I want to share with you what I have been working on in my little studio.

Fossilized sand dollars, antlers, and of course, sterling silver.

I have been working very hard on my craftsmanship. Not that I think it was poor before, but I'm becoming more interested in how perfectly I can finish something, how clean of a solder line I can get, how smooth of a setting I can burnish. Challenging myself is how I learn... well, it's how we all do. You need challenge to get to the next step, to improve upon your skills, and to advance in your field. Plus, what's a day if you aren't so frustrated that you want to throw something across the room?

These two rings are a breakthrough for me. I have been hoarding my sand dollars, antlers and walrus teeth since I bought them. I'm not sure what hiding them away in a drawer does for me, but I just love them so much... I feel like that gross little character in Lord of The Rings... oh, my precious! Bent over in the corner of my studio next to my bench... one light shining on my back in the dark as I hold all of my precious little items.. rocking back and forth. Yeah, it gets creepy. But, it's that nature thing I was talking about before. I just have so much admiration for how perfect it all is. So much love for the irregular shapes and the colors. For the way it all comes to be. I think most jewelers get that way though. We all make and use these things that we love and then we have to hold onto them for a little while until we make something that we hold more dear. It's silly. When I see beautiful things in peoples shops, I wonder how they could ever part with them... but it's about sharing.

The whole part of being an artist is wanting to share the beauty that you not only see and make, but that which lies with in you. It is the beauty that you see on this earth that others pass by. The way the sun rays shine through a perfectly dark cloud, the patterns of the ocean when it kisses the sand, the repetitious wrapping shapes of succulents. After I read that, I realize why so many people think that artists are so strange... but I think realizing those things enlighten my life. I could watch the workings and life of nature all day, everyday, every minute... Now if only I could figure out how to not kill every plant that crosses my path. I don't even want to know how much money I spend a year on plants that just die. It's sad... all I want is to love and nurture them... instead I give them a death sentence. I kill cacti for Pete's sake. CACTI! I LIVE IN THE DESERT! I could throw those things out in my yard and not water them for a year and they would sill live! How!!!? Sigh. I need something to blame. I don't want to believe that it's me.

Happy weekend. Stay vibrant, have fun.