Saturday, January 18, 2014

To tell a story.

When I started working with metal, I felt the opportunity for the first time to create something that felt truly to me like art and to use what I was creating to tell a story.
Not that bead weaving or bead embroidery or any of the jewelry forms aren't art, I think any kind of creativity coming from the soul of a person is art, even in its most simple forms.

But for me, working with metal was closer to working with canvas and my saw felt more like a paint brush than my needle and beads ever did.
I'd watched my metalsmithing heros make spinner rings and I wanted to try.
I sat down and started sketching, and I couldn't get the idea of this ring out of my mind.

This was born.

Instead of sitting static on the silver, this eagle swoops in and out of the copper peaks, the landscape changing underneath his wings as you spin the top skinny band that supports the eagle's wings.

I thickened and flared the edges of the ring with gentle taps of the hammer. I really wanted the rustic texture of mountainous landscape. The copper band supporting the bird is lightly hammered and the whole ring has been given this lovely warm patina and a hand-brushed finish.

I don't comment much when I visit blogs or check my Instagram feed, but I've been following my jewelry-making buddies and I know that right now there are many of you in need of wings, many of us in need of wings I should say and many days the earth looks just a tad too ugly.
This ring is my tiny response to that, a reminder that even the eagle has to fly through a few valleys to reach the mountain top.

This is what I would call the less-precious version of this ring, and any length of wear will inevitably end in green fingers, but I remember someone telling me a while back when I started forming metal to make the prototypes in copper, it's less expensive if you mess up.
But even as I sit fidgeting with the band I'm beginning to feel as if I like the copper version more than I would a silver version of the same design. There's something about the warmth of the copper that feels more like the color of rich, warm earth, though I could see snow capped peaks in the reflection of silver.
Either way the message stays the same and each time a design turns out how I'd envisioned it, I feel a sense of accomplishment in each piece of metal.
I hope you're climbing your mountains today.


  1. It's a beautiful work of art! I love everything about it including the use of copper.

  2. Love love love! I love copper. Give it a coating of lacquer wax or nail polish to help stop green fingers. I wish i had the skills to make this. Hopefully in time. You should teach a class i would sign up! Shannon

  3. Oh my! The sentiment and the vision behind this ring is so incredibly inspiring to me! I love the copper. I would take it, green fingers and all. I agree that it has more of the earth in it with that silver eagle soaring. Eagles remind my family of my father in law who passed away in 2002. We see one soaring above the farm. This is impressive. I have a spinner that Richard Salley made and would dearly love to learn this secret. Maybe there will be a metals class in my future this year! Enjoy the day. Erin

  4. I love this, the vision and sentiment behind it really hit home with me. I love the copper and I'd just put nail polish on the inside to avoid green fingers. LOVE.

  5. This is absolutely gorgeous, copper and all! An inspiring piece of art.