it was a pensive weekend, to say the least. i wandered around my empty house, quietly, from bedroom to computer to studio, back and forth like some new sort of waltz, answering all of your many wonderful emails and working on a piece of jewelry that's been waiting for me to work on it for years and years, how wonderful! it was inspired, in turn, by the last coin purse piece - "secrets" - that i showed you here on ornamental, which sold in a flash (i think five seconds within listing it, in fact, something that amazes me, the one with the dial up connection, remember?). i've had the antique silver hardware parts for the wee little purse i'm now constructing from scratch with leather since i taught in montreal, back to back with nick bantock, perhaps five years ago; and it, as well, has been knocking about my studio drawers and trays just waiting for that special light of inspiration to shine down and let the nimble work begin. it has begun.
the piece i'm showing you above (you may click for detail), i created for my upcoming gatherings workshop, to be premiered at artfest 2008. it is one of quite a few shadowboxes gathered into a "portfolio", and i pulled out the photograph this morning because i think it speaks for so many of us who are in this artistic journey - the gatherers, the collectors, the ones who pocket treasures and trinkets and relics and talismans and secrets and fragments and remnants of things we want to remember from our lives and from our travels and from our winding paths through this crazy thing called life. i've tried as hard as i can to change my packrat ways, when i look around my familiar surroundings and take note of the stacks and piles and corners that are gathering dust more than anything else. but all of these things have enormous meaning to me, the sticks and the stones and the nests and the rocks, the old books and crystal doorknobs and rusted sections of metal filagree, the peeling painted gingerbread wood culled from houses my father tore down in his wrecking business, the molded tin ceiling sections, the antique ledgers daddy unearthed, the antique toy truck that my brother so proudly sent to me for my birthday one year. and you can rest assured that the truck is now one of my most prized possessions. i'm steeped with a love for all things sentimental. i grew up with it - my parents surrounded me with relics from ancient houses torn apart and built anew, and that is why, in part, i think i am who i've become today. although, in reflection as i say this, my mother does have a better grip on what i call the "kudzu effect", and keeps the encroachment syndrome at bay. she loves me, anyway. bless her heart, she has no choice.
i'll close today with a wonderful quote that was sent to me this morning via a newsletter that i receive every weekday from the wonderful foundation for a better life (i don't know if any of you remember the photo i took of tenzin gyatso, the dalai lama, out in the cornfields of wisconsin - on a billboard, of course - back in june, but that is what ultimately led me to this incredible site):
"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same". - Nelson Mandela