Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Working Through It

Last week I posted about the sudden death of my friend, Kathleen. It's still incomprehensible to me that she's gone...I keep thinking of the times we shared and the talks we had. And there's a "Friends and Family of" Facebook page that's full of photos and memories of her. I only knew her for a few years, but some of her older / closer friends have shared such wonderful remembrances and photos.

Kathleen lived a very full life, living in NYC, London, Los Angeles, Atlanta...and traveled all over the world. This last trip to Mexico was just one vacation in a long, long list.

Sometimes (okay, often) I get stuck in a rut here in the studio. I love working on jewelry designs. And working from home means that I don't have to get out of the house and interact with the rest of the world. For an introvert like me, it's great. But too much solo time can be detrimental, and for several reasons, I feel like I've pulled even more inward this year. While it's helping me create more designs, it's not necessarily best to live like a recluse most of the time.

Kathleen's death made me realize how great her reach was...so many people touched by knowing her, grieving her loss, remembering her through shared words and photos. It makes me want to reach out to all my friends and make sure I spend a little more time with them. And it reminded me of how short life can be, and that's part of what propelled me out of the grief and depression last week to pushing hard in the studio.

In addition to hearing the news about Kathleen last Sunday, my festival was rained out that day, which meant significantly fewer sales, and I got three other show rejections last week. I was a mopey girl, feeling bad about myself and my work, sad about my friend, and generally low. But toward the end of the week, I was online, perusing some other jewelers' creations, looking at the people who *didn't* get rejected from those art shows, and I thought to myself, "Well, you can be the girl who mopes about it, or you can get cracking and be the girl who can compete with them!" So...I got cracking.  :)

Here's what I did yesterday:

I bezeled 26 red creek jaspers. This is just a sampling of them...there are more...and then I soldered seven of them to the back plates and finished the decorative details on three. Whew!

You can't really see the detail work at the top, and they're all white from being in the pickle. And they still need bails. But they're 99 percent done. On to the rest of them today.

Last week was pretty much the worst week of the year so far. Which I guess means that there's nowhere to go but UP!  :)


  1. Hi Jill,

    I have been following your blog on and off. And today is the day I write a comment to tell you how much I love your blog and your work. Such an inspiration...
    So sorry for the loss of your friend :(
    We are both member of the same forum. A while back I asked a question. You were the only one to reply and it meant a lot to me.

    Have a great day full of joy and new designs!

  2. Patricia,

    Thank you very much. I appreciate your taking the time to post such a sweet comment!

    I found a couple of blogs about jewelry design and fabrication when I was first starting out, and they were helpful. I'm glad whenever mine can be the same. :)

    I'm sorry to say I don't know which forum...but I'm glad I could help you with a response. :)

    Enjoy creating!