I received a scholarship this year to study at Mesa Arts Center with an amazingly talented and internationally known metalsmith, Kevin O'Dwyer. The class was a two week intensive on hollowware and hollow form jewelry... it has left me incredibly inspired, but has made me feel as though my heart is shifting. I spent the morning looking back at works past and feeling no longer peacefully planted here, where I am. Maybe it's because I'm advancing, maybe it's because I've been feeling suffocated by others, maybe it is because it's Saturday and quiet and all I can hear are the birds singing about being alive. Whatever it is, I'm ready. 

Working on two projects at one time. While one pickles, the other was being raised. 

Working on two projects at one time. While one pickles, the other was being raised. 

Meanwhile, I started a reliquary locket. It will hold an old euro diamond I inherited from my Grandmother.

Meanwhile, I started a reliquary locket. It will hold an old euro diamond I inherited from my Grandmother.

Here she is! The box in all of her glory - 10 full grams of sterling silver! I'm so incredibly pleased with how this project turned out, it definitely made me work for it. I'm hoping to post the other projects soon and study with Kevin again in the future.   

 

 

We have been applying every month for the past six months to win a permit to hike to "The Wave."

"The Wave" is an amazing sandstone rock formation located near the northern boarder of Arizona and Utah sitting on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of the Colorado Plateau. Or you know, located on your Windows computer under "desktop backgrounds."

There have been countless stories posted of people who have applied for 4 and 5 years never receiving permits, and even though we figured our chances were slim, Austin started applying late last year.  

The wave is known for being a hike that gets many trekkers lost, dehydrated, and unfortunately killed from the draining desert heat and lack of water. We packed half in confidence and half like we were possibly going to be facing the zombie apocalypse. 

The landscapes were utterly gorgeous. With a lot of the hiking being on rocky mountain terrain with steep grades, there is no set foot path like you would find on most trails. You also only receive a map with about 10 photos when you do gain entry. There are little to no trail markers, so paying attention to landmarks around you is key. 

The hike was almost a full ten miles, but you become so focused on landmarks and so distracted by the beauty of everything around you and under your feet that you really start to lose track of time. Plus, in February you find yourself constantly playing "wait, now I'm hot... wait, now I'm freezing" as you traveled from sun to shade and back again.  

And then just when you wonder how much further it could be, your whole deep sandy world flips upside down, and you see one of the most gorgeous things you've ever laid eyes on. 

We sat and ate sandwiches on a steep ridge of the wave wall, taking in all of its beauty and laughing with our dear friends, eating sandwiches from the grocery store we bought the night prior and munching on homegrown carrots. I couldn't fathom anything more beautiful, or perfect, or memorable. 

...And just when I said to myself, "this couldn't be a better, more beautiful life," the man whose hand I've had the pleasure of holding in mine for so very long got down on one knee... 

and asked, with a ring that he had made himself, if I was happy enough to marry him. 

(A huge thank you to our good friends Brynne and Mike Payne for getting photos of this amazing moment for us - and for freaking out in the most genuine way only real friends could. We will cherish this photo forever).

WE'RE GETTIN' HITCHED!!!

 

 

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"Go." My chosen word for 2016 - that started earlier this week. A push to follow heart. To motivate. To be and to live. To discover. To adventure more. To not push living aside. To not push the call of my heart aside. An answer for when I question myself: go.

I've never chosen a word before... I've had plenty of people tell me theirs, who have asked me what "mine" was... at that time, I had no idea what the power of that kind of decision could give me, but I knew I needed to choose wisely. I needed to ask myself what do I find myself wishing for most often? Do I walk with regret and if I do, is there a word that could remove those kind of regrets from my shoulders? And so I've chosen... To go. To stop saying, "I wish" to stop saying, "I should" and to pick myself up and take myself to every tiny place that feeds my wander, my health, my soul.

I don't know how your year went, but if you've hung out around here at all this year, you probably understand why I'm throwing up some double-dueces and maybe a quick flash of both my middles and am leaving 2015 behind before it can even end. Peace out 2015, you were a bitch. Sorry, not sorry. 

It's been irregularly cold here for December. Like, wake-up-in-the-morning-and-scrape-ice-off-the-windshield cold. Yeah, for real. Meanwhile, you east coasters are probably wearing shorts and celebrating warm afternoons on your front porches while your christmas trees sweat off the rest of their needles. The world is losing its mind, I swear... but there's something about the cold days that make me incredibly introspective. 

