

Chihuly Entry 1

Chihuly Garden

Chihuly Entry 2

Pike Place Market

The One That Got Away: Grieving the Sale of a Unique Piece?

Selling is essentially a transfer of feelings. - Zig Ziglar

Artists manage businesses and depend on sales. However, occasionally there is a unique piece that sells causing a bit of woe in its loss. The sale occurs suddenly before one has the time to linger over it, becoming less attached to one’s creation. I call these pieces “the ones that got away.” I recently had such a piece - a piece that got away from being exhibited, being photographed, being test worn.

Of all the butterflies that chose to stay,
I’m in love with the one that got away.
― Laura Miller

The necklace got away before I could name it. I create primarily one-of-a-kind pendants and attempt to name most of my pendants believing they deserve a unique identifier. The nameless beauty is a unique landscape dendritic shale cabochon focal, accented by fire citrine and onyx. The dendrites give an impression of being fossil ferns, when, in fact, they are manganese oxide crystals growing between layers of shale.

Designing is the most demanding part of this job. The cabochon was purchased several years ago, but it sat in inventory waiting for the muse. The shield shape presents design challenges, as well as the softness of the shale. Eventually, I chose to create an asymmetrical layered effect in textured sterling silver. The shale is dull in appearance and required a bit of spicing up by the additional of a fiery orange-red citrine. Black onyx complements the spindly, branching dendrites, and a wire-woven flourish completes the design.

You can either buy clothes or buy pictures. - Gertrude Stein

I took “the one that got away” to a holiday trunk show where it was admired by a returning customer. She photographed it, but did not purchase it. Our area had just suffered an historic, massive hurricane. My customer’s home had flooded. She had lost all her belongings on the first floor of her home. Additionally, her house was vandalized. Her jewelry (many pieces irreplaceable and some made by me) was stolen. Alas, she was hesitant to purchase this necklace because she had to replace her furniture. I was certain that this piece would be in my inventory for some time.

Artists want their work to have a good home because it makes their creative process worthwhile. Most artists put a lot of themselves into each piece they create. - Beverly Leesman

Several weeks later, I received a phone call from an unrecognized number. I answered, contrary to my usual reaction of avoiding unknown phone numbers. I am happy that I did! It was my customer’s employee. My customer had shown her employees the photo of the necklace. The employee inquired if the necklace was available. I assured her it was and arranged for her to see it at my studio.

We each sell a little piece of happiness. You are elevating someone's spirit in some way...
― Sonia Marciano

She purchased it on the spot, explaining that this was a joint effort on the part of the customer’s employees. They all chipped in to make the purchase and present their boss with a surprise Christmas gift. I am grateful for the sale. I also know that this singular piece is in a good home, valued by a treasured customer who was likely amazed at her surprise from her employees.

unique dendritic shale

unique dendritic shale

unique dendritic shale

Amidst the Madness – Artisan Pendant

Amidst The Madness

Amidst The Madness

Amidst The Madness Artisan Pendant

Everyone knows the cliché “busy hands are happy hands." The chaos and uncertainty of our world causes a desire to tame the wild. “Amidst the Madness” artisan pendant was borne out of the need to make sense in the maelstrom of chaos, to tame the beast, and to keep my hands and mind busy. Creating is a meditation – it takes total focus. So, I gave myself a problem to solve – build a piece that is simple.

“Amidst the Madness” is that experiment in simplifying my designs. I want to create pieces that are less busy, lending themselves more to daily wear. I love making the complex pieces, but find that they overwhelm some people. The simpler designs are no less stunning; they are just quieter.

Amidst The Madness Artisan Pendant Description

The central cabochon in Amidst the Madness artisan pendant is a form of porphyry, commonly called “Chinese Writing Stone. It is set in layers of textured fine silver and accented with a laboratory-grown emerald and 14k gold details. Wire woven details complete the composition. This artisan pendant has been oxidized to give a patina and lightly polished to raise highlights. As a bonus, this pendant also doubles as a brooch, which allows for options! This stone looks just as wonderful horizontally as it does vertically. The brooch can be worn in either direction.

Chinese Writing Stone Information

For you rocks geeks: Chinese Writing Stone (porphyry), is a limestone matrix containing crystals. It is called Chinese Writing Stone due to the resemblance of the crystal structures to the written characters of the Chinese language. The stone is found in both the Hunan Province of China and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Porphyry is a term geologists use to describe igneous rocks that consist of relatively large grains or crystals that are surrounded by a finer grained material, usually called the groundmass.

Amidst the Madness Artisan Earrings

Amidst the Madness artisan earrings are composed of a form of porphyry, commonly called “Chinese Writing Stone. The central cabochon is bordered with fine silver wire, a laboratory created emerald, and 10k gold accents. Layers of sterling silver form the dangle, which is embossed with Chinese characters mimicking the stone patterns.

“The only freedom you truly have is in your mind, so use it.”
― M.T. Dismuke

chinese writing stone

chinese writing stone

chinese writing stone

Amidst The Madness Artisan Earrings

Custom Order

custom work

Custom order

custom order

Custom order

Custom Order - Shrouded in Silence


Custom Order

A custom order is a delight to receive. More specifically, a custom order is particularly exciting when it is secret - to be bestowed as a gift - for a time, hidden from the eyes of the receiver. This custom order arrived without design constraints, leaving me free to stew in my creative juices - the way I work best. The customer who commissioned this piece cut this fabulous lava cap cabochon! I love it when a rock hound likes my designs. It is flattering and edifying and leaves me with resolve to continue feeding my jewelry-making passion.

