Roots

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Southwestern - adjective - south/west/ern
1) That which pertains to the southwest
2) That which relates to an area of the United States, including all or parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.

I grew up in the great state of Colorado, where the summers are hot, the winters cold, and the sky goes on forever. I'm not sure when I fell in love with the land (or perhaps it fell in love with me!), but for as long as I can remember I've been talking to the mountains and waiting to hear them speak in return. 

My grandma lived in Arizona, and I remember the many hours spent driving through the high desert from my home to hers. There was a magic along those lonely roads, bubbling just below the surface. The earth was singing a song just soft enough that I could not hear it - but even so, I knew it was there. 

As I learned to listen to the land I love, my making fell in time with the seasons. Crocuses became my muses in the early spring and bare branches whispered to me in the fall. I found myself following the rhythms of the rivers and reading the the clouds for signs of snow. Now with everything I make, I am drawing from what my homeland taught me in an attempt to connect my experiences back to the earth. Wherever my feet may travel, I know that my roots are planted firmly in the sandy red soil that I call home. 

Bohemian - adjective - bo/he/mi/an
1) One who comes from the land of Bohemia, a region in the Czech Republic
2) One who lives a nonconventional lifestyle, such as an artist

Interestingly, I can relate to both of the definitions for "bohemian" listed above. My ancestors do, in fact, hail from the Czech Republic and I have indeed chosen a life that is a little ways off the beaten path. But while the first definition relates to the self I was born into, the second relates to the self that I am becoming.

Some of the first jewelry I remember making was part of a grand plan to earn money for a couple of guinea pigs. A good friend and I tied friendship bracelets and beaded little necklaces that we then sold for a quarter each outside the local farmer's market (I say outside because we didn't pay to actually be PART of the farmer's market...oops!). By the end of the summer, we traded in our hard earned cash for a couple of the cutest piggies around and the rest was history...

Well, almost. While I continued to make little adornments for myself throughout the years, I didn't actually begin my smithing journey until my last semester of high school when I took a jewelry making class on a whim. I filled a graveyard with saw blades and my hands shook every single time I picked up the torch - but it sparked my interest. And when, after a tumultuous few semesters of college, I once again found myself in a metalsmithing studio, I knew I was finally home.

There is serious magic to be had when working with metal and stone. The ability to weave ideas into tangible form is what fuels my making. But it is the process of sending these little artworks out into the world, where their significance will continue to shift and change with time and the wearer's experiences, that sets my heart alight. This work is my never-ending love affair with the natural world and the storytelling that makes up each of our personal histories - and the creation process is what makes this crazy, uncertain, incredible life worth living.

Clementine and Sage Jewelry : Southwestern Roots, Bohemian Soul