Monday, May 9, 2011

Authentic Voice

As my one son was developing his writing skills, I would always encourage him to use an authentic voice- one that speaks of genuine experience and emotion. There were times that I would read an assignment, telling him that it didn't sound like his voice and that he could (should) do better. When I read the primary essay that he had written for his college applications, I was so impressed by the wonderfully moving story that he told of losing his vision. He has definitely found his voice, and I have no doubt that his essay was a primary reason why he as accepted by so many colleges/universities.
The idea of maintaining an authentic voice is something I value and try to keep present in my design work, both jewelry and landscape.

I was working on a project this weekend and I was really pleased with how it was starting. The Members Show at the Wallingford Art Center begins this week, and I wanted to drop off a new piece. I made two leaves, similar to ones that I've made before... but better. This time I used a heavy gauge brass base and attached my milled copper leaves with balled copper wire that I used as rivets (using my nifty riveting hammer). I like the texture that the copper balls add to the central vein of the leaves. So far things are looking good.

The back of each brass base was stamped with a message. I then sanded the surface to highlight the stamping. I had annealed the brass, turning the surface a dark brown/black, and the sanding removed some of that oxidized surface. Still looking good.

I had this image in my head of using the leaves in a necklace, and pulled out a bezeled cabochon that I had made earlier this year. Holes were drilled to link everything together and I started wire wrapping my connections with prehnite gemstones and sterling chain. Pausing to assess where I was headed, all I could say was, "Bleh!" Things were not looking so good at this point.

I began to feel like I was forcing together pieces that did not want to be together. The balance that I strive for was missing; it did not feel like my 'authentic voice'. This project was a sinking boat that needed to be abandoned before I wasted any more sterling wire. A few years ago I was buying sterling at $14.00 an ounce and it is now hovering at around $40.00 an ounce- CAN'T AFFORD WASTE!!! I still entered the Members Show, but with other pieces. I entered 'My Open Heart' which I am especially fond of. It does not have the variety of techniques that I appreciated in my abandoned project, but I think that it does have a lovely balance of color and texture.

I also entered my 'Six' pin which I like for it's whimsy and humor.
It feels like my voice.

Aaaaaccckkkkk!! The crazy spacing of my posting is still a problem! I obviously need a 12 year old here to show me what I'm doing wrong!

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