"Shrouded in Silence" pendant boasts a large lava cap cabochon focal, which is set in sterling and fine silver. The stone is dark, midnight gray to almost white. Gray moonstone and hematite accent the focal, limiting the design to a monochromatic palette. I wanted to echo the marking of the stone. I added subtle "X" textures on the back plate to mimic the linear patterns in the lava cap. Playful linear accents and sprinkling of fine silver orbs complete the stone's frame. The resulting effect evokes shadowy mystery.

Hopefully, the mystery recipient will be as enchanted by the magic captured within this piece as I was creating it. I'll let you know what she thinks. If you are interested, I can make a custom piece for you. Contact me!

Jewelry is personal. Jewelry is powerful. Jewelry is symbolic. Jewelry is talismanic. 

“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” 
― Rainer Maria Rilke

“You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he gives you.” 
― Audrey Hepburn

 Or, in this case, the pendant he gives you!

Custom order

custom order

Custom order

Contact us today!

 If you are interested in custom jewelry, please contact me through my contact page.

Creative Block Part Two

Creative Block


Creative Block Resolution

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As mentioned in my previous creative block post, I have difficulty with certain geometric shapes. Somehow, my brain is wired to work with amorphous forms – their organic, non-linear boundaries pique my imagination and are pure poetry to my eye.

However, I was faced with creating two custom pendants from the most dreaded oval shaped cabochons. Don't get me wrong - the stones are delicious, rare Willow Creek and Bigg's Jaspers - but their form was repellent.  Thus, I began my arduous design journey. Added to the stress of thinking outside the ovals was the fact that my customer's husband is a goldsmith.

First of all, I made a color photocopy of each stone. This allows me to design around the colored copy with pencil until I reach a point that the design is acceptable. Secondly, the construction of various embellishment pieces was accomplished, as well as forming all bezels that encase each stone. There was a moderate amount of fussing around to get the pieces to fit. The fussing around included sawing, filing, and sanding these tiny metal embellishments. Thirdly, I lit the torch and performed numerous rounds of soldering. Lastly, I “finished” the pieces. Finishing includes patina, more filing and polishing, and setting of the stones.

The finished pieces are not symmetric despite the central cabochons being oval. The regular shape of the cabochon is accented by slight asymmetry in the final designs . I am pleased with the final product and they are in route to their owner.

"Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.”
― Thomas Carlyle



Contact us today!

 If you are interested in custom jewelry, please contact me through my contact page.


Creative Habits Artisan Jewelry Has Creative Block

creative block

 Creative Block

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
― Gustave Flaubert

I have a creative block. The muse has gone on vacation. Flaubert’s words can be applied to the creation of artisan jewelry just as well as to the musical arts. There are days when the creative block swallows me whole and impedes all work. Today was one of those days. I am fortunate to have two commissions from an individual, but am engulfed with frustration. Designing is the most difficult process in creating artisan jewelry (or anything as far as I am concerned) and can either flow with ease, or, become a living nightmare of disconnected thoughts and unfocused lines on a page. Designing is a force which fervently demands attention.

Ovals are my enemy. These two fine cabochons are Willow Creek and Biggs jaspers, and they are oval. My mind prefers working in the organic realm - freeform stones with undulating borders that allow for expanded asymmetry. Maybe that’s a sign of an unbalanced mind. Not really, asymmetry with balance is the utmost delicious luxury and I relish it. The challenge, therefore, is to “work outside the oval,” eventually arriving at a pleasant and unique perspective and a final design by playing with color, texture, adding, subtracting, drawing, erasing until the pattern clicks into finality.

So, here I am, uncomfortable, wrestling, like Sisyphus pushing the rock uphill, to capture the elusive vision hiding and lurking just out of my reach.

In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince: “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” I will post my progress…


Jahari – Azurite, Onyx, Emerald Artisan Pendant

Jahari Artisan Pendant

Jahari Artisan Pendant

Jahari Artisan Pendant

To date, one of the most complicated pieces that I have created. Jahari is an African name, generally used for a male, signifying a youthful, energetic and commanding personality. The focal of the Jarahi artisan pendant is a lovely azurite and malchite cabochon, most likely mined in the Southwest United States. Jahari artisan pendant sports a contrast with jet black onyx and sparkling emerald. Layers of etched sterling silver and wire-woven details complete this unique artisan pendant, which is suspended from a 30 inch sterling silver snake chain with a hand-forged clasp.

Jarahi Artisan Earrings

The earrings are also azurite and malachite. These matched cabochons came from the Morenci mine, located in Greenlee County, Arizona. The Morenci mine is the largest copper mining facility in North America, and azurite, malacite, and turquoise are by-products of such major mining activity. Azurite and malachite from the Morenci mine is highly prized.

Azurite-Malachite Information

The combination of azurite and malachite is rare; forming in environments where the alternating conditions for creating azurite and malachite exist. Historically, azurite has been used as a pigment in ancient Egypt and medieval Europe, where it was mixed with egg yolk to form a tempera paint used in murals and other artistic works.



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