In Which the Rains Arrive


The rains have finally arrived in Northern California - and in the wake of passing storm clouds, the landscape's color palette has become saturated. Where once (and by once, I mean a couple of weeks ago) there was only dirt and the dried remnants of last spring's grasses, a fine green velvet of new growth has now taken over.

Today, on the drive back from seeing Cirrus, I had to pull over and take a few pictures. Before living here, I don't think I'd ever seen vineyards in autumn - but at this point I can't imaging them looking more lovely at any other time of year. The wet vines look almost black against the clouds and the leaves display every hue between sunshine and crimson. Today, I even found a few grape clusters dangling on my side of the fence. I would have thought the birds would have gotten to them before me, but I'm awfully glad they didn't.

In other news, I've been smithing up a storm of my own. My hands are tired and I can't quite feel the tips of my fingers...but my heart is light. The studio has been extra cozy, the hum of machines and my own productivity keeping me company as the rain pours outside. Truly, this time of year was made for making.

For Saturday's update, I created two series of four pieces each. The first centers around the sweetest cast ginkgo leaves, the greenest turquoise I've ever laid eyes on, and the idea of balance. There's a real art to discovering how seemingly dissimilar shapes can play off of one another to exist in harmony - and the act of arranging and rearranging to find that sweet spot is a little like meditation for me. I always ask myself to keep working at it until the design rings true and to stop as soon as I feel the magic. To neither settle nor obsess. Just to be in the moment and allow it all to come together.


I also created what I would consider to be my first winter pieces, inspired by the games my family and I play with rocks pried from the banks of a frozen river. Sometimes the objective is to bounce the stones across the ice to create a noise that I can only describe as a "shivery chattering" that then reverberates through the cold air like some mythical beast. In another, we throw a "target stone" as far out as we can and see who can slide a second stone closest. My favorite, though, might be when there is a hole in the ice that reveals the flowing river beneath. The game then is to see who can throw or slide their rock the closest to the edge without having it drop into the water! Regardless of the game, by the time we leave there are countless holes in the ice, reflecting the blue sky above, and smooth, river polished rocks lying everywhere.

I was thinking of these skipping stones as I crafted this set of rings. Wide, smooth bands with significant weight to represent the frozen river winding its way through the winter landscape. And little King's Manassa turquoise stones (from Colorado!), the color of reflected sky and the shape of all those polished pebbles lying on the ice.


So there you have it - my creative storm, ready for Saturday's shop update (at 9am Pacific time!!).

From left to right, size 10, 8, 7.75, 9, 8.75, 6, 6.5. 


JewelryHayley JosephsComment