I want to fill this year up. I'd rather exhaust myself soaking in and exploring every beautiful and weird thing that surrounds me every day than spend one more day wasted on wishing. I don't want my day dreams to be doggy-eared in a travel magazine or screen-shot off someone's instagram. 

But it's not just that. It's the small things too. It's coffee with friends, it's taking the dogs for a hike, it's learning to fly fish, it's going to the gym or to paddle board on the lake. It's exploring those 'weird-ass' structures down in Casa Grande. It's everything. 

I know we all say it, "This year I'm going to: ___________."  Right?

And so, for me, "go" isn't only for this year. It's for this lifetime. It's now and it's next week and it's to remember that no one is going to promise to give me the sunrise tomorrow, but I can sure as hell hope that I'll see it and I can sure as hell promise myself that I will live the ever-living-shit out of each and every one that I am given. Because excuses are ugly. Because every day is a new beginning. Because I was put to every single test this year, and I'm still standing.

Com'on 2016, lets see what you're made of. 

 

 
 

For the days I worry I wont get past.

From the words of others that are hurtful as they resonate.

When each and every bone feels the reverberation of your loss.

When I remember his face. When my knees hit the ground. When my world flipped and I spun sideways.

How do I leave it behind? How do I lighten the load? How do I not feel it in each and every unforgiving, deep step of every moment?

How do I leave it behind? What new way will it hurt this year?

When the touch of cold skin pulls me right back to that moment.

When I saw her soul leave her body behind. So deeply pushed to the back of my memory, yet floating on the surface of every move. Now where do I go from here?

How do I leave it behind?

From the loss that remains. From the emptiness. From the feeling of misunderstood. From the feeling of alone. From this small space around me not even being mine. 

 I cried that night. At the campsite. I smelled your life on the raincoat. I drowned there. I'm still drowning. I'm still waiting for the sun to lower its rays, to pull me from that darkness I found, to warm the hand you left.

How do I come to understand that you'll never be back here... How can I still not understand that.

I took your Blue Nude Picasso. I realized after all this time of loving her, that it was because she's me. She has always been me.

 
 


 

 

My shows are over and I have an amazing amount of items still available for my online shoppers. I will be spontaneously adding items my shop for the rest of the week!  I will be posting to my Facebook and my instagram as things are listed. You can find links for both of those under the "connect" tab.

www.ashleyweber.etsy.com or simply click on the "shop" tab. 

-Here are a few things that have gone up so far this week-


 

 

I'm not here because I've never fallen. 

I'm here because I always, always stand back up. 

I'm proud of that. 

I have so many ideas swimming in my mind from my latest adventures and I'm participating in two of Phoenix's biggest holiday shows- PHXFLEA and Crafeteria... my head will be in the sand for a while. 

xx

 

 

 

I think sometimes I find myself in a mental space that I never planned on going. I suddenly see myself in an almost outer body experience, I get a tight grasp on the thoughts that are spinning themselves seemingly without my permission, the ones that have finally grown to a size that beg for me to take notice... "Damn, why am I here again?"

I've been in a place where I can't seem to find balance between being easy enough on myself not to hurt, but hard enough on myself to grow and get things accomplished. I've had to hold out a hand to myself time and time again this month and offer balance as I tip toe and hop one stone at a time. "Take my hand, you can do this. I won't let you fall."

I'm overwhelmed, I'm underwhelmed. I'm lost, I'm found. I know we all ride these waves. I know we all have a hard time steering sometimes... but shit, sometimes I wonder how it hasn't ended yet. Exactly how long is this ride? 

And so I had to let myself escape. I needed to be myself, in a place that I love, with the person I love, and I needed to leave the rest of my questions for time to answer. I needed to forget the tangled webs, I needed to forget the other voices, the outside influences, I needed solitude. 

I needed time to reflect. I needed time to heal with only the sound of the most natural things around me. I needed to laugh. I needed the baptism of that freezing cold water. 

And I needed to smile... because life really isn't quite as hard, or complicated, or rough or important!) as we make it out to be. I'm not sure many people know that. I wish more people knew that. 

