Sunday, August 31, 2008

What inspires you?

The subject of inspiration came up the other day when someone asked me "what inspires you"? It's a challenging question to answer; my answer often depends on who asked the question. Sometimes my answer is short and simple- nature, for example- but the reality is that it is at once, both more complex and more simple than that.

For me, I can be inspired by anything and everything, it is really more a question of receptivity. Yes, I think dragonflies are exquisite and yes, I have insect-inspired pieces in my jewelry collections. But true creativity, for me, is using any random thought as a starting point, and quietly following the course of that thought to an eventual or satisfactory end, one that can be physically represented using your material or medium of choice. I think that is what art is: an interpretation of something that has crossed through an artists's mind and out their hands. And the fascinating thing about art is that when art passes through an artist like that, they invariably leave their mark on it. The lifetime of experiences that the artist has lived or endured influences the subject in subtle ways to reflect that artist's life experience. These perceptions alter the body of work , often in very imperceptible ways - sometimes only the artist knows they are there, and sometimes it takes a very astute observer to see something that the artist didn't even realize had presented itself in the work.
Here is an example of abstract inspiration: the other day a friend of mine told me a great story about a family get-together. It had all of the elements of a good story: drama, danger, hope, love and faith. It only took 5 minutes to tell the story, but I thought about it all afternoon. In her family, she is an auntie to a little boy and girl, and I could never imagine a more fiercely devoted auntie. She works very hard day and night but is always -always-available to those kids, no matter how her workday has been. They are her family, and as such, they are with her in her thoughts all day. In my mind, I see them as a kind of beacon to lead her home, a kind of light at the end of her "workday" tunnel. And I see the unending bond of family in her life; as the undercurrent of her day, the connectedness like reassuring markers scattered along an uncertain path.
So, inspired by that, I created this ring. It is thick and solid, but not burdensome, just comforting. The band has a textured finish, representing the nicks, scrapes and challenges that we endure in the outside world. It has highly polished brass on it to symbolize her and the kids she adores-bright and gleaming, to represent the joy they bring each other. But inside the band is smooth and serene; the word family is indelibly forged, like a hidden map, secretly carried. And though the outside world may not be aware of its presence, it's a private reminder of what matters in this world, a reminder to make time, and go home to your family.


Kiki said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Ooo--I can tell I'm going to LOVE looking through yours! This is great stuff. Very cool.

Brandon said...

Wow, your so talented! I love looking at you goods! Off to look some more and add favs!


Jewelry Rockstar said...

I have to say, your work is awesome. Just brilliant!

Janice said...

VERY nice ring!! Looking forward to following your blog. :)

Giftbearer said...

Very pretty ring. It's a nice touch to put the little balls of another metal on the silver to give it contrast.

Megan said...

I big heart your art. Keep up the good work and I am always asking myself what inspires me...good post!

megan of bit of nutmeg

Mama Needs Coffee said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog!!!! Your jewelry is breathtaking.

I absolutely love the ring on this post :-)

MDC said...

Beautiful, another great piece and story. You are a great friend. I look forward to seeing what's next.


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