Sterling silver, Carnelian, Eucalyptus pod
i’ve always been drawn to hands. they attract me to a person nearly as much as their face, and quite possibly, more once i discover the work they do, the loving care they give, or the art they create. I knew instantly that i wanted to replicate the photographs Oriel takes of her own beautiful, capable, deft hands and intricate crocheted jewellery in my ‘portrait’ of her, using metal and found objects from my side of the world, but that would represent her own world across the sea. So I sat down with spools of silver ‘thread’, picked up carnelian from the shore of my beach, gathered eucalyptus pods from the floor of my forest, and began to think + create. Since i am primarily a caster, hand-casting the pods in sterling came and went as easy as breath. Finding a way to “net” my stone and my hand in silver replicating her hand-made jewels, would prove to be a far greater challenge!
Each link of chain needed to be snipped open, woven through another, measured, fitted, and then soldered back together again. Slowly, surely, and often with frustration buoyed by dedication … I took two steps forward, and then one back. Lengths were measured and links were counted. Solder was snipped, and most often wire was melted. Though I am not a crocheter, I imagined myself as such, weaving my way forward, and then tearing out sections and retreating in lengths, but bit by itty bit, (I had to use major magnification to see, you know) my rings took shape, patterned from individual works in Oriel’s feed, and then photographed as I imagined she would photograph them herself. and here you see, my portrait of Oriel!
I hope that one day we can put our real hands together, break this virtual barrier, create side by side, and walk in stride along the edge of the sea … she, the (jeweller, painter, maker, beach comber and ‘finder’ of ‘things’) and me, the (maker of jewels, fixer of broken wings, mistress of the sea, seeker of lost things) us, Oriel & Laurie.
US, of the kindred spirits !!!
#80 and #40 crochet cotton
‘found’ beach pebble
“Such a journey has this portrait been. Firstly, photographing this piece was a bit of a mission. I ran out of daylight yesterday and today is ‘overcast’ and rainy here….been ‘chasing’ the sun between gaps in the clouds.
It seemed fitting to compose the photograph with the study of the ’broad bean seedling’ I’d painted a while ago……..her weekly jaunts to the Farmers market, shared through her weekly feed. Such vibrant vegetables in her basket……the sustenance of which, she feeds her soul.
My initial idea was to do a drawing of Laurie and Maia, her ‘companion’ in her lovely feed. This lovely little pigeon has captured the hearts of all those who follow. But, after some thought I realised that it is not only our shared love of ‘winged ones’ and the ocean that Laurie and i have in common, but our love for working with metal. This is what drew me to @oncefoundbutnotlost in the first place. So, my plans changed! I am in awe of all that Laurie creates and I must admit, a little jealous of her days spent in the ‘songbird’ room with all the ‘wounded’ one in her care. But at the heart of Laurie…..it’s the Ravens i see! These ‘messengers’ in her life as the Barn Owls are in mine……how could we not be ‘kindred spirits’!
‘she of the ravens’ was a challenge indeed and saw me working from early Saturday morning to well into the dark of night. Like Laurie with the ‘casting’…… the piercing of the silver came like a ‘breath’…..the motion of the blade sure and true. But the soldering was a battle…..hour upon hour….much holding of breath each time i lit the torch. You see, the detail in the Raven was such that i feared ‘melting’ it so many times…..it was vital that the claws remained defined. I am by no means a ‘master’ of my craft but………i believe my, at times ‘organic’ approach is an honest representation of who i am as a ‘maker’…….my perfectionism aside…. it is important to still be able to see the ‘hand’ of the maker in the final piece.
It seemed fitting to compose the photograph with the study of the ’broad bean seedling’ i painted a while ago……..her weekly jaunts to the Farmers market, shared through her weekly feed, with vibrant vegetables in her basket……the sustenance of which, she feeds her soul.
The Raven is reaching down from the other side of the world and retrieving a ‘netted’ piece from the ocean of another……….we may not walk side by side ‘yet’ Laurie but we definitely share a similar ‘footprint’ along the shore”………..Oriel