And so I did just that. 

And we took time to focus on just living. On spending a day without any other worries. On having lunch on a rock in the middle of the creek down in the gorge and being simple, and happy, and humble.

And it was exactly what we needed. 


 

 

Excited doesn't even begin to explain how I feel about this, but I've been chomping at the bit to share this news ever since I found out! 

I'm so grateful to say that I have been featured in Phoenix New Times: Best Of Phoenix 2015! You can nab a copy today from newsstands around the valley or read it online: here. 

Thank you all, once again, for your amazing and continued support. This has been such an incredible journey for me and I couldn't have made it here without each and every single one of you cheering me on! You're absolutely wonderful! 

xx Ashley 

 

 
 
 

Second set of jewelry dishes will be in the shop September 24th @ 4:00PM ARIZONA TIME. www.ashleyweber.etsy.com

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(Please google Arizona Time for correct time). It is very difficult to get photos of these bowls as the exact color that they are- please read all descriptions. Also I did the decals a bit different this time for a more worn/rustic look. Close ups will also be posted.

 

 

Very proud to be featured in the fall issue of WHERE Phoenix + Scottsdale Magazine.  

Full article h e r e

I also found this little gem while searching for another article online.  A little shout out on Phoenix New times under Indie Shopping at Frances. 

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It's always so wonderful to be recognized with all of the other wonderful people who make the handmade and local scene in Phoenix as great as it is! 

 

 

A lesson to the broken pieces. To the parts that fall off from malnourishment. A word to the wounded. To the sad hearted. To the ones who have been plucked and pulled at. To the ones who feel as if they've lost connection.

You can grow from this. You can prosper. You can build yourself up and you can do it tenfold. You have what it takes and you are worth it. We are all worth it.

Be humble. Be strong. You will weather this storm.

-A

  

 

 
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These jewelry/smudge bowls are completely made by hand. 
They have been drawn and cut from 18g copper sheet. 
I then imprint real leaves into the backs of them and leave partial fire scale on the bottom of the bowls (and then seal them) for a touch of earthy texture.
Hammered into a large wooden dapping block and then raised on a large steel stake. 
They are then cleaned and prepped to be enameled. Enamel is a soft glass powder that is sifted and then fused onto the surface of the copper in a kiln at 1500 degrees (F). 
I have hand-drawn an image, scanned it, digitally edited and added to it and then applied it with a special technique to the surface of the enamel, after which, it is fused into the glass to last a lifetime. 

 

 

Today I'm still broken. I'm blatantly obvious pieces that have been glued together just strong enough to hold, because I have to.... I feel like my ears have been ringing for a month... I have been worried about the hurt of the heart that can be so easily hidden behind the curve of a smile. I have been being relying on the words of a woman who doesn't know even know she's my counselor... but she's pulling me through this grief. She's pulling me through, she's dragging me through all of that which rips my soul apart. And she knows it's what I need. And she knows that to repair yourself you have to feel all that's inside of you. That to tear yourself apart is ok if there are things you're holding onto that are cutting you from the inside out. I feel gutted. I feel stranded. I feel lost. I'm holding onto a dry-rot rope knowing it's about to fray and split. Dangling over the drop... and I know I need to let go. I know that I need to fall so that I can start this climb over. Again. And I know that this probably won't be the last time.

Today I integrated some of my grandfathers plants in with my own. I thought I was going to be ok... I know that my "ok" really isn't anything close to ok.. that it's more of a hold yourself together and don't lose it completely while your neighbors can hear you, "ok." The kind of "ok" that you force yourself to be so that you can be strong for others "ok.." but there wasn't anyone there to hold myself together for. Quite frankly, I've been riding on that kind of "ok." I've had to. For my own sake.

And so I lost it. And I had to come back to that note, from that amazing woman, and read it again. Because I wonder if I'll ever heal. Because the world feels quiet and incredibly loud all at the same time. Because, deep in my heart, I wanted to cry more. I needed to. And I wanted to know what it was about that letter that shattered me into so many tiny pieces every time that I read it.

 "Be kind to yourself. There isn't a right way to do grief. Your art is a reflection of your soul. You are perfect, but you aren't. Who really wants to be perfect. You are brave, you are strong. And if you can convince someone on another continent that you are all of these things, you're pretty fucking special. I love your grandfather too. For how much he gave you. For the influence that shaped you. Because he loved you a whole damned lot. And honey, that's so good. But you already know that. Because I think he would have loved you so hard that you couldn't forget. From great love comes huge sadness. But holy fuck. The great love was so good xx"

...It's one thing to greive for how much we loved the ones that we have lost. It's another to sit and truly understand how much the lost had loved us. And that's why I am filled with so much sadness when I read this letter... That's the part that makes my bones hurt deep in their marrow. That's the part that makes me feel like I have to remind myself to today to breathe. Because I was loved. So truly. So deeply. So dearly loved. 

Thank you Kylie. 

 

 

We all watched him carry so many things for her. Things that we all probably knew were too heavy for him. Things that he promised she could always lay on his shoulders if they became too heavy for her to carry on her own. He carried his love for her beautifully. He walked with it every single day without saying a word because the love he had for her ran so deep that he never even realized all that had actually piled up. We all do this. We have all done it for one another at some point in time. To my family: Mom, Dad, and Sister- I will always be here for you. I will always offer my shoulders to you. I will, without question, offer my strength as you have offered yours to me, so many many times before.  In honor of a beautiful and beautifully loving man- these are my gift to you. 

"Love one another, always." -Opa

 

 

I was lucky enough to be able to leave life behind for a little while after the passing of my grandfather. We drove through the most beautiful sites, trekked the woods with moose and pika, paddled the prettiest of waters, downhill biked the dense aspens, explored canyons that made us feel like we were on a journey only possible in our dreams, and we were able to spend time reflecting, crying, and sharing stories of a man who held my heart so tightly.
I wanted to stay there forever. Watching the light change with the hours. Letting it spill across my face. Tracing each line with my finger tip. Laying back on red dirt. Letting it heal all that's been broken.

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Can you even believe that this is the place we were given to live? All of us? On this beautiful beautiful planet... what an amazing place to exist. 

 

 

 

I've been experimenting with enamels a lot lately, something I told myself I wouldn't get into... Sometimes I feel like I've been around the block. I started with rustic silver and wood, moved onto minimal, modern and resin, played awhile in resin and floral and paper, completely ditched resin and came back to silver... added stones... added bones, added teeth... I like everything. That's the true problem. And I like work. Hours of it in one piece. I like testing myself, pushing for new concepts, creating it all.

My moms birthday was yesterday. Every single time, "Mom, what do you want for your birthday?" She responds, "I want a piece of your jewelry."  What's the new saying? Face/palm? Yeah. Mainly, because every year I have to find a way to outdo the gift from the year before. At least I feel like I have to. And secondly, because buying a gift with a click on Etsy or Amazon or a quick drive to the mall takes about 8 hours less. Yet it's so nice to have complete freedom, cause lets face it, Mom will accept anything I make her. That's what moms do. They cheer lead for you even when you make them a pencil holder out of popsicle sticks. And without fail they will tell you that it's even better than the house you made out of popsicle sticks for them the year before that. Cause moms kick ass. That's why.

So, I thought about my mom a lot. I thought about how she pours love into people... even when it doesn't seem gentle, it is pure and real love. We lost my grandfather, on my mothers side, her father, in 2011. I think all of our hearts still burn almost daily from that loss. I thought about how I wanted this piece to be a true statement of the love that we have for our family. How now, that we have lost another light in our lives just recently, my dads father, we need to hold each other tighter than we ever have before. Because I know that I can't be the only one whose heart feels like the cat kicked it off the counter and it shattered in a million small and scattered pieces. Because my family kicks ass. That's why.

So, for you mom... Your parents everlasting. Fused into glass. Me, in the form of a sterling silver succulent. And hours upon hours upon hours of hand and heart... because dad got you the Yeti cup and I'm not that creative with gifts otherwise.

All of my love, Ashley

 

 

 

Yes, I screwed up. Yes, I burned a beautiful piece of turquoise. Yes, I melted the bird. But isn't that what it's about? Throwing yourself into the fire and being able to walk out of the flame a different person? As a more knowledgeable being? To study and fail and gain from that failure? Because that's what it is for me. It's beauty and it's failure and it's power.... and it's still wearable. And I will wear it proudly. And the next one will be as perfect as any human made thing can be.